Breaking the barra drought!
  |  First Published: December 2005

The fishing around Karumba in January is normally pretty good with much depending on the amount of rain and whether the wet season is in full swing or not. Too much rain and it can be a washout. No rain and the fishing can be great. Get some smaller tides in January without any rainfall and the barra and king salmon can go berserk. Come up fishing though at this time of year and you risk getting flooded in.

What’s been happening

The black jewies can still be found haunting the deeper areas off the beach at the point and up the river at the deeper creek mouths. This type of fishing can be a trip saver when the big tides make all other fishing impossible. Fishing the deeper edges and creek mouths with prawn and mullet baits can yield jewies and king salmon with blue salmon turning up from time to time. Another way to target fingermark is to sit right on the vertical edge of a creek mouth and jig a lure from deep in the hole up the rise.

If you want a feed of crabs in the river – forget it. With half the barra fleet trying to catch up after a terrible season the crab numbers are pretty thin.

What to expect

The black jewfish will stay in the river until the freshwater comes. Keep trying around the creek mouths on the last couple of hours of the run out. While trying for jewies you can hedge your bets and have a live mullet or prawns in the eddies of the creek for a king or blue salmon; don’t forget to have a crack with a jig such as a Prawnstar or a Lead Head Bucktail jig with a scrounger tail attached.

Barra time again

We all know that the next time we can fish for barra in the Gulf is different from the opening date on the East Coast, which stays current at the 1st of February. Let me hit you with technical stuff – in the Gulf of Carpentaria and adjoining waterways west and south of the intersection of longitude 142° 09’ east with the shore at high tide, a closed season applies to barramundi. The timing of the closed season varies each year according to lunar and tide cycles coinciding with spawning peaks.

The current Gulf of Carpentaria closed season for barramundi started on midday the 25th of September 2005 and will end on the 21st of January 2006. Let’s hope it’s a nice day with heaps of fish and good weather so the barra drought can be broken.

Enforcement News

Guess what? The Fisheries Officers in the Gulf of Carpentaria can now issue on-the-spot tickets or FINS to those who wish to take under and oversize regulated fish, excess bag limits and female crabs. It has taken a few years to get a slip of the pen in the Gulf Fin Fish Management Plan corrected but it’s been done.

Thought of the Month

Did you see in TheCourier Mail how some of the Gulf Commercial Fishermen are pushing to be paid up to $1000 a day to ‘patrol’ the Gulf Waterways to repel the increasing numbers of FFV’s (Foreign Fishing Vessels) that are reportedly in the area? Quite ironic that some of the vessels are probably in less seaworthy condition then the Indonesian vessels. These boats tend to escape the requirements for surveying, as they are under 10m. Very interesting.

See you after the wet.

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