WITH WATER levels being so low in our rivers at the moment it's worth staying away from these areas due to the sad state the freshwater scene is in around the tropics. Hopefully this will change with the onset of rain over February/March, but for now most of my fishing has still been concentrated to Tinaroo, with big fish still on the chew.
Maybe for now, we are seeing some good fishing conditions due to low water and a diminished food source, with the low water levels dramatically changing the areas in which to chase a fish. In addition, the current high temperatures along with afternoon thunderstorms are creating spot-on scenarios for barramundi, despite poor water quality and diminished clarity due to the heavily muddied foreshores holding no plant life to stabilise it.
Fish are holding right in the timber with deeper water showing fish. Due to low water levels and shallower areas, bite times seem to be more widespread with an even chance of early afternoon as well as right through the daylight hours – providing you keep targeting that 8-10ft mark with a quiet approach and long casts.
Downsizing lures is definitely more productive, as is something that dives to around 8-12ft. Smaller chrome lures have been working best on dead slow retrieves. There are still anglers trolling around the wall area and around Black Gully where it's more open and a little less ‘hand to hand’ than flicking through the upright timber. That sees more interest but is more expensive on the lure collection!
Spots worth a try at the moment include any exposed areas next to stands of timber so you can anchor and ambush a cruising fish on dark as it moves onto the shallows. Other potential locations are Black Gully, the timber around Barrabadeen in from the Platypus camping area, right in front of Tinaroo township along the foreshore, Russell Pocket road boat ramp, Tinaroo Park boat ramp and onto the point next to it. All these spots can be driven to and fished from the bank without a boat, which is great because navigating the lake after dark is for the careless.
So, fingers crossed, we should see some ideal fishing conditions over the next month with low water levels providing easy access to fishing locations around the lake. But oh, how I'd like to see it fill up again and change the playing field, with the barra finding new spots and making anglers rethink their tactics to make these big fish bite!
1) Big barra specialist Gary Whineray from Savage Boats in Queensland with another metre plus fish.Reads: 1992