Top Tinaroo Barra
  |  First Published: December 2005

Every once in a while you hear a real good fishing story, one where the angler perseveres through hardship and bad luck before bouncing back determined to get a second chance and eventually triumphing. This true yarn had plenty of heart stopping moments, which will be etched in the angler’s memory to remind him how much respect needs to be given to trophy size barramundi.

Young Cairns angler, Eammon Molloy finally hit pay dirt in a big way when he nailed a massive Tinaroo barra recently. Eammon could not have picked a better time to land only his third Tinaroo barra when he boated a 22.5kg monster during the recent 2005 Tinaroo Barra Bash.

One of the qualities needed to become a successful fisho is to show heaps of perseverance and that is exactly what Eammon proved in making this capture. Eammon had been working hard all day fishing with mate Dylan Zylmans and, like many anglers in the competition; they had caught zip for the day. Many anglers would have packed up for the day but the boys continued to fish into the night and then about 10.15pm out of the blue, Dylan got a hit, hooked up, but then got busted off soon after and lost the blue barra classic lure. The boys continued to fish and then within 2 minutes, in the same spot, Eammon hooked up. He fought a large barra for about 30 minutes before dropping it at the boat when the trebles pulled out. This was a disappointing end to the day to say the least but the boys remained determined and at least Eammon still had his blue viper lure. The boys had been trolling the predatek vipers in water about 12m deep in the Barron Arm and could see nothing on their sounder that would hold the fish.

Waking up extra early the next morning at 5.30am, they decided to head out and once again try that deep channel which fired up the previous night. The boys started trolling again and once again Eammon hooked up, but this time things worked out better. The big barra battled doggedly against the 10kg braid on Eammon’s baitcaster and didn’t want to come aboard, however after almost 30 minutes it was finally tired – or was it?

The barra was finally nosed into the waiting landing net with some relief for the angler before suddenly blasting through the net and causing pandemonium. Fortunately the hooked barra stayed connected to the line and the landing net frame somehow trapped the barra enough for the crewman Grub Molloy to manhandle the 115cm fish into the boat. Eammon was over the moon and the boys headed off to the weigh station to register the catch.

Barra certainly can have a knack of putting you through the ringer at times and this capture definitely did all that. Rewards usually come to those who put in plenty of hard work. Determination finally paid off for Eammon after the night before when he was left shattered by a lost big barra. This only made the final capture all the sweeter and to top off the whole experience the young angler won heaviest fish for Sunday and the Junior Champion Angler for the 2005 Tinaroo Barra Bash. Not a bad days work for a 14 year old!  

Tinaroo offers great barra fishing year round and particularly throughout December with the barramundi in all of the stocked impoundments ready, willing and able to be caught. Tinaroo is truly a great fishing option.


There have been good reports of quality jacks and fingermark for inshore anglers and this should continue throughout December. Live baiting the deeper water of the local estuaries at night on the smaller neap tides will produce some excellent fingermark. Out on the flats in front of Cairns it is well worth a shot at the summer grunter. These fish should be feeding on the shell grit patches of the inlet and the best times to chase them with fresh strip baits will be either side of the top of the making tides. There should also be some quality blue and king salmon around all river mouths and the Cairns inlet. These fish can be taken on bait or lure but are more easily taken on fresh live bait like prawns and mud herring.


Calm, hot days have presented many fantastic fishing opportunities for local far northern anglers. The perfect fishing conditions have allowed plenty of day and overnight fishing trips for those wanting to have a crack at the local red population and most parties have not returned home disappointed. There have been good reports of many quality reds including red emperor and both small and large mouth nannygai particularly at night. Through the day there have also been good coral trout in the shallow sections and there still seems to be plenty of Spanish mackerel around to keep most anglers happy; so don't forget to have a floater line out while bottom fishing. This fishing picture should continue throughout December and anglers should have their boat ready to take advantage of the calm weather.

Don’t forget about the final Coral Reef Fin Fish Closure that extends to December 3rd.

Enjoy the summer fishing action and see you in 2006.

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