Run-off barra bags
  |  First Published: May 2014

Late summer rain in the Rocky region has created a mass of run-off barramundi around the area. The influx of freshwater in the lagoons and throughout the river has created a massive amount of bait and barra movement. These fish are easily targeted in the right areas and will fall victim to lure mimicking the natural bait source.

The recent rain has created a massive run-off in the freshwater areas and has produced some great fishing after the event. People have been catching some very large barramundi and tarpon in lagoons and creeks on the flood plains but more commonly around the 600mm mark. The influx of water has created a mass of food from all the small aquatic life and bugs coming off the flood-plane making the lagoons and creeks full of healthy baitfish.

Through this past month places like the Yeppen Lagoon and Wool Wash Lagoon have been fishing well with fish responding mainly to surface lures, such as poppers and stickbaits, and even unweighted plastics. It is expected in the next month or so when the fish are a little less active and likely to surface feed the shallow divers and lightly weighted plastics will pick them up pretty well.

The river has been going well but mainly smaller barra are being pulled in the Rockhampton vicinity with many people having luck off the rocks between the two bridges on low, and all the pontoons along the river. Many of the land-based anglers have been choosing to run live perch for their barra, which work very well while there is fresh flowing from the barrage.

On the lure side of things there have been many barra taken on lures while trolling in the 6-8’ range of water and using vibrant colours, such as yellow and chartreuse. The diving sizes that have been working are between 2-5’. Generally the lures are placed 20-30m behind the boat and trolled at around 2 knots.

In the next few months once the river calms down and the freshwater influx subsides the river will be fishing well with normal tactics around the rocks and drop-offs. The fresh will revert back to finding the shadows and overhangs instead of the pressure points and back eddies.

A word to all boating during the heavy influx of fresh, take care boating in the river while the fresh is running heavy – there is the potential for logs and other foreign objects to be under the surface. There have been a few stories already of people damaging props and other parts of their boats from logs and other objects coming down in the river.

The muddies are set to fire up in all the areas of the river with great success on mullet and catfish. The best bait presentation doing this is to tie the fish in the pot with wire then make incisions along the fish’s body just to let the scent disperse easier. Any old steak past its use by date in the fridge is also a great easy to get crab pot bait. Look for muddy areas around mangroves to place the pots in or, if your land-based, place the pots around the creek mouths.

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