Big barra caught at Prosperine Dam boat ramp

Big impoundment barra caught at the boat ramp

With the barra fishing closure well underway here in Queensland, ardent barramundi anglers head to the freshwater dams to try their luck.

Although freshwater fish tend to be a bit sluggish in comparison, fishing the dams can be great experience handling and landing big fish, especially as they can be (on occasion) much easier to catch.

Myth Buster: Freshwater impoundment barramundi always hang in the timber

One of the fallacies when fishing impoundments for barra is that they always hang in the timber.

If you think about it, in a dam they have no real predators and thus no real need to do so.

Sure you can catch them in the timber.

But in my experience, they also like to hang on deep spits and drop off and in gaps in the weed beds.

Plus if you fish away from the trees, they’re a hell of a lot easier to get out haha.

In early November I was asked to commentate at the Australian Fishing Championship in Proserpine Dam, and to be honest, had just come off a string of charters and had no intention of fishing haha.

And while I used to fish the dams and freshwater reaches for barra extensively when I was younger, I hadn’t actually fished for barra in freshwater for nigh on 20 years!

As we were standing on the boat ramp waiting for the teams to return, Karen actually suggested I borrow a rod from the camera boat and have a flick as some of the other guys were doing, but my interest was… minimal.

That was until I saw a faint but big swirl on the surface near the boat ramp… indicative of a big girl under the surface, head down, tail in the air.

As the following video (which has gone a bit viral on facebook) shows, you certainly don’t need to fish in the timber to catch big barra.

Apologies for the audio – we left the good cameras at home as I wasn’t supposed to be fishing haha – and it was filmed on Karen’s iphone.

How to catch barra in freshwater dams and impoundments

Once I knew the fish was there and within casting distance, all I needed was a lure of the right depth and style to run right past her.

I borrowed a rod from the AFC camera vessel, realizing straight away the lure on it was a bit heavy (it was a big stick rig with a heavy jig head for deep jigging) but gave it a go anyway.

Holding the rod as high above my head as I could, I tried to get it into the right position, but using the slow retrieve I needed to attract a bite, the lure was just too heavy.

I really needed something lighter and remembered a couple of lures were sitting on the dashboard of the boat.

After gnawing through the leader and leaving the old knot attached (no clippers in sight), I tied on a Keitech 5.8 Swing Impact Fat which could be retrieved slow and still stay above the fish. Perfect.

Two casts with the Keitech (albeit a left handed rod which felt a bit strange) and I had her.

Interestingly one of our recent blog posts feature these lures including some underwater footage of the action.

Techniques for fishing soft plastics

Catching Lake Prosperpine metre plus barramundi using Keitech soft plastic lures

Catching dam barra with soft plastic lures


More barra fishing resources from Ryan Moody Fishing

Click here for more 'Barra Fishing Tips' posts

Click here for free 'Fishing With Strategy' training (HINT: how Ryan sets himself up for success in each one of his charters)

Wanna catch more barra? Click Here.


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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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