Archive for January, 2012

Dam Barra

The popularity of fishing the dams for Barramundi has increased dramatically over the years and so has the challenge to hook a big one. With the mounting pressure from anglers, the fish seem to have become smarter and in many dams stealth is paramount. It all starts with approaching your favourite fishing spot. Motoring right up to it with a noisy outboard is not a good idea and will most certainly put the fish off for a while. So these days most of the keen fishos use electric motors to sneak up to their quarry quietly. We have got one ourselves, a Minn Kota Riptide SP 55 lb, and it works a treat. Speed and direction of the bow mounted motor can be changed by working a foot pedal, which leaves your hands free to do the rod work.

A separate deep cycle battery delivers the power needed and, fully charged, gives us an average of about 3 days of fishing. The electric is not only great for stealth, but makes it easy to hold the boat in position when the wind is blowing. The new Minn Kota i Pilot motors even have a built in GPS and the so called anchor function keeps the boat in place automatically even in strong winds or  heavy currents.

For short range fishing in the trees and up the creeks we use little 5’6’’ rods in the 6 to 10 kg range, in open country, when distance is required, the rod length goes up to 7’. We love our little bait casting reels, but also use spinning reels in 2500 to 4000 sizes at times. All our Barra reels are spooled with 20 to 30 lb braided lines – most of it being Sufix 832 – rather than monofilament.

A short piece of 40 to 80 lb nylon leader acts as a shock absorber and withstands the abrasive small teeth of the Barramundi. The leader is tied to a Bimini Twist Double with an Albright knot or, better still, a knot Lindsay Dobe showed us for the first time. Here it is: The end of the double is twisted around the heavy nylon leader, starting about 10 cm from one end of the nylon and winding away from it (step 1). Make about 8 to 12 wraps, bend the end of the leader back and pull it trough the loop at the end of the double (step 2). Lubricate the knot with saliva and tension it carefully by pulling firmly on the braided main line and both strands of the heavy leader. Close the knot by pulling hard on the braided main line and the heavy leader, trim the tag (step 3).

We like to attach our lures to the leader using a Perfection Loop; the loop allowing the lure to move freely at the end of the heavy nylon.

When it comes to Barra lures, the choice is overwhelming. Hard bodied, bibed minnows, soft plastics, blade style lures, vibes, poppers and other top water lures come in all shapes, colours and sizes and tempt the angler on the shelves. All of these lures work at times and it is a matter of making the right choice for the task on hand that makes all the difference. Australia has an amazing number of lure manufacturers who know the fishing well and make great lures that are up to the task. Many of the lures from overseas are not strong enough for the Barras sheer power and require at least a change of splitrings and hooks.

Some of our favourites, to name just a few, are several lures out of the Reidy’s range, Killalure Barra Baits, Rapala X-Raps, Berkley Hollow Belly’s and our long time favourite, the Storm Suspending Wildeye Swim Shad – an outstanding lure for pike in our home waters as well.

Fly fishing for Barra is great fun and works very well. A 9 or a 10 weight rod – Sage Bass rods are a perfect tool –  does the job and has enough lifting power to fight the fish. Legendary Barra flies like Gold Bomber, Pink Thing, Flashy Profile, Dahlberg Divers and many others bring good results and most of our pike flies work equally well.