The Bark Hut Inn is the perfect base for an extended fishing adventure out of Darwin. Located on the Arnhem Highway near the Mary River Bridge, the Bark Hut Inn is handy to many of the major Barra fishing locations in the region including Corroboree Billabong, Hardies Lagoon, South Alligator River and the famous Shady Camp.
The Territory’s most famous waterhole, the massive Corroboree Billabong is part of the Mary River system. It is one of the most beautiful fishing spots in Australia. It is a large freshwater lagoon where the natural beauty and wildlife alone make a visit worthwhile. Corroboree and the adjoining Rockhole contain many barramundi and saratoga and are popular for lure and fly fishers.
The Mary River System is a recreational fishing only zone, which means abundant Barramundi stocks. The Mary includes legendary barramundi hot spots such as Corroboree Billabong, Hardies Lagoon, Shady Camp, Sampan and Tommycut Creek. The river’s freshwater reaches form a series of separate waterholes (or billabongs) during the dry season and hold vast numbers of barramundi, saratoga and tarpon.
The run-off period usually between March and May is the best time to chase Barramundi. During the run-off, a channel from Shady Camp provides access to Sampan and Tommycut Creeks, which also has excellent barra fishing. For a quick fishing session, there is a concrete boat ramp at the Mary River Bridge lagoon and an opportunity to catch both barra and saratoga. The Mary is one of the Territory’s most fished river systems yet it consistently produces good numbers of quality fish for visiting and local anglers. For barramundi, a two fish per person possession limit applies throughout the system.
Special fishing regulations apply in the vicinity of the barrage at Shady Camp — signs at the barrage set out all the details — and there are regular visits from rangers and fisheries officers. The river below the barrage is closed to fishing from 1 October to 31 January each year.
Warning: Large saltwater crocodiles inhabit the Mary River system and should be treated with extreme caution.
Find out more on the Be Croc Wise website.
Barramundi, saratoga, tarpon, black jewfish and mud crab (in lower reaches).
When to Catch Them
Year-round with tidal fishing best during the run-off and billabong fishing best during the dry season and build-up.
Roads are unsealed once you leave the Arnhem Highway. They can be slippery when wet and quite rough when they dry after rain. There are concrete launching ramps in Corroboree Billabong, The Rockhole and at the Mary River Bridge, and reasonable bank launching at Hardies Creek although there is a sealed boat ramp at Shady Camp (freshwater side).
Tips for the Traveller
Even if fishing is not your bag, the natural scenery and abundant wildlife in places like Corroboree Billabong is stunning.
Fishing Supplies The Bark Hut Inn sells a small range of fishing tackle as well as fuel, ice and basic provisions.
Top End Online Fishing Resources