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Tales from the Tinny talks wallabies hooked on fishing and dangers of crocs during floods

By Jesse Thompson, Tim Moore and Mike Kermode, Friday February 9, 2018 - 15:52 EDT
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Darwin fishermen land an unexpected catch - ABC

Two Darwin fishermen who tried their luck in the recent monsoonal floodwater weren't able to land a single fish — but they didn't come back empty-handed either.

On the latest podcast, Andrew Illingworth and Dean Hutchison describe how it took just 10 minutes on the Adelaide River floodplains to land their first unexpected catch.

"He was pretty knackered that one; he'd taken a bit of water," Mr Illingworth said of a waterlogged wallaby struggling to stay afloat.

"So we turned around and headed back to the bridge to find some higher ground, and once we did find some higher ground we kind of hightailed to it.

"And then we came across another wallaby and pulled him into a boat."

By this point, the fishermen had two extra passengers on board.

They soon added a third when they came across a 60-kilogram boar that was also having a hard time in the water.

"We had a look and he was pretty worn out but friendly and happy to get on board," Mr Illingworth said.

"He wasn't going to put up much of a fight."

Mr Illingworth said the animals were relaxing and enjoying life on deck as they made their way back to shore.

"They got the second chance so they were happy."

But, sadly, the three animals were all the duo managed to catch that day.

If it's good for fishing, it's good for crocs

Meanwhile, NT Parks and Wildlife is reminding locals to be crocwise as high waters provide ample opportunity for crocodiles to travel further afield.

Earlier this week fishermen were banned from a Palmerston lake following a sighting of a one-metre saltie.

On Thursday, wrangler Tom Nichols pulled a three-metre crocodile from a trap in West Arm on the western side of Darwin Harbour.

"People have just got to realise with all this rural area and all the water, all the culverts are full and obviously there's people fishing — fair enough — and some are swimming unfortunately," Mr Nichols told 's Adam Steer.

"But they've got to be crocwise when there's a lot of crocodiles moving around.

"We've had croc sightings and we've caught crocs in nearly all those estuaries and little culverts in the rural area."

Traps are still set in various bodies of water throughout Palmerston and Darwin's rural area.

If it's bad for cars, it's good for fishing

It's not just crocodiles that have been spotted outside their regular habitat.

Daly River local Chris Wood was fishing in Little Finniss River near Litchfield National Park when he decided to wet a line in a gully beside the Stuart Highway.

"I was lucky to catch a decent size, pushing 70-centimetre barra first cast, maybe not even 10 metres off the road," he told Tales from the Tinny.

"It's normally grass and a powerpole.

"It was probably only 50 centimetres of water [deep] and 30 centimetres over the road."

Run-off from floodplains and rocky terrain in the park meant the fish were able to travel into new areas.

While barramundi typically prefer still water, Mr Wood said the water in this culvert was just deep enough to lure the unsuspecting fish.

Nonetheless, he said the haul was a bit of a fluke.

"It was a suicidal barra I guess."


© ABC 2018

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