Opening Season Run
  |  First Published: January 2010

The barra season is now open and all of the locals will be out to bag the first keeper for the year.

Fishing the dirty water around local causeways, gutters, creeks and drains is a sure fire way to get connected to these powerful fish. The local gun powder magazine rock wall usually holds a good number of barra during the run-off from the start of the wet.

A well-presented herring imitation fly takes its fair share of victims at this time of year. Other sure fire lure options include Gold Bombers, Reidy’s B52’s and Leads Hijackers. The onset of good weather will allow the tinny brigade to hit the rocky outcrops around the surrounding bays in search of big headland barra.

Queenfish, trevally and Spanish mackerel can be found patrolling the current lines where the dirty freshwater meets the cleaner seawater.

During the wet season, care should be taken when boating out to sea. Submerged logs that have washed out from the rivers can be found up to 15 miles out to sea. This debris poses a severe navigational hazard to boaters and as such, night travel should be limited where possible.

During daylight hours, boaters should be aware of signals, such as turns and gulls sitting on the water. What may seem to look like a small branch to the naked eye may have 20ft of tree attached to it submerged under the water.

Spear fishers will have to head wider during this time of year to find cleaner water for increased visibility. The reefs around Little Uncharted are a good starting point for divers looking for a feed of trout and crayfish. Remember to abide by size and bag limits as the shallower waters are prone to over spearing.

The reef fishing has now picked up and the coral trout are almost free of their ‘summer sulks’ and are feeding strongly once again.The warmer summer currents have kicked the longtail tuna into full feeding mode. The headlands around Cape Bedford are a good starting point to target these hard fighting pelagics. Smooth drags are a necessity as fish to 10-12kg are not uncommon.

Large queenfish, Spanish mackerel, golden trevally and giant trevally will also be chasing the baitfish schools so be prepared for a few drag screaming sessions on poppers and slugs.

Boaters should make the most of the sultry conditions and head wide to the ribbon reefs. Mahi mahi, wahoo, barracuda and Spanish mackerel are making up a majority of the catches. Welcome by-catches at this time of year include sailfish and small black marlin.

Fishing the gutters between the reefs produces impressive sized blue spot trout. Some of these fish are approaching the 15kg mark so please remember to carefully release the fish when they are oversized. The blue spots have different size limits to the other trout with a minimum of 50cm and a maximum of 80cm.

Stay safe on the water and catch you next month.

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