Big mullet catch big barra. However finding these models can be testing and presenting them correctly is the key

Accepting change, Live baiting isn’t cheating!

Guest writer and Ryan Moody Fishing Ambassador Ben Weston (Westo) has some sage advice on being an all rounder fishing for barra, by downing lures on occasion and using live bait.


Accepting Change, Live Baiting isn't cheating

 

The bitterest pill I had to swallow after completing the Barra Basics (BB) course, was accepting that in order to find consistency in my catches I had to use every tool or technique available. In the modern age of social media there is so much pressure to catch fish particularly if you are predominantly a lure angler. What I mean by this is, there is a growing disregard for the authenticity of barra caught on bait.

 

The age catch cry of “it doesn’t count on bait”! Well hang on, the last time I saw a metre barra caught on bait it was still the same length as if it was caught on lure, a metre and the same goes for fish of any other length. Do you get my drift?

 

‘Fishing Smarter’ is the foundation upon which the BB course is firmly built on. Why limit yourself to only fishing with artificials? This only limits your opportunities and prevents positive outcomes during certain periods of the month, as outlined in Ryan’s framework. It has taken me months to realise the success that can be had by fishing with bait, this come purely through accepting it. Is it less skilful? This argument has been done to death and really, who cares.

 

As the Barra Basics course outlines there are several components that need to come together before a baiting trip can be deemed successful. Find the right bait, using a cast net, keeping bait alive, locating fish holding locations through predicting fish movements and being there at the right time (using the framework). These are all important steps to successfully catching wild barramundi on live bait.

 

June 2016 was the turning point for me. After several months concentrating on one small system doing the hard yards behind the sounder, I located a few different schools. I grinded away a ‘LOT’ of hours fishing (luring) them and allowed me to nut out their movements through different periods of tide. But for all of the hours of casting, I had one 86cm barra to show for it.

So on the 12 June 2016 I decided to swallow my pride, let go of the ‘stereotyping’ or ‘labels’ and live bait these fish.

Instantly the results began to flow! Over a 4 hour period between my young fella Byron, the Oldman and I we landed 8 barra ranging from 71cm – 86cm. Not bad going and they still measured the same as they would with a lure! Funny that..

 

This a barramundi from a hot live bait session which changed my mindset on live baiting

This a fish from a hot live bait session which changed my mindset on live baiting

 

Healthy school barramundi which took a live mullet bait

Graham Weston aka dad, with a healthy school fish which took a live mullet

 

These barramundi around 71cm are in plague proportions in the estuaries in Central Queensland and a more than willing to accept a well presented live bait.

These barramundi around 71cm are in plague proportions in the estuaries in Central Queensland and a more than willing to accept a well presented live bait.

Big mullet catch big barra. However finding these models can be testing and presenting them correctly is the key

Big mullet catch big barra. However finding these models can be testing and presenting them correctly is the key

 

A week later fishing with fellow BB participant Ben Gilbertson we landed a 104cm fish, which provided the icing on the cake and was enough for me! Live baiting works and it’s a very important technique to apply, given it’s at the right time according to Ryan's barra framework.

Benny Gilbertson with his 104cm fish. Big girls are smart animals and more wise than smaller fish and well presented live bait will win over a lure everyday of the week.

Benny Gilbertson with his 104cm fish. Big girls are smart animals and more wise than smaller fish and well presented live bait will win over a lure everyday of the week.

 

‘Fish Smarter’, accept the change, doing away with labels and using all of the techniques outlined throughout the Barra Basics course, I promise results will come.

Tight Lines,

Westo

 

 

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About The Author

Ben Weston

Passionate angler, fishing writer and photography enthusiast, Ben writes a under the moniker Westofish and has published articles in several well known fishing publications. Ben loves all things fishing and in recent years has developed a lure flicking addiction for some of Australia's toughest tropical species; mangrove jacks, fingermark, salmon and the iconic barramundi.

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