Heli-Fishing Explained

What is Helifishing?

Helifishing is simply accessing remote fishing spots in a helicopter and in doing so being able to see and do things that no other form of transport can offer. Firstly a flight in a helicopter for most people is one of the most amazing experiences that flying has to offer. The ability to fly slowly, hover, ascend and descend vertically are only some of the flight characteristics helicopter flight offers. A helicopter gives you the ability to access many places that cannot be easily accessed any other way. So for fishing this gives you the ability to get to isolated and often untouched locations where the fishing can be totally brilliant and the areas are usually spectacular.

Helifishing is more than just fishing. The flight to your fishing spots will take you over some very spectacular and isolated country including vast floodplains, rivers, wetlands and billabongs. Flying in the top end of the NT offers scenery that rates up there as good as any in the country. Due to the unparralled visibility of our  R 44 helicopter your visual experience and photo opportunities are second to none particularly with the doors removed. Helifishing is suitable for all ages and children of all ages are very welcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult and supervised

Why does every one want to catch a Barra?

An apt description for wild barramundi fishing in the remote north is “larger than life”. The fish are tough, and the northern habitat is full of spectacle and adventure.Barramundi thrive in a challenging environment where conditions change quickly, and predators abound. Evolution has given them armour-plating, big shoulders, and a powerful “triple-tail” arrangement, comprising oversize dorsal, caudal and ventral fins. At the front end is a cavernous mouth.Barramundi are aggressive. They hit lures hard. Invariably, the connection to the angler is on a short length of unstretching, heavy braided line. Whammo! When hooked, barramundi jump, and the aerial action usually happens near the angler. There are often snags around, which adds to the tension. A battle with a barramundi is brutal. Tough as they are, barramundi are handsome fish. And they live equally well in fresh and salt water. The chrome-plated barra is an animal to be admired. But it’s not just about the fish. Up north, the weather, the rivers and open spaces are “larger than life”. Barramundi fishing is all about wet seasons, flooded rivers, vast floodplains and long distances. The crocs are huge and sharks are everywhere. Even the “by-catch” is mind boggling – huge threadfin salmon, black jewfish, mangrove jacks and monster mud crabs. The north is a land of adventure and fishos love it. Despite the natural perils and the extreme nature of the fishing, most people survive a northern fishing holiday with little more than a sore spool thumb.

Where do we go Helifishing?

Now that’s a secret. We take you to fishing spots that offer you the best chances of catching fish on the day with season and tidal influences taken into account. Due to the fact you will be fishing from a bank or beach of a river system, billabong or estuary we need to choose our fishing locations to give you easy access and safety. As our primary target fish is the mighty Barramundi you will usually get to experience multiple locations on your Helifishing 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. We try to take you to unique and isolated places where you can only get there by chopper but sometimes we may need to fish at locations where you may see a boat fishing in our attempt to get you onto the fish.

Are we guaranteed of catching a Barra?

There is no guarantee you will catch one but in the past 5 years we have been operating we have only had a handful of trips where we didn’t catch at least one Barramundi . Out of over 1500 Helifishing trips conducted your chances are pretty good. 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 Thread fin Salmon, Golden snapper, Queen fish and GT’s. 

Fishing for Barra is an imprecise science. The odds of catching barra and how many you catch depends on the day, time, season, tides, weather and your fishing ability. It is often about being at the right place at the right time. For that reason we use our experience to guide you where necessary and suggest how to fish if we think a change in tactics will improve your catches. We catch fish all year, but some times of the year are better than others so you need to discuss this when booking a trip if you want to maximise your chances and number of Barra you will get on the day. Some days we might catch 20 Barra at one spot and the next trip at the same spot only get 5. The truth of it is also the fact that you will catch small fish as well as big. Just because you go Helifishing doesn’t mean you will catch monster Barra…but we often do. That’s just fishing.

Why is Helifishing expensive compared to boat fishing?

The cost of Helifishing is underpinned by the cost of operating a helicopter. Helicopters are very expensive and complicated aircraft. Maintenance and operating costs as well as the purchase price of a helicopter unfortunately make it one of the most expensive forms of transport probably only second to space travel. Due to strict regulations these costs are mandatory and ensure the aircraft stays in a safe and airworthy condition.

We think helifishing offers fabulous value. How else can you spend a day seeing the spectacular scenerary, the amazing exhilaration of flying, accessing otherwise impossible to get to spots to tangle with the iconic wild NT Barra. The experience for many has been a highlight of their life. Check out the  Videos and see what it is all about.