Grab your gear and go for it — it’s barramundi time

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

THE barramundi closed sea­son ended on Mon­day, to the de­light on keen fish­er­man in FNQ.

A few storms and plenty of rain over the past few weeks should work their magic to help en­sure a strong start to the new sea­son.

Barramundi is one of the prime tar­get fish in the Far North.

As well as be­ing a top, light­tackle sport fish, it is also a favourite ta­ble fish.

If you’re just start­ing out, some re­li­able spots to chase barra are coastal head­lands, run-off creeks, streams and river mouths.

For bait, it might the right time to cast for prawns, which are in abun­dance with some wet weather pre­dicted – try seek­ing out mud flats and dirty wa­ter.

Take ex­treme care if cast net­ting at the mo­ment, it’s been a bumper sea­son for stingers. A full body suit of­fers the best pro­tec­tion, but if you aren’t plan­ning to get your feet wet, wear a long sleeve shirt and make sure you check your net be­fore putting it over your shoul­der, to avoid a po­ten­tially nasty sting.

Other good baits to use for barra in­clude live mul­let – just re­mem­ber when it comes to barra bait, the fresher the bet­ter.

If you want to try your hand at hook­ing a barra on a lure, hard bod­ies are the most pop­u­lar op­tion.

Try clas­sic Gold Bombers, B52s, Nils Mas­ter Spear­heads, or Koko­das.

When chas­ing big barra, I use a bait caster with a 5-8kg rod, spooled with 20-30lb braid and 60lb leader line.

If you’re not hav­ing much luck, tighten your gear by run­ning lighter leader line (around 40lb) and us­ing a lure knot in­stead of a clip.

Soft plas­tics are now pop­u­lar – try us­ing a Z-Man or a Slick Rig on 2500 size spin reel and 2-4kg rod.

The hot tip for this week is to re­mem­ber that fish ovr 95cm will gen­er­ally be big breed­ing fe­males – so it’s al­ways best to care­fully re­lease them so they can carry on pro­duc­ing this fine species for the re­gion’s keen fish­er­men to tar­get for years to come.

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