Many years ago I was fortunate enough to stumble across a successful method of targeting big saltwater barramundi while land based lure casting. Way back then we used to get a lot of fish in the 90cm bracket using this method but did manage 5 over a metre. For the last 18 years or so I have been focusing heavily on my charters and haven’t really done much land based stuff, except on the odd occasion with my kids.
Last week I realised the conditions were right for a big fish, so I grabbed my boys and headed down to a local spot – and this is what happened. Land based lure caught metre barra number 6. And if you guess the length you can win two of my favourite soft vibes see details toward the end of this post.
To successfully understand land based fishing for big barra, it is a matter of learning how current lines and dirty water interact near creek mouths and pressure points. Sometimes the currents flow different ways and the fish seem to sit in a certain area that allows them to feed comfortably on the bait fish congregating in these areas.
Lure selection in relation to depth and action is also an important factor and depends on your local hotspot and how the currents and siltation lines interact. To get a better understanding of the right methods that work in your area, it pays to take the time to experiment! Experiment with lure depth and don’t be afraid to change lures if you are not getting success. In the past week we have caught three over a metre and surprisingly the same lure has caught each one. The reason I think being because the depth suited the feeding zone of the barra under those conditions. So what I’m trying to say here is don’t believe the hype about “the best barra lure” because what nails them one week may not work the next. You just need to be persistent, don’t lose faith, chop and change them around, experiment, try and try again, and when you do get success take note of the stage of the tide in relation to the full/dark moon or quarters. Eventually you will put together a pattern that will bring you consistent success. Of course then you can pick your times to fish because all the hard work will have been done.
As well as understanding the habits of these fish it is important to upgrade your gear as the big fish are relentless and we even straightened the heavy duty treble on a fish around 110 cm. Although that was out of the boat, the same principle applies to the area I was fishing. I always upgrade my treble hooks to 6x VMC or other heavy duty hooks such as Owners and use a a heavy leader, say 70 to 80 pound. This short video below was taken by my 12 year old son Colbee who did a great job of capturing the moment as we played her out. Good job mate.
I had forgotten what a thrill it was to catch metrey’s lure casting off the bank. The take of a metrey smashing a lure while hand casting is a real buzz and I was pumped for hours afterward. So pumped that I went back again and we caught two more over a metre.
To celebrate I am giving away a couple of my favourite soft vibes. As some of you may know I prefer the ‘Gimp’ for a larger soft vibe and now I have a new favourite small vibe, the ‘Species 95’ by Hinchinbrook lures. All you need to do is guess the length of the fish in the above picture. Yes we measured her before release and she is over a metre. Leave your guess in centimetres to one decimal point (e.g. 101.1cm) in the comments and the first to guess her exact size will win one of each lure. If no-one has guessed her exact size by April 30, the closest guess will win. Good luck!
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As always we love to hear your stories so feel free to add a comment to your “best guess” of our land based barra’s length.