Shannon Latham (aka Mousie) has been a mad keen fisherman his whole life. Originally from NSW, he turned his obsession for fish and the Territory into a business when he set up Mousie’s Barra & Bluewater Fishing Charters with his partner Mie in 2009. We chatted to Mousie to find out more.
Which fishing season is your favourite?
The Run Off. No surprises there. It’s the time after the Wet Season where all the water flows off the floodplains back into the river system, and the barra are waiting to ambush the baitfish that come down, too.
Where’s your favourite fishing spot in the Territory?
My top spot is the Daly River. I was a guide there for many years and have had great success fishing with clients and on social trips. This is where my partner, Mie, and I started the business. It was her idea, and I’m so glad I listened. Best thing I’ve ever done. The scenery around the Daly River is also unique and beautiful with exceptional wildlife. I have great memories of fishing the Daly. We’re mainly based in the Daly for the Build Up and Run Off and later in the year we fish off Dundee and other spots in Darwin.
What’s been your most memorable fishing trip with customers?
It’s impossible to reel off just one. We have such a diversity of people on board. Everyone wants to catch a fish and each person’s reaction to landing one is different. But seeing how blown away people are when they catch their first barra, especially their first metery, now that really is something.
Why do you think so many people come to the Territory to chase barra?
I’d say the size and number of barra we have here, and for the river systems and coastal areas open to fishing. You can easily combine barra fishing with other experiences as well, such as visiting our national parks and getting to know the history of the Territory. There is a lot of history out here, especially in the Daly, which is one of those quirky outback places.
What’s your go-to fishing hack?
Finding fish on the sounder. That way I can tell my clients where to cast, which improves their chances of catching a barra, and hopefully the one that’s worth a million bucks.
What’s your most memorable catch?
A 133cm barra caught on the Daly. It was back in 2014 and I was on a boat fishing with a mate visiting from Sydney. The barra jumped out of the water six times. It was pretty impressive to see a fish that size leaping out of the water. It was the first barra my mate has ever netted, and he was really excited. It was also good to see her swim away after taking some great photos.
What’s your bucket-list fish?
I’d love to catch a Papuan black bass, just because of the sheer size of them. These fish have a reputation for big, bone-jarring hits and powerful fighting tactics once you have them hooked. Pound for pound, these fish are often revered as the toughest freshwater fish on the planet.
What Million Dollar Fish product are you offering for Season 6?
A tour called ‘One in a Million Barramundi Charter’. If a client catches a Million Dollar Fish tagged barra, the angler will get another free charter for him or herself, plus a mate.
Why should people visit the NT during the build-up and Wet Season to catch barra?
The Build Up is a good time to go fishing as the water warms up with the weather. The fish get more active with the warmer weather, which increases your chances of catching a barra. It’s also a great time to see the storms and light shows.
What’s the best way to catch barra?
Casting lures into creek mouths or Run Off using a good-quality rod and reel is my go-to. This usually happens on my boat, but there are places you can go and do land-based fishing.
Is there any time of day that’s best to lure in a barra?
My preference is to chase the change of tide, as it makes the baitfish come out of their hiding spots, straight into the path of waiting barra.