Spring is well and truly here and so is barra fever! Far North Queensland has some of the best impoundment barramundi fishing on the planet! Now is a great time to plan that trip so you can get stuck into a few of these truly iconic Australian fish.
The best advice to get hooked onto a big impoundment barra is to keep that lure in the water. There is a a small window of opportunity with barra, and when they turn on it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. I went down for a day trip to Peter Faust Dam last week and managed to boat 2 good fish. The key to finding these fish is to use the sounder – find warmer water temperatures, locate bait, and find channels and deeper water. The biggest fish for the day went 91cm. To catch a cracker like this I used my favourite presentation in the dams –the Zman SwimmerZ. These have a nice big paddle tail action so a simple slow roll is the perfect way to get the attention of that trophy fish. The Zmans float so attaching the right weight TT jighead will allow you to fish over weedy bottoms without getting vegetation on your presentation.
The Mangrove Jacks in the sweet water will be ready to smash everything that lands in their domain! They are such an aggressive species and will pull every trick out of the bag to get you trapped in the snags. Rigging your presentation weedless certainly gets the results but it’s all about getting the lure as close to them as you possibly can. The reaction bite is the one you want. Don't let them think about if they want it, put it in their face and they will have no choice. The best thing about catching jacks in the clear fresh is getting to see it all happen. Using ultra light gear is such a fun way to tangle with these smaller models. I use a 5’6 Millerods Jungle Freak with a 1000 Stradic Ci4, for me this is perfect for flicking tiny presentations tight into the honey holes.
The jungle has lots to offer – not only in beauty but also for the jungle perch and sooty grunter fishing which can be amazing! So for the next windy day when it’s too rough to take the boat out, grab the light gear, follow a crystal clear stream and enjoy some of the most enjoyable land based fishing this country has to offer. Take a small selection of surface lures and grub tail plastics for a day filled with hard-hitting sooties and JPs. Remember to use your hunting skills when targeting these species. They are highly aware of what’s happening outside the water in their habitat so anything that doesn't seem right can shut them down. Try to keep your clothing as natural as possible and make sure you walk upstream so you can use the natural flow of the water to bring your presentation in front of the likely looking fish holding areas.
For me, the most exciting part about fishing is exploring new country – catching fish is just a bonus. Have fun out there everyone and stay safe.
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