Where do we fish?
This depends a lot on the tides, the time of year, the weather conditions, your individual interest in target species and the length of the charter.
Possible destinations are:
- The Peron Islands including Cape Ford and Cape Scott (south-west of Darwin)
- Flat Top Banks (100 nm north-west of Darwin)
- The Tiwi Islands consisting of Melville and Bathurst islands (north of Darwin)
- Cobourg Peninsula (Arnhem Land)
- Mini Min River System (Arnhem Land)
- Daly, Finnis, Adelaide, Mary and Alligator Rivers
- Many trips can take in a combination of a couple of these destinations
What species do we target?
Many trips see over 40 species hauled on board, so we can vary the fishing and cater to your interest.
Some fairly common varieties of bluewater, pelagic and sport fishing species are:
- Black jewfish
- Golden snapper
- Red emperor
- Coral trout
- Spanish mackerel
- Giant and golden trevally
- Blue nose Salmon
Some less common species are:
- Mac tuna
- Golden spotted cod
- Rankin cod
- Spangled emperor
- Long nosed emperor
- Red bass
- Moari sea perch
A general rule is the longer the trip, the better the fishing as we can access the really remote grounds and have the time to hunt around. Saying that, we still get exceptional fishing on a 2 Night Charter.
The Barramundi fishing charters also see a variety of species hooked, although the main target is of course the infamous barra. Some other species are:
- Mangrove jack
- Golden snapper
- Threadfin salmon
What’s the itinerary?
We depart at 4pm and as we serve you sunset nibbles and dinner, we are steaming out to the fishing grounds. This usually takes between 5 – 10 hours depending on the destination. You can get a few hours sleep and be ready for fishing before daybreak.
On the bluewater fishing charters it’s a fairly free itinerary as we move between the reefs, shoals and islands of the Top End and vary the fishing targeting a mixture of bottom fish, pelagic and sportfish. On these charters we return to Darwin in the late afternoon of the final day, with our last fishing drop being about lunchtime.
On the barramundi fishing charters we anchor the mother-ship, Northern Exile, in a remote river mouth and then explore the rivers, creeks and estuaries on tenders returning to the mothership to sleep each night. On these charters we return to Darwin in the early hours of the final morning, after travelling through the night.
Can I book the whole boat?
Yes, many people get together their own group of friends/family and sole charter the boat. This is a great way to book as we can then cater specifically to your interests and needs. You can bring up to 8 people along on our bluewater charters (although we recommend 6 – 7 people if affordable) and 6 people on our barramundi charters.
Can I book individually?
Yes, if you let us know the approximate dates that you want to depart, then we can match you up with another small group who also want to book individually.
We also have scheduled departures that may suit you.
What’s the boat like?
Northern Exile is a 46 foot Westcoaster. She has a large back fishing deck with lots of space, a shade canopy, rod holders, generator, freezer and BBQ.
There is a comfortable, air-conditioned saloon area perfect for a card game at the end of the night. The accommodation is basic but airconditioned and comfortable. It consists of bunks and camp beds.
There is a freshwater shower and a flushing toilet. The vessel is equipped with the latest in marine navigation technology and
safety equipment. Click here for more details.
What fishing gear is used?
We predominantly use Daiwa reels with Ugly Stick rods. We provide a variety of lures and bait and use circle hooks which allows fish to be released.
When’s the best time of year to book?
We encourage people to book from the months of March to June and again from September to December. These months are what we call the ‘run-off’ and the ‘buildup’
seasons respectively and are usually calm, hot and are a great time of year for fishing. We can take bookings outside this time, particularly July
and August; there is however a slightly higher risk of cancellation due to weather as we can experience seasonal trade winds.
Can I take home some fish?
Yes, although we encourage catch and release, we are happy for you to take home some fish. Your crew will clean and fillet your catch, if possible they
will freeze it flat for you and organise airline approved fish boxes to take your fish home.
What else is provided?
Your crew will prepare and cook all meals for you, with bacon, egg, cereal, yoghurt and toast breakfasts, cold meat and salad lunches, sunset nibbles and barbecue dinners. Of course we’ll also cook up the catch of the day! We have a variety of snacks, iced water and hot drinks on board.
What do I need to bring?
A small soft overnight bag with a change of clothes, toiletries, towel, hat, sunglasses, camera, video camera and alcohol or soft drinks.
- There is power for you to recharge batteries
- Responsible drinking of alcohol is required