TOTALLY HOOKED: Time crucial in chasing barra
AS OF February 1, the season opened to legally target barramundi again.
And although their numbers are not great, it is no secret that barramundi sporadically inhabit the Sunshine Coast river and canal systems.
To better your chances of tangling with that rewarding slab of silver, you need to focus on a few basic principles: find the right structure as this will often hold bait which is a necessity, water temperature and moon phase.
Bring those elements together and your chances of catching a barra are already increasing.
Structure is an important component when it comes to targeting barra and this can be found in forms of rock bars, bridge pylons, lay-down logs and deeper holes.
Once you have found a decent structure, the next piece of the puzzle is very important: the tidal movement.
When tidal movement meets a structure of any form, it will hit at a certain point, forming a turbulent current line which will create what is known as a back eddy, which is essentially the still water in behind the structure.
This is one of the most likely spots to find a barra so they don't have to fight the current, exhausting energy supplies as they wait in ambush of struggling baitfish being swept by the current.
The next thing on the list is water temperature. Search for warmer waters as the slightest difference of even 1-2 degrees in water temperature can be the difference between shutdown and active fish.
So pay close attention to your sounder to the variance in temperature throughout a system and obviously target those warmer areas.
The moon is another determining factor. There are two phases that have stood out for targeting barra and that is the lead-up to the full moon and the fall of the new moon period.
The lead-up to the full moon will see larger quantities of bait pushing into the system with the bigger building tides, which really fires a system up.
During this period, night fishing is very productive as barra are very big nocturnal feeders.
The fall of the new moon is when better captures will come from early mornings and late arvos as with little moonlight, it is harder for the barra to feed at night.
When it comes to lure presentations, "match the hatch". If the prawns are running, throw prawn imitation lures. If there are large quantities of herring and mullet in the system, throw jerk baits, paddle-tail plastics or soft vibes.
For the deeper holes, soft vibes such as the Samaki Viblicious and larger soft plastics including the Zman 6" Swimmerz work well.
When there is structure like lay-down logs, give the suspending hard body a go. The Jackall Squirrel 79s, worked erratically with delayed pauses, are perfect.
Around bridge pylons and rock bars, soft vibes and larger soft plastics are again the key.
Spend the time to collect live baits. The larger the better in the forms of prawns or mullet will often tempt a barra if in the area.
The best method for this technique is a free-swimming rig, no float or weight, allowing the bait to swim around naturally.
The practice of catch and release is essential to help sustain the barramundi fishery for the future, and with a bit of luck, stocks might be able to breed and generate a very healthy fishery, as we only wish to see it improve.
Now for all the latest information, log on to www.fishingnoosa.com.au for up-to-date bar and fishing reports and don't forget to drop into Davo's Tackle world Noosa or Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle at Marcoola to find out where the fish are biting.
Remember: tight lines and bent spines.