Ryan Moody's first ever 1m barramundi age 15.

My first ever metre barra

Memories… This fish is my first ever barra over a metre long and I was 15 years old.

Unfortunately we did keep this one as I didn’t know any better at age 15. It was also used for a photo shoot to promote killalures, one of the premium lure manufacturers back in the 80’s. Up until this time I had caught quite a few smaller barra, but never a metrey.

It was the first and last metre plus barra that I have ever killed and I am so pleased to have witnessed the national movement away from killing fish to catch and release.

I caught the fish in the Bohle River Townsville. I then went on to catch over 1100 metery’s in the Bohle River during my career and the Bohle remains very dear to my heart to this day.

The Bohle River is famous for it’s rock bars and in it’s heyday before it became overfished was, in my opinion, the best big barra river on the east coast.

The Bohle also holds our biggest metery count in one day (14).

If you are interested in learning more about fishing rock bars like those found in the Bohle, please register your interest in our barra basics ecourse opening soon.

A photo of this fish was used on a poster for tackle shops nationally, so you can imagine how stoked I was at age 15 with my face up in lights so to speak.

And not much has changed haha. Tonight Paul Burt is featuring one of our big fish from a recent Hinchinbrook trip.

To celebrate making it to the 7 national news, we are going to give away some goodies coz we love giving stuff away for no particular reason.

POST SCRIPT: COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED

TWO WAYS TO WIN:

1. Guess the length: The first person to guess the length of my first metre barra featured in the photo above will win two of my favourite soft vibes: a Gimp and a Species 95.

2. Tell us a cracker story: Now we also want to hear your first ever barra stories, so tell us all about it in the comments or on facebook and the best story will win a shimano lure utility box and a spool of Rovex Kor braid. Now it doesn't have to be a metre barra - any first barra story will be in the running to win.

So jump to the bottom of this post and comment away!

A big thanks to our friends at Gimp lures, Hinchinbrook lures, BCF and Rovex for providing the give-aways.

To be the first to know about our competitions and give-aways plus receive great barra fishing tips straight to your inbox, join our fishing community by entering your name and email below.

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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.

Facebook comments

35 Comments

  • stormyptrel

    Reply Reply July 19, 2014

    Nice Ryan. Great to hear about Barra. My guess is 120.

  • Ryan Moody

    Reply Reply June 5, 2014

    COMPETITION WINNERS
    Ok as you probably know there were two ways to enter.
    1. Guess the size of my first ever metre plus barra age 15.
    Jason Henrich guessed it first: 114cm. Congrats Jason two of my fav lures, a gimp and a species 95 coming your way.
    2. Tell us the best first barra story.
    Well the winner is Jeff King for the taking the time to write the longest (and tallest!) story we have ever heard. A utility box and a spool of braid heading to you Jeff.
    CONSOLATION PRIZES: It was so hard to pick a winner of the Tell us your best first barra story we decided to send some utility boxes (compliments of the new store at BCF Deeragun) to the top 4 tall story entries as well!!!!
    Kendall Sealey for rescuing someone at Cape Melville. Karen got herself into the exact same predicament back in 2010 in the exact same spot and was pulled out by a good samaritan… so you get a utility box for being a good samaritan.
    Joseph Harris for being a good lick charm. Who doesn’t love a good lick? Utility box for your typo there Joseph.
    Also to Matt Thompson and Vaughan Vogel – coz we love stories of dad’s taking their kids fishing.
    WINNERS PLEASE EMAIL, CONTACT PAGE FORM OR RETURN FACEBOOK PM YOUR ADDRESS TO US FOR PRIZE MAILING.

  • orrin purcell

    Reply Reply June 5, 2014

    Hi ryan ill take a punt at 111cm. Not my first barra venture story but definately my most memorable was on a yearly fishing trip for darwin run off in 2013. We were fishing the daly river at one of the run off creeks fishing the colour change. We wernt having much luck with crank baits so decided on cherrabin and mullet there were alot of mullet around so out came the cast net. Being in n.t and no drinking limits on the boat we had probably had maybe 1 or 2 beers too many. I threw out the cast net and the loop came off my left wrist I had a bit of hesitation which led to me swimming around in the daly river with crocs sunning on banks all round. Needless to say I swam back to the boat pretty quickly even managed retrieved my cast net. Which had mullet still in it. We cracked a beer had a laugh rigged a mullet and even started catching some smaller 40 to 50cm barra.

