Fishing Info

HeliFishing Explained

  • An awesome idea for the ultimate fishing experience with a mate or a group of mates to chase Barra in the Northern Territory!
  • Compared to boat fishing, HeliFishing provides unmatched access to remote, permit-only fishing locations, spending less time travelling and more time fishing while witnessing some spectacular Top End Landscapes along the way.
  • We think Heli Fishing offers fabulous value. How else can you spend a day seeing the spectacular scenery, the amazing exhilaration of flying, accessing otherwise impossible to get to spots to tangle with the iconic wild NT Barra.
  • While we target the almighty Barra, we also catch plenty of other species such as Threadfin Salmon, Golden snapper, Queen fish and GT’s.
  • Heli Fishing is suitable for all ages and children of all ages are very welcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult and supervised.
  • At our Darwin base we have 2x Robinson 44 (R44) and 1 Bell 206L4 Long Ranger to use for our Heli Fishing adventures.
  • The R44 is a 3 passenger seat aircraft produced by the Robinson Helicopter company and the world’s best selling general aviation helicopter every year since 1999.
  • The Bell 206L4 Long Ranger holds up to 5 passengers comfortably and the club-passenger seating allows for face-to-face conversations.
  • Due to the unparalleled visibility of our helicopters your visual experience and photo opportunities are second to none particularly with the doors removed.
  • Our Half Day HeliFish focusses on fishing hot-spots to the North West of Darwin. Habitats visited include the isolated coastline, rivers and abundant estuaries.
  • Our Full Day HeliFish visits the abundant floodplains of the Daly River region as well as the coastal creeks, estuaries and striking red cliffs area of Anson Bay. This is God’s country and the scenic flying in this region is visually spectacular! We overfly extensive river systems, vast floodplains, wetlands, billabongs and long stretches of deserted white sandy beaches – and we can fish them all!
  • This is easy to answer! Barramundi are the Holy Trinity species which makes them highly sought after.
  • It is a popular target for recreational anglers because of the quality of its flesh, its fighting ability, size and readiness to take artificial lures.
  • The desire to land a metery and have your photo taken with it is on a lot of bucket lists of everyday Australians. The brag factor is endless.
  • There are also a “million’’ reasons to catch a Barra in the Northern Territory. The annual Million Dollar Fish competition was first introduced in 2015 in the NT giving fishos the opportunity to reel in a prize tagged Barramundi including the chance to catch a million dollar tagged fish!
  • While we cant guarantee that you will jag a Barramundi we do everything in our power to make this happen for you given our ability to target specific unique locations nimbly.
  • As our primary target fish is the mighty Barramundi you will usually get to experience multiple locations on your Heli Fishing trip so if one place isn’t catching fish we get back in the chopper and in minutes we are at a different fishing spot.
  • The best months for Barra fishing are March thru to the end of May for the “Run Off” and then October to December for the “Build Up”. June to September is the best time for cool dry weather and wildlife activity, but the fishing is usually a bit quieter due to the cooler water temps. We also catch plenty of other species such as Threadfin Salmon, Golden snapper, Queen fish and GT’s.
  • Barramundi fishing is an imprecise science and some days we might catch 20 Barra at one spot and the next trip at the same spot only get 5. Just because you go Heli Fishing doesn’t mean you will catch monster Barra…but we often do. That’s just fishing.

Barramundi Facts

  • The Northern Territory (NT) has the largest numbers of barramundi in Australia.
  • It is a popular target for commercial and recreational anglers because of the quality of its flesh, its fighting ability, size and readiness to take artificial lures.
  • Barramundi, commonly called ‘barra’, is also fished by Aboriginal people for its economic, health and cultural importance.
  • Barramundi have been recorded up to 150cm long and with weights in excess of 45kg
  • Barramundi are thought to live to around 20 years of age with the oldest recorded 35 years
  • Large female Barramundi can produce 32 million eggs in a season
  • Most barramundi are born as males but at about eight years of age they turn into females. They can grow to 100cm long by the time they are eight years old. Any barramundi that is over 95cm long is probably a female.
  • Barramundi activity increases with warmer temperatures and catch rates are generally higher. During the build-up and Wet Season, water temperatures can be up to 10 degrees Celsius warmer than during the Dry Season.

Reference: Barramundi – NT.GOV.AU

  • Vision is probably limited in dirty water. Barramundi utilise what is called a lateral line, which is a sensory organ that runs down both sides of the body. The lateral line enables fish to detect vibrations in the water and so be able to locate prey and avoid predators.
  • The question of whether it is the colour or action of a lure that attracts the fish is difficult to answer, however it is probably a combination of both.

The Barramundi’s age is determined by counting growth rings on their scales or ear bones (much like counting the growth rings found on a tree). There are many factors that can affect the growth of a fish, for example, fish from an early spawning have a head start on those fish that are spawned late and will generally be larger by the end of their first year. Food availability and water conditions also affect the rate of growth.

Examples of typical length to age relationship are:

  • 1-Year-old 30-40cm long
  • 2 Years old 50-60cm long
  • 3 Years old 60-80cm long
  • 8 Years old 1 Metre long
  • Barramundi change sex from male to female. The size of the Barramundi can be a good indicator of the sex of the fish. Most Barra mature as males (about 50-60cm) and start to change sex at around 90cm but only if they live in saltwater.
  • Barra are voracious opportunistic predators. They eat just about anything that lives in or around water, including insects, spiders, small crocodiles, prawns, fish and each other. The size of the prey is largely determined by the size of the Barra. A larger Barramundi’s diet consists of 60% fish and 40% crustaceans (mainly prawns), smaller Barra eat mostly prawns.
  • The Barramundi produce eggs between the months of September and March with the build up period from October to December being the most important.
  • Barramundi eggs and larvae require salt water and spawning normally takes place in Marine Bays and river mouths. Juvenile Barramundi (5-50mm) move with the high spring tides into mangrove and wetland habitats, which offer both protection and a wide variety of foods.
  • As the wet season comes to an end and the flood plains begin to dry, the juvenile Barramundi (now 200-300mm) migrate up the rivers into the freshwater billabongs.
  • If the young do not have access to fresh water they will probably remain in coastal and estuarine areas to mature.
  • After three to five years most of the freshwater Barramundi migrate back to the ocean to spawn.