Man Hold A Barra

BECOMING A BETTER BARRA ANGLER

Barra fever is almost a never-ending cycle, and the only way to cure it is to catch one. Aussie fishos are so into Barra fishing; it’s almost like it is a national sport. Anglers in Oz have fallen in love with this activity because of the fun and exciting nature of Barra fishing.

Beginner and advanced fishos love to target the Barra, but sometimes, your Barra fishing trip isn’t going the way you hope it will be. Even though you did what you’re supposed to do, the fish aren’t biting. If you’ve ever been in this situation, then keep reading. Here are several ways to become a better Barra angler.

FISH WITH A STRATEGY

No, just winging it isn’t a valid strategy. It’s recommended that before you go fishing, you make a plan and do your best to stick to that. That way, if your plan isn’t working, you’ll know what you need to adjust next time around.

How do you create your strategy? Checking the tides and the weather is one of the ways and knowing what lures and other gears to use is another. Several factors go into making your strategy, but what’s vital here is sticking to that strategy and following it. That way, you’ll discover your bad habits and correct them as early as possible.

USE QUALITY TACKLE

Speaking of gears, using a quality tackle is essential to get the best results in your Barra fishing trip. Barra can become quite a monster because it can grow well over a metre in size and more than 20 kilos in weight. That’s why your tackle must be of high quality.

Usually, fishos use a baitcasting combo if they’re mostly casting lures, but don’t discount spinning outfits because they can be just as effective if used correctly. Baitcast reels must be treated as precision machines because they are exactly that, so buy the best reel you can afford.

There’s a reason why the more expensive models are priced that way. They really make casting and catching a fish a lot easier. Shimano is renowned for its quality and is definitely worth checking out. Expect to use reels that can hold around 120 to 150 metres of 10 to 15-kilo braid, so you can fight it out with the big ones just in case you encounter one.

LEADERS

Barra have razor sharp protuberances on their gill plates and rough, sandpaper-like mouth. To fish them, you need the use of a heavy leader. A lot has been written about what constitutes the minimum breaking strain for a Barra leader. That being the case, it’s recommended that when fishing for Barra, you have to use a leader that’s around 1 metre long. The minimum breaking strain should be a 20-kilo fluorocarbon or 30-kilo abrasive resistant mono.

But if you’re deep trolling for larger fish around rock bars and heavy snags, go for a 40-kilo mono. It might be overkill, but if that 120cm monster turns up, having that leader will increase your chances of landing that Barra.

WATCH THE TIDE

As mentioned above, part of being prepared for Barra fishing is watching the tides. The basic rule for Barra fishing that every angler needs to follow by heart is – when the tide is running, the Barra will be biting.

But, do know that they’re generally easier to find in the bottom half of the cycle. If the water starts to move off the mangrove edges and mudflats, the fish will often lie in ambush along the roots and drains waiting for bait to be flushed from the shallows. Another perfect way to ambush barra is when currents of slightly different colours meet.

There are two primary scenarios how this happens. One is when the freshwater run-off from the wet season meets a larger waterway. The other is when the mudbank drain (affected by wind) discharges its discoloured water as the tide drops. These two situations will make the baitfish hide in the murky areas while the Barra patrols the edges picking off the stragglers. So, make sure to keep these things in mind every time you go Barra fishing.

Fishing for Barra has gotten a bad rep over the years because it’s often labelled as the ‘easy’ way to catch fish. But as any Barra anglers know, there’s nothing easy about it. It’s really not as simple as dragging a lure behind a boat and cracking open a can of beer. You have to refine your techniques and adjust your strategy constantly. Don’t listen to what others say, what matters is that you improve your skills and always have fun while you’re out there.


 

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Peter Hollingsworth
peterh@dinga.com.au

Peter has been fishing all around Australia since he was a boy. He loves camping, fishing and kayak fishing.