Barra Bulge
  |  First Published: January 2010

Good rainfall has got the barramundi moving and the start of the season should be totally awesome. We will need to wait to see if this season’s water ends up as big as the last one. Hopefully it wont as last year saw the area cut off for over two months.

Not having an airport functioning made just getting food a major issue. Our new all-weather airport has relieved the pressure and with plenty of accommodation available at this time of year there is no reason not to come for a visit.

The barra are now on the menu and they can be found anywhere there is running water. Trips to Normanton by road usually takes 45 minutes but at this time of year I can never seem to get back in less than 3-4 hours. But all the stops have been worthwhile, as my best barramundi off the road last year was 86cm in approx 2ft of water. Any gutter under the road is worth a look. Make sure you park your vehicle off the road and look for passing traffic. I recommend the good old gold B52 or equivalent. Use the walk-the-dog retrieve and be patient.

Normanton is a great spot to catch barramundi but it is normally standing room only out on the causeway. You need to travel out on the Karumba Road around the first bend after crossing the Norman River to see the crowd in action. Live freshwater perch is the gun bait that the locals use.

The Karumba Community Anglers Classic is on again on the 10/11 April in Karumba with over $10,000 worth of prizes up for grabs. Anaconda from Townsville has already confirmed they are donating some awesome gear and Erskine Tackle from Cairns will be there as well. This event has been going for some time now so please book accommodation now as it usually gets full on the weekend of the competition.

If there is good weather forecast and no warnings then a trip up the coast can be glamour. The barramundi will be about in numbers and so will the king salmon around the mouths of the systems. The best part is you will have it all to yourself to enjoy. Flicking lures at the creek mouths on the run out tide will get the job done.

Please take care when entering different systems as the run-off water has been known to move the channel and you may end up on a sandbar where there was none last year. I always use the B52, Halco Scorpions and my latest favourite is a Lance Butler lure that I call my secret weapon. Erskine Tackle in Cairns has them and talk to Rob for the best colours.

Don’t forget the crab pots as there will be opportunities to catch some nice mud crabs this month. Fresh fish frames work as well as the humble catfish. Look around near the mouth of the Norman River and you shouldn’t go too far wrong. The mud crabs can be empty so be sure to check the weight.

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