Fishing in Kakadu
Find the best places to try for Barramundi or Saratoga, from the billabongs of Kakadu National Park to the vast Arnhem Land coastline.
Kakadu National Park houses one of the planet’s most diverse natural ecosystems. It has a rich aboriginal cultural heritage and much to offer all visitors, including some excellent fishing.
Within the park, the tidal sections of the South and East Alligator Rivers are easily accessed by sealed roads and concrete boat ramps. There are dozens of pristine billabongs on Kakadu’s floodplains, and plenty of barra and saratoga to be caught at most of them.
The South Alligator is about 200 kilometres east of Darwin, and is one of the Top End’s most productive barramundi rivers. Access is available all year round and the wet season and run-off months produce the most barra. At other times of the year, there is excellent reef fishing for black jewfish and golden snapper out from the mouth of the river – around field and barron islands.
The East Alligator is another hour’s drive east, right on the border of Kakadu and Arnhem Land. This is another great barramundi river, with its tidal and freshwater sections split by the famous Cahill’s Crossing.
Commercial fishing is banned within the park and Northern Territory boating regulations apply for recreational anglers. In addition, the use of live bait is not permitted; pots, traps or nets, other than landing nets are prohibited, and fish may not be cleaned or filleted within 50 metres of any Kakadu waterway. Crabs must not be taken in Kakadu.
Accommodation in the park includes hotels, lodges, caravan sites and camping areas, with services and facilities available in the township of Jabiru. There are several professional fishing guides licensed to operate in Kakadu, and boat hire is available. Additional information is available at the Bowali visitor centre near the junction of the Arnhem and Kakadu highways – telephone 08 8938 1121.