Posts Tagged ‘Barramundi Techniques’

DIY Barramundi Fishing

The Northern Territory is one of the most remote, unpopulated parts of Australia. Many visitors are pleasantly surprised by the standard of the roads and the modern amenities available near some of the best fishing areas. Other parts of northern Australia, such as Cape York Peninsula and the Kimberley, have some great fishing areas, but are not so easy to access.

Nonetheless, from a barramundi fisherman’s point of view, northern conditions are different from those down south, and fishermen equipped with the right vehicle, boat and fishing tackle will enjoy the Top End fishing experience to the full.

That’s not to say you can’t have a great time with a 2WD vehicle, a car-topper dinghy and a two-bob fishing rod. But sooner or later you will want to upgrade to really enjoy barramundi fishing. Here we look at what is best suited to local conditions.

Did you know?

You are not allowed to take mud crabs using a trap in Kakadu National Park. Click the link to see Northern Territory fishing regulations … barramundi fishing regulations.

big barramundi

Keep in mind that barramundi fishing is also very tightly controlled in Western Australia and Queensland.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 1, 2010 at 8:21 am

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Barramundi Fishing Lures

Bibbed minnows are the most popular barramundi lures. Soft plastic lures are also popular, especially during the wet season.

Surface lures take third place, and are good at night time. Jigs can work well alongside snags.

Most bibbed minnows float until retrieved. Sinking and suspending models are also available.

Floating lures can be cast over rocks and other snags. They rise when the retrieve is halted.

A floating-diving minnow with a big bib is best for trolling snags. Deep-divers tend to swim head-down with the bib bumping over snags, keeping hooks clear.

Sinking minnows are harder to fish as the lure will sink into snags. Nonetheless they are effective when snags are too deep or steep for floating-diving barramundi lures.

Depth of dive is the main issue when choosing a bibbed minnow.

The lure’s depth of dive should match the depth you fish. Most lures are made in several dive ratings, usually stated in feet as 3+, 5+, 10+.

Dive depth also varies according to the boat speed, the amount of line out and line thickness.

Trolling depth can be altered a little by raising or lowering the rod, but fishermen still need shallow, medium and deep divers for trolling at different depths.

Shallow divers or surface lures are essential for fishing flats and shallow bank edges where predators ambush bait.

Soft plastics and prawns have become popular in the barramundi fishery because they are effective, especially in the wet season, often getting a strike when hard bodied lures won’t.

The waggly tail seems to drive predatory fish wild.

Soft plastics no longer have to be assembled on a jig head – they can be bought in packs with each lure’s hook and weight moulded into the body.

Some anglers however like to use a range of jig heads on the same bodies and buy the heads and bodies separately.

Resin heads are popular for finesse fishing with almost unweighted lures, and can be hugely effective because of their lifelike action.

Most soft plastics have a single hook and the hook-up rate can be low, but the fish will often strike soft lures multiple times. Plastic prawn imitations also work well in northern fresh and saltwater.

Rattling jigs are effective when jigged along deep snags. Jigs can also be cast and retrieved but tend to foul snags because they have no bib.

Poppers and fizzers are worked on the surface and can be very effective at night or in shallow water.

They can also be effective around snags and weedbeds.

Work poppers slowly, especially at night.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 6:34 am

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How To Fish For Barramundi

Barramundi live in a great range of habitats and therefore fishing methods are varied. Most fishing takes place in the salt water and the tides have to be taken into account. Tides are often very large in northern Australia.

Barramundi fishing is usually best in early morning, late afternoon and at night. The best tide is usually the last three hours of runout and first two hours of run-in, when barramundi and bait are forced out of the mangroves and into mud drains and tidal flats.

The easy way to find barramundi is to find the food they eat. Schools of mullet or herring are a giveaway.

Barramundi will live and feed in very shallow water

The most popular way to catch barramundi is on lures. Some people use live bait to tempt them but this is considered unsporting by some.

