15
Apr

Every now and again the Sunday night BBB (Barra, Beers, BBQ) hunting gathering takes place. Last night saw good water clarity, but frustratingly not much bait around. In fact, it took over 2 hours to get enough bait, even then we needed more.

By about 9:30pm the high tide just sat still for hours. No run was no fun. Eventually we were over waiting for the tide to turn and left, but we agreed that things would have gotten interesting after the turn! Much time was spent fish watching with little queenies smashing bait fish and a lone lion fish doing it’s thing! I got ‘bricked’ by something rather fast, presumably a jack (by the way it scurried home), dropped a ray rushing it to the surface to keep it off the bottom and the usual missed runs while doing something else like casting lures.

Only one keeper and four fish. A 50cm odd barramundi, tail-less GT, a small estuary cod and a 43cm fingermark. The fingermark was kept for my dinner tonight, yum, my favourite! However, not enough fish for Monday BBB 🙁 Maybe next week!

trevally

lionfish

fingermark

26
Mar

We went for another live bait land based fish last night to hopefully exploit the very narrow window that existed around the top of the tide. Quickly gathering some live bait, mostly herring, the cast net started to swim off and Tony dropped a decent cast net barra. Set the livies out and I threw one on the carrot stick baitrunner combo out a bit further and was rewarded with a 66cm barra. Tony decided that a line best be entered in the same region and also threw out a live herring that was totally smashed by a small fingermark. Most people wouldn’t believe how hard these fish can HIT a live bait, was a screaming run but quickly subdued. Tony also caught one of his favourite doubles, a tarpon and an eel.

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66-barra

tony-finger

14
Feb

Hit a Cairns land based timber snag today to try catch a barramundi. Upon arriving I was greeted with near perfect conditions and nobody else fishing. I tied on what’s fast becoming my new favourite plastic, the Imakatsu Javillon swim bait. These things are all I’d hoped they would be, swim amazingly and when you pause them they glide down just like a real fish. A quick flick of the wrist sees them rise up then turn in a seductive way with a perfect sink rate rigged weightless.

I’ve only given these new plastic swim baits two good goes, one wasn’t in perfect conditions but still managed to raise a couple of ‘flashes’ from quite decent legal sized barramundi. They certainly do get the attention of larger fish!

Lightly twitching the plastic swim bait up over the snag, then pausing it created an almost feeding like action of a smaller bait fish. There are barramundi here almost all the time and it’s just a matter of coaxing them out. It wasn’t long before a couple of ‘flashes’ from nice sized barramundi started happening. Then while extra slow retrieving I noticed a rather large figure following right on my lure with the plastic bang on it’s nose. Less than 2 metres away from me was a metre plus barra just sniffing the lure. My heart skipped a beat (well actually several beats) as I just tried to stay still and avoid spooking the fish while still work the lure slowly. She didn’t even notice me as I coaxed her right past my feet gently twitching the lure, then at the last minute she decided, no, that’s not for me and turned away. I gave the lure one last sharp jig and like a rocket the big girl blasted back at it before turning away again. Devastated, I just stood there in disbelief at what I’d just seen. Even though I didn’t hook up it was still awesome and so damn cool to see such a large fish investigating a lure so close to the surface in plain view.

I cast that plastic swim bait around for a little longer before deciding to offer them something new and irresistible. So on went the trusty two inch gulp shrimp and just as I was tying it on two other guys arrived and started casting hardbodies around. It really doesn’t take much to put fish off and these guys moving around and talking defiantly had an effect on the fishing. Especially when there isn’t much run in the water and barely any wind. Nearly perfect conditions were fading fast and the sun was starting to get too high as well.

Then, just as the rain started, I erratically jigged the tiny shrimp deep into the snag, then up towards the surface, repeating the action in various areas near and around the snag. All of a sudden this beautiful little barramundi fires up and just annihilates the shrimp. Often smaller barramundi hit hard and fast, well this little guy was no exception and wanted this shrimp bad! With the drag fairly close to locked, he rips off taking about 3-4 metres of line before meeting too much resistance and turning back. He thrashed, ripping around and jumping a little before calming and I finally get his shoulders out and quickly lift the leader up and land him.

He was around 48cm, in good health and also tagged. I didn’t want to play around with him and the yellow tag, so I took two quick pics in the rain and sent him on his way. He had destroyed a heavyish tt jig head and I really need to find a stronger way to rig such small plastics. If a big barra hits I’ll just be smoked. I was using a St Croix Legend Xtreme medium heavy 6’6″ spin stick, Daiwa Exist Hyper Custom 2508, 20lb castaway braid and 16lb leader.

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It would be nice to fish really light gear here but you’d just get blown away should anything near legal or bigger hit, and the tight structure leaves little choice but near locked drag settings. If that bigger fish had taken the plastic today it would have been an interesting fight, about 50/50 chance of landing her depending on which direction she took. It will happen sooner or later!

Having fished this same spot sporadically for about 1 year now, only just lately is a pattern finally forming. I was chatting to a mate the other day and with the exception of him and another guy (who I’ve dubbed the ‘silent assassin’) we have barely seen anyone land a fish here, let alone a decent one. I’ve seen hundreds of different people fishing here for around 5 fish caught, all undersized except one mangrove jack that was 35cm exact. A lot of the fish caught here are at night on live bait, but during the day it’s hard going.

03
Jul

Have been landbased fishing quite a lot lately with a good mate Tony (barra eyes) who is back from working away. Tony is a soft plastic and live bait lover, to Tony nothing beats an unweighted live prawn and who can argue with that (when it comes to bait fishing anyway), his favourite soft plastic is a 2 inch gulp shrimp.

This is a silver grunter I caught flicking soft plastics around Kamerunga Bridge one rainy morning. These fish are easily one of the strongest fighting fish you can catch for their size and they could pull a GT, Sooty or Jack backwards. Good sign of water quality, but really not much about this morning.

Later that day we hit spot N armed with loads of live prawns that we castnetted earlier. Unsure if it was the fact the prawns seemed very lethargic, but we ended up catching more fish on tiny gulp shrimp, with an exciting bite window that saw 4-5 few fish landed in minutes. There were GT, tarpon and barra all hitting bait on the surface. Later after the plastics and bait shut down and I got nailed by a big barra that I couldn’t turn (nowhere near, simply no chance) and lost my Gold Lucky Craft Staysee 100DD hardbody to a pylon. For about 20 minutes I was getting follows and bumps but no solid hookups, all it took was a slight change in hardbody and action to reignite them.

Here are some of the fish caught, not everything got a photo, but some of the tarpon were good size and made for some exciting runs as they were really hitting hard. Tony got a couple of barra in the 50’s as usual and I caught a horse bream that wasn’t very long, but was the fattest bream I’ve ever seen (the picture does no justice to this fish).