Local Know-How
  |  First Published: March 2011

Our wet season started back in January and we have been cut off for some time from Normanton with the roads being up to 1.6m underwater. Nevertheless, the joys of being a local have paid off once again with many catching barramundi off the road with soft plastics supplied by the point garage.

While most people cast and retrieve soft plastics you can also just let them swing around in the current to get the job done. Brannigans Creek has been the place to be this year and the action can get hot as the barramundi wait in ambush for bait fish to travel past on the current.

We have been helped out by a group of people with getting supplies to Karumba and I would like to thank Raptis, VMR, Croc and Crab, DPI and Fisheries, Bradley Hawkins, Wells Plant Hire, MMG, SES, Skytrans Airlines, Tremain-hill Helicopters and everyone else that helped.

While the flood is on it is an awesome time to travel to Normanton by boat to see all the wildlife and fauna in full bloom. Remember that crocs also travel up onto the floodplain so be careful at all times. Last year a 16ft crocodile was spotted up on Steelcon Ridge and this is a fair way from the river systems. You can cut off some distance from the trip by heading across land but there is risk to your boat and motor from fences and trees.

March is the best time to chase the big barramundi as they move back into the systems after the flood, which will depend on when the wet season ends.

Always use good gear as barra can and do destroy any gear not up to it. I use a G-Loomis rod cr653 and a Daiwa Millionaire CVZ 253 reel spooled with 30lb Bionic Braid. I attach the lure with a speed clip to 2ft of 55lb Schneider mono leader and attach this to the braid with a bimini twist.

Start at the mouth of the system and troll upstream until you locate where the fish are holding. This can be a time consuming exercise but the rewards can be awesome. Please note that you need to work over likely looking spots before moving on.

Once connected you should get the boat to the middle of the river so as to keep the barramundi from cutting you off in the snags. Handling them after capture is very important; if you lift them up by the gills they will swim away only to die within three days. Support them by placing your arm under the fish at the anal cavity and remember to place them back in the water and tow them for a while to get water back into their lungs before releasing them.

The Karumba Community Anglers Classic fishing competition is on again on the 16/17 April so gear up for a great time as there is over $20,000 in prizes to be given away. There are plenty of prizes for kids so make sure you bring them along. Contact the Barramundi Recovery Centre for more information on 07 4745 9359.

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