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Barra back on track
  |  First Published: May 2016



The rain and cooler nights have worked wonders for many species in the region, and with the nets now gone, the larger predatory species from threadfin to jacks and barra will be in greater numbers in all the systems.

This month’s report will cover the fantastic crabbing the river is offering up, along with the bread and butter species around the creeks and some inshore pelagic species just out of the mouth of the port.

Freshwater lagoons

The recent run-offs from a few large downpours in recent months have kicked the freshwater up with some good fishing reported for the last month. The warmer than average nights for this month have also helped keep fish fired up too.

Barramundi and tarpon in lagoons and creeks have been commonly encountered around the 600-400m mark. The influx of water has created a mass of food from all the small aquatic life and bugs coming off the flood plain, making the lagoons and creeks full of healthy baitfish.

Fitzroy and the Narrows

The port and river mouth have been fishing well with many of the bigger fish moving to this location from the recent flooding. The islands just out from the mouth have been fishing extremely well, with lots of bait in the area.

Trolling for mackerel is made easy with a chin guard for your bait. The weight keeps the bait straight and sinks it down into the water, and a slow speed will allow the bait to swim. The large ganged hooks on the back of the rig will allow for optimal hook up.

As far as baiting for the region’s most iconic fish, the barramundi, a cast net is an easy tool to gather the baits required. In this case, the prawns and mullet around the flats and banks of the river are the prime bait. The prawns have been in massive numbers, and anglers have been out getting into some prawning action.

A simple running rig for both baits is an easy way get to set up. All you need is a sinker, swivel, leader and a 6/0 circle hook. The optimal sinker size is just large enough the flow will move it very slowly, letting the bait cover ground. For hooking the baits, pin the mullet through the shoulders and hook the prawns through the back section of the tail, this will give both baits optimal movement.

On the lure side of things, deep diving lures and mid-weighted vibes sent down into the pockets of deeper water are the go. Some of the key picks are the Fish Candy vibes, the Lucky Craft Pointer 78XD and the Storm Thunder Barra Deeps. The slow roll from these deep diving hardbodies and the paddle-tail vibes are getting the strikes lately, with many people coming back into work showing me their new personal bests for a variety of species.

Crabbing

The mud crabs have certainly been kicked into gear with all the stuff coming down in the river run spillage. Many pots have been coming up winners with little to no females and some of the biggest bucks to date. Reefy frames have been doing the trick this month and pots placed adjacent to mangrove spill out creeks have been the best option. Generally the pots are put in a straight run with 20-30m between them.

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