February is on again for barra
  |  First Published: February 2017

February means the barra are back on the target list. In our region there are so many options for targeting barramundi, they have pretty much shown up in every system since the 2013 floods. The Burnett River will be one of the most popular spots as the season opens. Deeper holes in the river are the best places to start. Hopping soft and hard vibes over the schooling fish can be a deadly technique.

I’ve found the fish like the vibes hopping past them. Sit back and cast up current, as this can also help get those bites. Trolling deep diving lures past these deeper holes seems like such an old-fashioned technique these days, but believe me it is still a great way to get bites. When you’re trolling, you are keeping your lure down at the depth of the fish for longer. When fish are moving around, you cover more ground.

The Halco Poltergeist has to be an all-time favourite for barramundi trolling with its ability to dive to 5m+ and hop over most snags and rocks. Trolling up current keeps the lure down in their faces longer. Banging away on the bottom and attracting the attention of fish nearby is the key. Rolling big soft plastics has been the gun technique in the dams for many years and those anglers that have keyed into how successful it is in the salt have been reaping the rewards for a while. Rolling soft plastics is a great technique for barramundi and most predatory fish in estuaries.

They key to getting more bites is to get your offering right in front of the fish. Being able to rig a soft plastic weedless and roll right through even the heaviest structure is an invaluable asset. Looking for barramundi anywhere other than deep holes and rock bars takes a bit of work. Finding feeding lanes and travelling lanes is very important if you want to catch them consistently.

Barramundi move around a lot and will travel from one spot to another when the time is right to feed. A good fish finder helps a lot. Being able to set it up correctly and read it is even more important. Most of the top end fish finders will be able to separate barramundi and show you exactly where they are and where they are going. If you’re not seeing them, they are either not there or you need to tune your unit to suit the conditions.

It’s been a very hot start to the year and barramundi, like most estuary species, aren’t that active when the water temperature is over that 32°C mark. Try fishing early or even into the dark, if you’re fishing smaller creeks and rivers where the water temperature is very high. Hopefully we willsee a bit of February rain to help the barramundimove around some more and fire up our autumn fishing.

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