Wet Season off to Good Start
  |  First Published: February 2011

Storms from the end of December and into January have got our wet season off to a flying start and we can only hope for another good flood to enable the barramundi to get out of the fresh and into the salt water to breed and for us to catch.

The 3 month wait for the opening of the barramundi season is finally over and the thrill of the hunt is now a reality. I received a fair amount of flak for stating how good the fishing is at this time of year when the road is cut and only us locals and a few visitors can enjoy the fun. I would like to confirm that I can only tell it like it is and you will always find a smile on my dial for February just because of this.

The Norman River is usually flowing pretty strong with a fair amount of fresh water coming down so the tactic is to fish up along the mangroves with live bait for barramundi and king salmon. A running sinker rig is the go and do not strike too early as the fish will usually mouth the bait before taking it. Be careful to keep the rod tip down to stop them jumping and remember to support the barra properly if you are going to release them.

Blue skies, calm winds and a good forecast are needed before heading out to the rubble patches. The trip can be worthwhile with a good chance to catch a golden snapper (fingermark) and some different cod species. A single hook rig with a bean sinker going direct to the hook should get the job done.

I love to travel up the coast to fish different systems for the feeling of being at one with nature and to find and challenge the mighty barramundi. I can spend some time trolling different sections until they show up but then the fun begins. Success last year was on a lure I received from Lance Butler and it will be interesting to see if it is still firing this year. I have been using 30lb braid, a Schneider 55lb leader tied to a speed clip and it that has been a great set up.

Fishing off the beach up near the airport is always an option at this time of year with live bait at your feet. There are mud crabs about in February so don't forget to pack the pots. Remember that we have crocodiles that get aggressive so stay back from the edge and keep a look out.

Please contact the Carpentaria Shire Council on 07 4745 2200, the Normanton police on 07 4745 1133 or the RACQ for road reports before heading up here as we can be cut off for up to 4weeks at this time of year. But if the road is open, get up here and have a shot at some of the best fishing Karumba offers.

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