You cannot target barra during the barramundi fishing closure

Barramundi fishing closure

The east coast Barramundi fishing closure TIMES HAVE CHANGED!

The NEW closed season runs from midnight to midnight – e.g. from 12.01 am on the first day of the closure to 11.59 pm on the last day of the closure.

The east coast of Qld Barramundi season closure runs from 1st November to 31 January each year.

The Gulf of Carpentaria closed season for barramundi runs from midday 7 October to midday 31 January.

It is prohibited to deliberately target barramundi in Queensland (even for catch and release) during the barramundi fishing closure.

Why? Because the stress of capture may prevent a fish from spawning.

Barramundi are a prized sports fish in north Australia but cannot be targeted in Queensland from Nov to Feb due the the barramundi fishing closure.

Barramundi are a prized sports fish in north Australia but cannot be targetted in Queensland from Nov to Feb due the the barramundi fishing closure.

The barramundi fishing closure is designed to protect spawning aggregations of fish from disturbance and capture. Barra in dams and impoundments however, are able to be targeted as they cannot spawn without access to saltwater.

Million dollar fish

However these rules do not apply in the Northern Territory where barra are plentiful. NT management have taken a different path to protect the species.

In fact they have a unique initiative underway at present to attract barra anglers to the Northern Territory during the barramundi fishing closure in Queensland.

It’s called the “million dollar fish” and gives barra anglers the chance to win $1 million dollars.

The trick is catching one of five “million dollar fish” tagged with a special tag and re-released into the waterways.

This year the competition is in it’s fourth season and has a ton of new prizes including $25,000 worth of fishing gear etc. Even if you don’t catch a fish!

The main attraction however are one of three major prizes;

  • 5x One million dollar fish tagged and released into the environment. Once one of the million dollar fish are caught the other 4 will revert to $10,000 fish.
  • 100x Ten thousand dollar fish. While you may think this is a needle in a haystack, these are actually caught quite regularly!
  • 20x Five thousand dollar charity barra. ($2500 to the angler and $2500 to a nominated charity).

We had a ball last time we headed to Darwin, spending some quality time in a place called Dundee.

So if a trip to the Territory is on your bucket list. it may be well worth your while to head there. Especially during the Queensland barramundi fishing closure to try your luck at catching a million dollar fish!

You MUST register for million dollar fish before you start fishing. Imagine catching a tagged fish. You would not be able to claim your prize if you weren’t registered! That would be the ultimate fishing FAIL.

And talking about fishing fail…

We certainly had an eventful last day before the barramundi fishing closure

This year we were joined by Matty Young from Jarvis Walker Brands to film some fishing tips using their gear.

Matty is a top level photographer and took our favourite fish photo. It that was ultimately used on the cover of the now defunct Fish Life journal.

Big barra photo taken by Matty Young for Fish Life journal.

Big barra photo taken by Matty Young for Fish Life journal.


Anyhoo, the barramundi fishing closure each year used to start at midday 1st November. So it was pretty much par for the course that we go in the morning and aim for a final metery of the season. (note times have changed and now run from midnight to midnight!)

But in 2018, we headed out in the morning for one final crack before the old midday closure.

To find out what happened (including the part where I nearly pulled off the catch of the century with 30 seconds to go before the barramundi fishing closure), watch the video below.

We also take you through how to register for million dollar fish in case you decide to head to the NT for a top holiday. And to take part in their unique initative. Who knows… you might come home with more money than you left with!



Of course, once in the territory, the more barra you catch, the more chances you have to win.

We have plenty of barra fishing tips here on the site and for those truly dedicated, check out our online fishing course Barra Basics.

We have an active community of dedicated barra anglers in the Territory that have done our course and the results are in. More barra in less time is pretty much the order of the day.


There is no barramundi fishing closure in the northern territory

One of our Barra Basics students catching more barra in less time using our knowledge.

If Barramundi are your passion, or maybe you're about to head to the NT during the Qld barramundi fishing closure and would love to catch your very first, I explain what gear you'll need to take including my favourite go to lures, in my Gear and Tackle Cheat Sheet. 

Click the button below to sign up for the PDF cheat sheet.

get the free pdf





More handy tips


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About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

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