  • John Moore

    Reply Reply June 2, 2014

    Hi Ryan,
    I caught my first ever barra off the bank at the mouth of the Haughton river in 1978 when I was 11 years old. We used to spend every school break at our parents tin beach shack at what is now called Cungulla township. Almost every day a few mates and I would fish for whiting, flathead, bream and whatever else happened along. There were often surprises like when “Milo” caught a decent barra on a black jellybean ( I hope he doesn’t enter!!). On this particular afternoon I had set up my sleeper outfit in the hope of a flathead. It was a Daiwa Millionaire 6HM, super barra rod, 12 pound mono with a live whiting. I had cast it out and propped it up in a suitable forked stick. The sight of that rod lifting off the sand until it was perpendicular to the water, with the line disappearing from the reel at a very fast rate as the fish powered to the opposite bank is embedded in my mind forever. Luckily the river mouth was sandy and only around 40 metres wide at low tide. The fish tore back and forth for probably a good 10-15 minutes without ever revealing it’s identity. During this time a fair crowd had gathered on the high bank behind us (about where Leeds Way is nowdays if you know the area) , and they were yahooing and yelling encouragement. After all it was mid afternoon and as usual the adults were quite well lubricated by that time of the day . Soon after she swirled at the surface about halfway across the creek showing a huge silver side.
    At that point one of the local barra legends “Princey’ raced over to his bondwood skiff which was high and dry on the bank and came back with a huge oval cane landing net. A few more good runs and “Princey” waded out and scooped her up to even louder cheers from the peanut gallery. I didn’t think life could possibly get any better.
    We packed up our gear and half carried, half dragged her the 800metres or so back to our hut. The other lasting memory I have is the look of astonishment on my old mans face and his simple comment “Well at least we know you can tie a decent bloody knot now”. For the record she weighed 35 pounds (15 kilos) and back then nobody bothered measuring fish but who cares – “it was the fish of every kids dreams”.

  • trevor wells

    Reply Reply June 1, 2014

    my guess is 114.5cm

  • trevor wells

    Reply Reply June 1, 2014

    my first ever barra was caught in the bohle river under the herveys range road bridge about about fifteen years ago just after a huge amount of rain.it was the first ever fish I caught on a lure it was a 100mm nilsmaster. It took the lure on the third cast and jumped a couple of times before I slid it up on the bank. Unfortunately it was just under size so I slid him back in the water. my hands were shaking as I was so excited, my next cast I smashed the lure into the concrete pylon about 10 feet in front of me and it bounced back in 2 pieces at my feet. that was my first and last ever barra capture.

  • michael hicks

    Reply Reply June 1, 2014

    103 cm

  • Dave Riordan

    Reply Reply May 31, 2014

    Looks about 103.5 cm

  • Jeff king

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    I was the exec chef at the Hinchinbrook Island Wilderness lodge for a number of years, being a keen fisherman myself the lodge pontoon was my favorite haunt. Ever morning up with the sun down to the pontoon in full chef wwhites to throw the cast net to take advantage of the big schools of green back herring schooled up around the pontoon. With one cast of the net i could fill the live bait box, then spend the next five minutes throwing the rest of the lives back ” for the fishing gods” as i used to tell the tourists when they would ask why i was throwing them back, as i had all i needed.

    I taught so many foreigners how to rig a line, bait a hook and how not to get fingers cut off when something big grabbed the hook as it was all hand lines. I also took pride in cooking for them whatever they caught. I myself growing up in the burdekin had never caught a barra let alone a meter plus sized one but my time would come.

    The lodge pontoon was a good night fish spot aswell, there were nights where with the light on the bait would come up and so would the barra. The way the light was positioned it would cause the pontoon to throw a shadow from its front edge down out onto the water. This strip of shadow would of been a little wider than a foot. You could actually lay on your stomach and look into the water and see sometimes up to 5 barra holding their position just under the water facing out withhread down just darting out smashing the bait. Myself and others had tried everything to get these barra to bite to no avail. They j7st went interested in what we had to offer.

    This particular night the bait box had been emptied by our guests so i had resorted to frozen pilchards on a ddecent sized hook. Id bait the hook and throw out into the darkness. Before it would hit the bottom, you could feel pick, pick, pick then nothing, retrieve and the bait was gone. After 30min of this i changed tactics to using a float with the pilchard about a foot under the float, all this seemed to do was .create an all you could eat buffet for the squid. After yanking my bait out of the greedy arms of what just of been the 30th squid i started retrieving my bait standing on the front edge of the pontoon. As my pilly got to just infont of my feet in the water THWUMP!!!! I was soaked!!! my reflex reaction was to yank my line as i was using a hand line. With just over a meter of line in the water my yank had jigged the fish up out of the water over my head and onto the pontoon deck behind me. You could of knocked me over with a feather as there in front of me was my first ever barra not only that but it was 107cm according to the measure on the pontoon deck bait board. I had grown up on the tails of the fight between angler and barra that has two possible endings with only one of them in the anglers favour. Standing there looking at this fish i couldn’t help but feel like i had been robbed somehow and yet i had the fish…

    • Ryan Moody

      Reply Reply June 5, 2014

      Hi Jeff, you win the story comp for the longest and tallest story haha. Email us your mailing address and ill get the prize off to you. You can use the website contact form if you like.

