Fishing regulations to keep in mind this festive season!

Anyone who tells you that size doesn’t matter is not living in the real world. What fisho doesn’t want to go home after a hard day on the water and hear the words, “wow, that’s a big one!” It’s worth keeping in mind though, that catch sizes, fishing regulations and knowing your limits are all super important.

Fishing regulations are imperative when it comes to snagging a barra in the waterways of the Territory’s Top End.

To beat the odds of a flop at “Lake Disappointment”, you need to know the legal size for a barramundi. It is 55cm from nose to the tip of the tail. Anything smaller than this is a big no, no and must be released back into the water. This rule is the same right across Australia.

Northern Territory guides and conservation conscious anglers also have an unwritten law about those big boy barras. Anything from 90cm upwards should be quickly photographed and released. That’s because when a barra reaches 90cm in length it changes sex and becomes a female breeder.

Know your limits

Like anything in life, you gotta know your limits.  In the Territory, the bag limit for barra is five, with special controls of three barra per angler in Kakadu National Park, and the Mary and Daly River fish management zones.

While rules are in place to keep recreational catches at sustainable levels and reduce the potential for localised overfishing, that doesn’t mean you can’t enhance your enjoyment at dinner time by dishing up a sizeable tale on your catch of the day.

If you’re ever in doubt over fishing rules, restriction zones and the best way to release a fish, and don’t want to come up short, head to the Northern Territory Recreational Fishing Controls guide at or download the NT Fishing Mate app for a simpler option.

Good luck out there! And make sure you’re registered before you hit the water.