Fishing the Fitzroy for barramundi

Fishing the Fitzroy for Barramundi

Fishing the Fitzroy net free zones for Barramundi and King Threadfin is certainly a ton of fun!

The addition of a net free zone in Rockhampton has protected fish stocks from netting and created a recreational anglers paradise.

They are dubbing it the Barra Capital of Australia!

We headed down to Rocky intending on Fishing the Fitzroy last month.

The goal was to catch a $1.30 barra. In other words, a large fish, one metre and thirty centimetres long.

The Fitzroy River catchment has an area of 156,000 square kilometres, providing prime estuary and freshwater fishing.

King Threadfin country

You can see why the Rocky area is such good barra and King Threadfin country. Perfect for a net free zone.

All commercial nets came out of the Fitzroy River (Tunuba), for the last time at the end of the 2015 Barramundi season.

That year, over 200 tons of fish (all species) were taken out of the river by commercial harvesters – for the last time.

Which means all the more for recreational anglers. In effect allowing the fish to grow and breed unimpeded.

Watch our video – Fishing the Fitzroy Net Free Zones.




Explore Rockhampton and the Net Free Zones

I have to say I am super impressed with the Rocky City Council fishing initiatives.

Not only have they produced this exception booklet on fishing the area (Grab your copy here)

But they have also introduced a voluntary code of practice in the net free zones to further protect fish stocks.

While Fishing the Fitzroy and surrounding areas the council asks anglers voluntarily to...

  • Limit the take of Barramundi and King Threadfin to a maximum of two of each species per trip
  • Do not target or keep Barramundi, King and Blue Threadfin within the known spawning area during the recommended periods as set out in the map below (red shaded area)
  • When keeping Barramundi, limit the size to between 580mm and 1000mm in length
  • When keeping King Threadfin, limit the size to between 650mm and 1000mm in length.

Anglers are also asked to not target Barramundi, King and Blue Threadfin within the red shaded area during the following months:

  • Barramundi – October – January (inclusive)
  • King Threadfin – October – January (inclusive)
  • Blue Threadfin (salmon) – September – October (inclusive)
Voluntary Code of Practice map Fishing the Fitzroy net free zones

Spawning areas (shown in red) included in the Voluntary Code of Practice guidelines.

The result of these initiatives resulted in a fish-filled trip for us!

The biggest barra was around 1.18 cm and we saw plenty more (much larger) on the sounder.

In our previous blog we highlight the King Threadfin we captured. Here are a few photos...


Dallas with her PB King Threadfin fishing the fitzroy net free zones.

Dallas Hogan with her PB King Threadfin Fishing the Fitzroy net free zones.

Fishing the Fitzroy with soft plastics

Soft plastics proved themselves yet again on the trip.

Fitzroy River delta Rockhampton

Amazing barra country that's for sure!

Fitzroy River metre plus barramundi

Barra Basics student Steve Newby knew where they would be and got some cracker fish this being the smallest!

Rockhampton net free zones equals big barramundi

Another one hits the deck. Happy days on board when the fishing is this exciting.

So if your goal is to catch a large Barramundi or King Threadfin Salmon, be sure and try your luck at Rockhampton by Fishing the Fitzroy.

Even if you don't want to take your boat, you can fly in and be fishing in less than an hour!

The river is right in town with several charter operators able to assist you.

Grab your Fishing the Fitzroy guide here for details >> click here.

But before you go, brush up on your fishing skills with our fishing training and courses.


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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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