Blane Simmons is the owner and skipper of the ‘Swordfish’ a 65’ Royal Navy motor yacht. He has fished the world over and with more than 20 years’ experience fishing and running boats in the Territory has the knowledge to turn fishing trips into a lasting memory. We chatted to Blane to find out more.
Which fishing season is your favourite?
For me, it would be towards the end of the wet season, during the runoff. Having said that, anytime I can go fishing is a good time.
Where’s your favourite fishing spot in the Territory?
I don’t really have one. I enjoy my fishing and base my choices on where the fish are. This can vary from year to year, month to month, day to day. What was a great spot yesterday might be completely different today. I like variety in my fishing and so, yes, wherever the fish are that’s my spot.
Why do you think so many people come up to the Territory to chase barra?
The iconic barra is on every fisho’s bucket-list. They are probably eight to 10 species of fish that anglers across Australia and around the world want to reel in and barra are right there at the top. They’re a challenge and put up a good fight – a great fish to catch on your own merit with your own ability.
What’s your go-to fishing hack?
The more time you spend on the water, whether you’re land based or on a boat, the better chance you have of catching a fish. Don’t give up, either. That’s my advice.
What’s your most memorable catch?
I enjoy all the fish I catch. I don’t think in terms of my best catch or best day as it sets up too many expectations. The trick to having a memorable day fishing is heading out with an open mind.
What’s your bucket list fish?
That’s a hard one. I’ve been fishing and running boats in the Northern Territory for the past 20 years. I have also fished extensively in Africa, South America, Fiji, and remote areas in Papua New Guinea. If I had to choose, I’d say a Nile perch. It’s similar to a barra, but these beasts can grow up to 2m and weigh up to 200kg. The biggest a barra will grow to is 1.5m. Mind you if you hooked a barra that size you’d know about it.
What Million Dollar Fish product are you offering for Season 6?
With our tours clients can chase barra alongside light game, reef and pelagic species on a live-aboard fishing charter in remote Territory waters. These untouched areas are the stuff dreams are made of. Catch a Season 6 million-dollar tagged barra while you’re on one of our tours and you’re in with a chance to win a seven-day charter worth $5,950.
Why should people visit the NT during the Wet Season/Tropical Summer to catch barra?
With the water temperatures rising over the summer months the barra love to bite. Another time to consider is after the monsoon rains in March– known locally as the runoff as the flooded rivers run off enormous wetlands into coastal creeks. It’s a sensational time for barra with lots of action but it can be hard to access some of these areas because of flooding and muddy roads.
What is the best time of day to catch barra?
Some say early in the morning and late in the evening is best. But I wouldn’t stress over the time of day too much. Barra can be caught all day and all night, any time really.
Check out Frontier Fishing’s Million Dollar Fish tour here on our Fishing Experiences page.