Balmy conditions bring barramundi
  |  First Published: September 2011

Well it’s that time of year again where we pack away the flannies for another season and try and find that sun block that probably didn’t get much use during winter. August was cool and harsh but fingers crossed September produces the warm and sultry days we want!

September is the ultimate transition from cold to hot that encourages fish to spawn as the monsoon approaches. Spawning requires much more activity as fish move to renowned breeding grounds which in some cases can be vast distances away. All this movement comes at a price as the energy needed to endure these long trips need to be supplemented by a heavy intake of food.

During the winter period fish tend to turn to small fish and crustaceans as they are easier to digest and they don’t need a heavy meal while they are doing nothing. But it all changes in September; big lures or baits means big barra! Big fish on the move have a large appetite and usually the bigger the bait the better. They want a substantial meal that will see them through for a longer period and supply enough energy for their travels.

Thumper barra off Townsville can be found at a number of locations; the best being Cape Cleveland and Pallarenda. Notice that these are rocky headlands and it’s in these areas where you should start your search for some splendid September barra.

This month we will see the winds swing around from the dry southwest to the more traditional trade winds from the southeast. This will hopefully bring some better weather to get out wide and fish. The changing winds tend to heat up the fishing out wide as well, with the big Spanish mackerel turning up at iconic locations such as Cape Cleveland and later in the month they will move into the Palm Island group til November. The Palms will be Spanish mackerel heaven and trolled wolf herring and gars will be hard to beat. One of my favourite lures to troll has to be the red and black Halco Laser Pro, which has jagged some of my best fish including dogtooth tuna from inshore reefs.

The pelagic action should begin to fire as well with hardcore popper users itching to get out and nail a few GTs! With the bigger mackerel around during this month expect a few wild encounters with these toothy speedsters coming from everywhere to smash your lure!

If it’s your first attempt at popper fishing with lighter gear be very aware that a $50 popper can and will disappear before you know it. It is recommended to match up a PE 8-10kg rod to a substantial reel spooled with 100lb braid is recommended. If this is something you’re interested in and need some direction on where to start, see the boys at Tackleworld Townsville as they are the ‘pop til ya drop’ specialist and have an exclusive popping club to get you started.

A special mention to the light line anglers up here in Townsville as some monumental captures have been recorded over the last month, with two saltwater barra landed in excess of the magic metre; 115cm and 116cm barras on just 4lb line! There has also been a heap of big threadfin salmon caught; the best reaching 120cm, again on 4lb line.

The quality of fish up here has been phenomenal and should only improve as we move towards summer. Good work guys and girls and enjoy the warmth!

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