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DISCOVER AUSTRALIA'S BEST FISHING CATCHES IN THE TOP END

Darwin is renowned for its reputation as one of Australia’s premier fishing destinations. Situated in the Northern Territory along the Timor Sea, this city acts as a link between Australia and Southeast Asia, boasting some of the best fishing experiences Australia has to offer. At Tiwi Island Retreat, just 128km north of Darwin, we are in the prime position for a fishos dreams to come true. Whether you head out on our custom-built 12m Catamaran for a deep-sea fishing tour with our senior skipper, Dwayne Reichelt, or get whisked away on our helicopter fishing experience to the most secluded and hard-to-reach fishing spots of the Tiwi Islands. There is an array of experiences awaiting you in the pristine waters surrounding our Retreat, from battling the elusive barramundi to pulling up mud crabs, fishing is a must-do activity for your next visit to Tiwi Island Retreat.

In these waters, barramundi reign supreme, known for their impressive fighting spirit and aerial displays. Landing a ‘barra’ is a dream for every passionate fisho, and with their presence in fresh, brackish, and saltwater, your chances of hooking one are plentiful. Fishing for barramundi reaches its peak during the run-off season, typically spanning from February to May, when water levels gradually subside following the wet season. Fishos actively chase barramundi as they migrate to rivers and creeks. However, with the help of the Retreat’s expert fishing guides, you’ll have no trouble bagging a barra outside of the run-off season – you might even hook your first metrey!

A fisherman holding a Barramundi and a fisherman holding a Mangrove Jack.

Venture into the mangrove-lined creeks and reefs of the coast, and you might encounter the lightning-fast and aggressive mangrove jack. These feisty fish provide an exhilarating challenge, especially when caught on a lure or live bait. Young mangrove jack typically inhabit freshwater environments, whereas mature specimens are commonly encountered in reef habitats, improving your chances of finding one.

Apart from barramundi, red emperor fish also make an appearance in the deep-sea fishing domain of the Tiwis. Recognised for their striking colours, these prized catches are not just visually appealing, but they tend to put up a spirited fight when hooked. To target these coveted species, venture out to the offshore coral reefs and rocky formations. Fully mature red emperor fish typically measure between 70 to 90 centimetres in length and 15kg in weight.

Admire the coral trout with their vibrant scales as you fish around the coral reefs. However, beneath their charming appearance lies a set of sharp teeth, so exercise caution when handling these fish. You can rely on Raccoon, our trusty deckie, to give you a hand for that part! These prized table fish offer both beauty and flavour, making them a favourite among fishos and seafood enthusiasts alike.

Cast your line for the golden snapper, recognisable by their distinctive markings and sought after for their delicious taste. Whether in estuaries or near rock formations, these bottom-dwelling fish provide year-round excitement for fishos using deep-diving lures and jigs. By the way, snapper is debated as one of the tastiest fish in the sea!

For the ultimate adrenaline rush, head out to the blue waters of the Tiwis to battle big species like giant trevally, queenfish, Spanish mackerel, and long-tail tuna. With vast open spaces and many aggressive sports fish, landing one of these beasts will surely earn you bragging rights when coming back to the Retreat!

A pulls a crab pot onto a boat. A man stands on a charter boat holding a large Golden Snapper.

For a change of pace, try your hand at mud crabbing by pulling up pots set by our tour guides and guests earlier in the day. At low tide, explore the rocky shores and mangroves where these delicious crustaceans hide. Whether you steam them or spice things up with a chilli mud crab dish, indulging in these culinary delights is a must. Upon returning to the Retreat with your catch of the day, our skilled resident chef, Locki Waddell, will craft a dish infused with either Asian or Indigenous culinary influences. Locki ensures that every meal is a memorable dining experience that celebrates the rich tapestry of flavours and the freshest ingredients.

Your Top End fishing adventure awaits! Join us at Tiwi Island Retreat for a once-in-a-lifetime fishing getaway where every cast brings adventure and discovery in the pristine waters surrounding us.