We have had an another awesome year up here in Karumba and across at Sweers Island. My best barramundi caught and released in 2010 was 1.08m and plenty of other boats got into the action with the longest barramundi going to Lance Butler of 1.4m.
There were also good amounts of other species caught including king salmon to 1.3m, grunter to 74cm, blue salmon to 83cm, black jew to 1.45m, bream to 39cm and huge amounts of catfish to keep everybody on their toes. I have made my new year's resolution to do as much fish stock research as possible (my wife thinks for some strange reason I just want to go fishing).
The first flush of prawns down the Norman River gets the fish moving. They are the best live bait to use for king salmon and barramundi out the front of the Sunset Tavern on the beach. A good time to fish is when Phil is out there. He has been here for visits in January and is very accomplished at beach fishing.
It is very humid at this time of year so do not forget the sunscreen and water as well as other refreshments. (Did I mention that the Tavern is about 500m from where you should set up camp?)
The rubble patches out the front can be home to huge giant trevally (GTs) and nice golden snapper (fingermark). We are in cyclone watch at this time of year so be sure to check the forecast before and while fishing as things can turn nasty very quickly.
GTs are hard to land at the best of times so using good gear is a step in the right direction. I have a Shimano Spheros 14000 reel with 80lb braid attached to an Ugly Stik 24kg rod that I purchased from Rob Erskine in Cairns that will make short work of them. My mate used a Daiwa Capricorn reel with 30lb braid attached to a 8kg spin stick to land a 1m+ GT in 2010. It took over 40 minutes and we ended up 2.6km from where we started by the GPS. Use smaller outfits if you dare.
Please check road reports before travelling up here as we can be cut off for up to six weeks in the wet season. You can contact the Council on (07) 4745 2200 or the Normanton police on (07) 47452 555 or your local RACQ office. I will state that the runoff is an awesome time to catch barra.Reads: 1713