Barra awake from slumber
  |  First Published: August 2009

Finally back into summer again, and those fresh starts in the morning are over for another year. With the warmer weather come warmer water temperatures, and this will make the fishing start to fire yet again.

Those feisty barramundi have come out of their semi-hibernation and are once again providing some awesome entertainment for anglers. The macks are still running offshore, and with the usual weather pattern up here in spring, getting out and amongst them should be a viable option.

The past month has seen some less than favorable weather conditions offshore, making targeting pelagics and reef fish very difficult. Fish have also been quite patchy and sometimes hard to locate.

Fishing shallower areas closer to the ramp has been producing better catches of large fingermark and other reef species. Squid and soft plastics have been working the best in these situations.

Mackerel and tuna have been found in good numbers to the south, but getting them past the taxation department (sharks) and into the boat has been extremely difficult. Be prepared to go through a lot of gear when targeting these pelagic species!

The most productive lures over the past month have been the Halco Crazy Deep 8m and 5m in either a natural silver colour or the good old Qantas (red head with white body).

The estuarine systems of Weipa have been fishing quite consistently all year, and have continued to fish well throughout August and into September. Barramundi were a little shy, but as the water warmed up they have really started to come on the bite.

I have recently had Mum and Dad up for a trip, and there is no better way to tell when the barramundi are on the chew than when Mum is catching 93cm specimens at will – well done Ma!

Fishing draining creeks and areas of warmer water will considerably increase your chances of landing one of these magnificent fish.

Mangrove jacks, fingermark, grunter and jewfish have been located in deep holes. Live mullet and mud herring have accounted for most catches.

As the build-up to the wet season begins, expect to encounter some awesome barramundi fishing over the next month. As the weeks go on the barra will move towards the mouths of the river systems, so targeting areas close to the mouth will be your best bet.

Keep in mind that the closed season for barramundi in the Gulf is coming up, and it has different start and end dates than the closed season on the East Coast. It also changes from year to year. This year the barra closed season in the Gulf will run from midday 25 September 2009 to midday 22 January 2010 (on the East Coast it runs from midday 1 November to midday 1 February).

Expect the offshore fishing to improve over the coming few weeks, mainly due to the easing of the weather and the warming water. Tuna, macks and cobia should be found in good numbers south of Weipa, and fishing the reef systems would be a great place to find some delicious tablefish.

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