QUICK GUIDE TO CATCHING BARRAMUNDI
Few fish in Australia are as iconic as the Barramundi. Barramundi are a sensational species to hunt and catch and they tick every single box that defines a sport fish. Aggressive strikes, impressive proportions, powerful runs at structure and explosive leaps all characterise a Barramundi battle. Did I mention that they taste great too?
Seasoned Barra fishos will have plenty of tricks up their sleeves for targeting Barramundi, but I’ve been surprised by the number of tropical-based anglers that have never caught a Barra or can count captures on one hand. So whether you’re looking to improve your Barramundi catch or you’re a traveller looking to head north, here are a few tips to improve your results.
IN THE THICK STUFF
Barramundi love hiding and holding in structure such as timber snags, weed beds and rock bars. They utilise these habitats to hide from the elements and predators but also to hunt unsuspecting prey. Not surprisingly, it’s critically important to get baits and lures as close to these structures as possible while minimising snags and tangles.
Lure fishers need to cast right into the thick of it – I can’t emphasise this enough. It’s incredible how much an extra foot further into a snag can improve the number of strikes. Retrieve lures along a path that crosses over or through structure – the more daring your casts the more action packed the fishing will be. There is nothing more exhilarating than the flash of a huge silver flank storming out to inhale your offering.
Here are a few tips for casting in the snags.
The best tides for chasing Barra will largely depend on the locations you plan to fish and the techniques you intend to use. For bait fishing or casting lures at structure in mangrove-lined creeks, the smaller neap tides are preferable. Ideally fish a few hours either side of the top or bottom of the tide. Barramundi will roam a little further out of the snags in reduced current and they’re more likely to intercept your offerings.
On large tides target mangrove areas on the fringes of bays and sand flats. Barramundi will move into these areas on high water to look for food. As water starts to run out, focus efforts on drains or channels where vulnerable baitfish might be funnelled and predators lie in wait. If you can find the bait, often the Barra aren’t far away.
JOINING THE DARK SIDE
Although most of us find the daylight hours much more inviting for a fishing escapade, the truth is that many predatory fishes are more active at night. This is particularly true for species such as Barramundi. If you’re keen and organised, getting out on the water with some bait or fishing lures in the dark of night can often be rewarding. The fish tend to be bigger too. Target breakwalls, river or creek mouths, weed beds and big snags around the full moon and you should be on the right track to landing some crackers.
Is there anything you can add? Share your fishing skills with everyone in the comments section below.