It only seemed like yesterday that I was writing about the barramundi season closing and now we are well and truly in action and ready to go chase them again. The barra season opens on 1 February and most will have their rods ready to go as the clock strikes midday!
February is one of the best times to go targeting barra as the water is warm and the fish are very active. Whether using either lure or bait you can experience some great fishing.
When live baiting it is the time when the saying ‘big bait equals big fish’ truly does apply. Large mullet, legal size whiting, big mud herring and even catfish are all top baits to be using. Make sure you have a big hook when using large baits as you want the hook up to be at its best.
Lure fishing follows the same principle. Using big lures you will give you a much better chance of hooking into some big barra. Casting lures that are 120mm+ is the way to go and a few favourites are the Koolabung livebait, Strada Tera and the bigger Stanley Thumpin Mullet soft plastic. Upgrade all your lures intended for big barra with strong trebles and split rings and use strong leader. There is nothing worse than doing all the hard yards to get hooked into that big fish, and then lose him due to straightened hooks or a chaffed leader.
Targeting areas such as creek and river mouths that have structure in the deeper water are great areas to start prospecting. Anchoring up and fishing these spots over a stage of the tide give you a good chance of coming across any big fish travelling through. Not only can you catch some nice barra but fish such as king threadfin salmon, golden snapper, grunter, queenfish and mangrove jack can all be landed.
We are expecting some decent rain to flush out all the lagoons and rivers that can turn on some awesome fishing opportunities. Casting surface lures at areas of run-off sees some awesome strikes from hungry barra that are making the most of the higher water levels.
Keep your eyes peeled for drains that are flowing out into larger systems as these are ideal ambush points to get your run-off fishing started. The drains that are flowing push schools of bait out into the rivers and a variety of fish will lie in wait to strike at any unweary bait fish.
February brings on a few changes with the weather which creates some excellent fishing. Getting out there and chasing a few barramundi will be high on most anglers’ lists so have fun and good luck!