Back in the Swing
  |  First Published: February 2012

Where did the last three months go? All of a sudden it’s time to charge the batteries on the electric motor and gather some live bait and get back into the full barra swing!

I know there have been a lot of anglers saving their time and energy for this day, so expect the traffic on the water to be very busy. This time of year for most people is their most favourite time to fish for barra.

It’s not only the best time to catch a barra but there is also the opportunity to catch good numbers of schooling fish as well. Areas such as the ever popular Aplins Weir will no doubt continue to produce monster fish, with live baits the best option if you want to try and hook that magic metre fish.

If lures are your thing try lures that are relatively unaffected by the fast flowing water, such as Koolabung blades 60mm, Jackall Transams, Squidgy Slick Rigs and don’t be afraid to let them sink down deep. Many anglers use floating lures that barely go below a couple of metres, so by getting your lures deeper you don’t have to entice one to come up!

Other land-based areas like the rock pool, casino rock wall and Pallarenda are all easily accessible and can produce some of the best fishing Townsville has to offer. If your one of those who are lucky enough to have a boat, then popular ‘go to’ spots like Cape Cleveland, Shelley Beach and Maggie Island have time and time again produced metre-plus fish this time of year. Big live baits will save you mucking around with smaller fish and hopefully land you that fish-of-a-lifetime.

Run-off fishing also makes finding fish a lot easier. Look for fast flowing water draining into rivers, creeks and beaches as it’s here you will find fish congregated waiting for food to flush out. As always, if there is no bait around chances are the fish won’t be either. You will find fish holding in areas with limited bait, but the more bait you find, the more fish!

It’s also a great time to experiment with new styles of lures. For example, if you always put on a diver when you go luring try a surface lure. Conditions for throwing surface lures are almost tailor-made for this form of fishing and once you get the bug, it’s hard to stop! There is nothing better than watching a fizzer or stickbait get absolutely annihilated from a good fish, and has to be one of the most addictive forms of fishing!

While the barra will take a lot of glory this month, I just want to make a special mention to the quality of mangrove jacks around at the moment. It’s been a stellar few months chasing jacks and reports are that they are still chewing their heads off. The smaller creeks seem to be producing the most fish with reports of up to 30 fish caught in a single session. But the most exciting part is that they are mainly chasing surface lures! Now, there is no better way to chase jacks than on surface and on light line. The lure of choice and my favourite has to be the Koolabuing Cicada Fizzer. It’s made from a mould of a real Cicada and this lure rarely sits on the water without getting some kind of attention. A close second is the Sammy 65 stickbait with its walk-the-dog motion.

Remember in the busy run-off period please use some common sense and some fishing etiquette. There’s plenty of fish for everyone to enjoy, and most of all have fun!

Do it ‘cos ya love it!

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