Lures are usually trolled or cast to likely places, which includes snags, rockbars, undercut river banks, and coastal flats where bait is being working by fish.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 30, 2010 at 5:01 am

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The Best Places for Barramundi Fishing

There are many good places to barramundi fishing. However the big rivers where netting has been banned are where the most big fish are taken.

These include the Roper, Mary, Daly, McArthur, Finniss and Adelaide Rivers. The South and East Alligator Rivers in Kakadu National Park have no netting and are also good fishing spots.

Other good waters accessible to the public include the Victoria, Towns, Robinson, Wearyan, Calvert and Keep Rivers.

The Tiwi Islands north of Darwin have large rivers that fish very well and the Tiwi Land Council has a permit system available through the Amateur Fishermen’s Association NT.

The remote rivers of Arnhem Land are difficult to access because the Northern Land Council rarely approves permits for fishing purposes. The fishing can be very good but not necessarily any better than the rivers where netting has been banned.

Other fish

There are many other exciting fish species in the Northern Territory that live in the shadow of the famous barramundi. Living in much of the same habitat in the salt water are threadfin and blue salmon, queenfish, trevally, black jewfish, mangrove jacks, grunter and golden snapper. In the fresh water saratoga and tarpon are a popular side catch.

Salmon, queenfish, trevally and salmon-catfish are the most likely bycatch while actually lure fishing for barramundi. Other species generally have to be targeted with bait.

Most of these species are excellent to eat, and some people argue that they are better than barramundi. Either way it helps to mix your catch rather than just take barramundi.

The NT coast is also home to longtail tuna, spanish mackerel, cobia and to a lesser extent sailfish, and many of the grounds are just a short distance from the barramundi hotspots.

On any day several fish species can be caught when fishing the NT coastline.

Adelaide River barramundi fishing

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More about barramundi fishing seasons

Successful barramundi fishing requires an understanding of northern seasons. Let’s start from January. It’s the wet season and the rivers are swollen. Barra are moving up the rivers and out onto the floodplains feeding on frogs, tadpoles, rainbow fish and the like.

With so much water about, the fish can be hard to find, but anglers who fish inflows, junctions or eddies, or where bait is concentrated, will find barramundi.

By March, the floodplains are flowing clear water into the rivers and sea. This is the “run-off”, when fishing is at its best. Barramundi can be found lurking at the floodplain creek mouths.

The best fishing is usually as the floodplains empty their final contents.

By April/May, when most of the floodplain-fed creeks have dried up, a strong freshwater flow remains in the big rivers, and barramundi are targeted in the clear green water. Trolling and casting to eddies and structure can work well, as well as working mullet schools on the incoming tide.

In tidal waters, barramundi will travel up and down a river with the tide, providing short but furious action as they pass by.

Landing a barramundi

By June, as the upper rivers stop flowing, barramundi become landlocked in billabongs, where they become creatures of ambush, waiting in weeds, snags and rockbars for passing meals. Cold spells will slow them down. Successful anglers work in close to snags, losing lures but hooking more fish.

If trolling and you feel the lure hitting snags or the bottom, you have got it right. Use lures that dive to the depth your sounder shows. Bibbed lures that float when stationary are good for trolling as they bump over snags, floating up when line is released. Sinking lures can be dropped beside deep snags.

Towards the end of the dry season, about September, as the weather warms in the build-up to the wet season, barramundi become aggressive and fishing improves tenfold. September, October and November are great fishing months, although the noon heat and afternoon storms put some people off.

The monsoon hits in December, when westerly winds and driving rain see most fisherman preparing their gear for the year ahead.

Barramundi often feed best at night, and in the early morning and late afternoon. They can easily find a lure in complete darkness. Despite the fish’s large size, small lures fitted with strong hooks often work well, especially during the run-off when tiny bait abounds, and when tiny prawns fill the estuaries.

Northern Territory barramundi fishing – DIY

You can catch barramundi without a professional guide, using your own boat. It is hard work, but a lot of fun at the same time. Click the link for more information about DIY barramundi fishing.

Meanhile, check out some barramundi fishing videos.

jumping barramundi

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 29, 2010 at 5:09 am

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