  • Annette Burns

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    HI Ryan it looks like a 1.5m Barra.
    My story is about how I caught my 1st Barra when I was eight years old.Way back in the day,when I was eight it was not seen to be a lady like thing to want to go fishing.Well what can I say!!always loved the water and fishing.Grew up on the banks of the Herbert River,and come from a father and brothers who loved to fish,it was in the river were I caught my barra on a handline.We had a little wooden row boat that my father would row up the river with three of us kids,he would put me on the bank with a line and a live eel tail catfish on the hook throw it out and give me the line to hold.He then would with my two brothers row into the middle of the river,where there was a rock bar and proceed to troll with live baits while keeping one eye on me on the bank.Now this day i was holding my line when the line was ripped through my hands,I was well taught that u must count to five slowly before setting the hooks it was a mighty battle between a skinny little girl and this mighty fish!!!Pulled it up the bank only to see the fish fall off the hook and start to flop down the bank.well I did what any kid would do,threw myself over the fish and yelled for dad.I remember dad saying it weighed 10 pound, I was as proud as punch.That was the start of my obsession with this mighty wonderfull fish, and every time I catch one I still get the shakes like I did when I caught my 1st Barra.

  • Andrew Zikos

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    G’day Ryan, looks like a decent size from here, I’m going for 1.265m
    Nice fish mate

  • Matt Thompson

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    This one is my sons story……

    Haeading up the fitzroy in chase of threadfin (as it was two weeks before open season) we fished with prawns only catching catfish (and a shark) but he was having a good time. Nick found a prawn on the floor of the boat, and asked to use it, and practise his casting. Landing only a metre from the boat, he was soon on.
    “It’s a big one dad”, “I think I need help” where his comments, to which I replied, you’ll be right, lift and wind, all the while thinking he had a tarpon or catty on…..

    After swapping sides of the boat, (and a little bit of help) he got the fish to the surface, which then took off again. At this stage after seeing it we realised his “catfish” was a barra. We left him to fight it (with a little help) and land his barra
    77cm, with severa photos the barra swam away to see another day

    • Ryan Moody

      Reply Reply June 5, 2014

      Hi Matt, we couldn’t decide one winner so you get a utility box as a consolation prize. Please email us your mailing address and we will get it off to you. You can use our contact form on the website if you like.

  • Danae Jones

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    114cm

  • Dave Jones

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    109cm

  • Paul

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    If not mistaken Ryan that fish in the photo if u say it’s the fish you let go when you were 15 I’m sorry to say IT DIED as you took the guts out of it lol

    • Ryan Moody

      Reply Reply May 30, 2014

      You might need to read the post again Paul. 2nd line I say I kept it and 3rd paragraph I say it was the first and last metre plus fish I ever killed. So you are not mistaken. It definitely died.

  • Paul

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    119.5

  • Paul

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    118.5

  • Jo Coonan

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    I caught one of my first legal Barra on live mullet in the storm drains near the show grounds. We used to get live bait there before going fishing in the creek. Pretty cool.

  • Jo Coonan

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    124.5cm

  • Stephen

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    108cm

  • Steven Mallinson

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    105

  • Steven

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    103cm. Sorry above is wrong email address

  • Steven

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    103cm

  • Dean

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    In 2011 a group of mates and I decided we wanted to tick a Barramundi off our bucket list so we headed to Shady Camp in the NT. I had never fished with baitcasters or lures before, let alone caught a barra. After 3 hours of birdsnests and no fish I put in a shocking cast – only going about halfway across the creek. I was winding it in half heartedly so I could have another go when I got hit. Goes to show that it is not always the perfectly placed cast that gets a fish!

    Never having caught a barra before I didn’t really know what to expect. It was pretty calm on the boat – that is until it jumped for the first time. All I remember was seeing this huge bucket of a mouth and hearing someone scream “It’s a ****** monster!” All of a sudden all hell broke loose. Someone started yelling for the net, someone for grips, someone else was trying to get the engine started, the other two guys on my boat seemed to be simultaneously trying to get out of the way and get closer to the action at the same time. Three of us leaning over the side of the boat at the same time was not a good idea and we nearly all went in. Then another boat happened along with us frantically trying to wave them away. Meanwhile the fish jumped again right near the boat and I realised that it did look pretty big. I did not want to lose this one in front of the crowd that had gathered by now!

    Finally on the 4th or 5th jump the barra exhausted itself. This was after about 10 minutes. We quietly brought her to the side of the boat and into the net. The fish was indeed a monster. It measured 112cm. So not only had I caught my very first barramundi, within about 3 hours of fishing, but I had also broken the magic 1 metre mark that even we southerners had heard about. It was a great feeling to watch her swim away. Probably the first and last one I’ll catch!

  • Luke

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    112

  • Jason

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    113cm

  • Desmond Pilcher

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    118cm Back in the good old days

  • Joseph harris

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    Hey ryan I think that barra is 116cm long. I caught my first barra in moon river cairns fishing with my old man when i was 7. He used to get up me for banging around in the boat back then. When we talk about it now he says that he caught alot more with me in the boat must of been a good lick charm. I will remember this forever can’t beat fishing with yoir old man 🙂 cheers joseph

    • Ryan Moody

      Reply Reply June 5, 2014

      Hi Joseph, we couldn’t decide one winner so you get a utility box as a consolation prize. Please email us your mailing address and we will get it off to you. You can use our contact form on the website if you like.

  • bruce

    Reply Reply May 30, 2014

    106.5cm

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