Shady Camp & Surrounds

Shady Camp

Shady Camp is fast becoming one of the most sought after destinations for Barramundi fishing. Here the freshwater habitat meets the saltwater tidal river and is a mecca for big barra, especially following the monsoonal rains of the tropical wet season, the "Run Off", & in the lead up to the wet season, the "Build Up".

Some of the Northern Territory’s biggest barramundi are caught fishing downstream from Shady Camp barrage during the ‘Runoff” period, February, March April and May each year. The ‘runoff ‘ is when the warm flood waters begin to subside and water runs off the floodplains into tidal channels which causes a feeding frenzy for barramundi. Fish weighing 25kg are often landed.

The Mary River forms two major saltwater estuaries including many small creeks and channels that flow to the sea in Chambers Bay.

Sampan Creek and Tommycut Creek offer superb ‘run off’ & "build up" Barramundi fishing. Both creeks have endless mangrove lined feeder creeks that offer fantastic fishing opportunities. The mouths of these systems produce monster Barra every season.

Shady Camp Barrage

The Shady Camp barrage was built in the late 1980’s constructed over a natural rock bar to restrict tidal saltwater entering the freshwater habitat. It was designed to let the wet seasons floodwaters flow to sea and allow Barramundi and other native fish to migrate back and forth during their yearly spawning cycles.

The barrage has created one of the best land-based barra hotspots in the Top End. You can cast the freshwater side or the saltwater side. The amount of fish that congregate in these waters has to be seen to be believed. Boat ramps are located both on the freshwater and saltwater sides of the barrage.

Shady Camp Billabong

Upstream from the barrage is Shady Camp billabong. After the wet season floodwaters subside the billabong offers excellent dry season fishing. Tarpon, Saratoga and Barramundi are targeted. It makes for a relaxing day fishing, croc spotting and bird watching. Casting amongst the lily lined banks and trolling the banks edges and rock bars produce plenty of fish.

Reef fishing

Reef fishing is also close offshore in Chambers Bay. Approximately 10kms north of Sampan Creek mouth lays a large shallow area of shoals and reefs. They are easily accessible from Shady Camp boat ramp and offer a huge array of tropical sportfish. Species such as Blue Salmon, Black Jewfish, Golden Snapper, Cod, Tricky Snapper, various sharks and even Painted Cray are regularly caught.

The reefs are renowned for its large Black Jewfish population averaging 10 to 15 kg. They are challenging and great fun to land in the relatively shallow waters.

Corroboree and Rockhole Billabongs

Further south from Shady Camp the wetlands continue and form the giant Corroboree and Rockhole Billabongs. These inland waterways stretch some 20kms and offer endless fishing opportunities. Fishing for Tarpon, Saratoga and Barramundi is exceptional. One could spend weeks exploring the fishing possibilities.

Corroboree Billabong is famous for producing consistently good Barramundi fishing during the dry season months and is a favourable spot for Darwin locals. The natural beauty is a bonus, well worth a trip!