My plans for this barramundi season are many. I’ve shared some below. There is something about this enigmatic fish that keeps you coming back for more, time and time again!

Fishing plastics deep during the day

A lot of time was spent casting snags in the mangroves during the day last season. The results were not very impressive barramundi wise, but lots of mangrove jack were caught. This season I plan to reduce this by half and heavily fish deep holes during the day when the fish have receded into deeper water after the sun has come up. This will help me work out the barra’s movements through the tides each day.

Exploring larger lures & swim baits

When fishing the ‘snags’ in the early morning and evening I’m planning on upscaling my offerings. There are a few reasons for this, partially because I just think large lures are awesome, but mostly to lure a large barramundi into something it would not normally see. It’s no secret that barramundi eat very large prey, but how many anglers actively exploit this? There are so many spots that I’ve fished over the last year that just haven’t produced when they look so fishy. I’m sure something big is down there and the offering is just wrong to invite that big barra out to bite.

Slowing down presentations

Barramundi are not mangrove jack. Barramundi are not mangrove jack. Barramundi are not mangrove jack. How many times do I need to remind myself this and S L O W ¬†¬† D O W N! Much easier than you would think. I tend to get over excited and rush, even if I try really hard to SLOW DOWN, before long I’m back to my old ways – ripping lures around and catching mangrove jacks! Another thing that needs to slow is how long I spend peppering the same ‘snag’, and what lures are being thrown into it. Starting with a slow retrieve, more lures, different types of lures need to be thrown at the same snag until a pattern forms.

Explore the options

Last season I simply threw too many of the same sized lures, in the same ways. At the end of the season I’d started to mix it up with some lighter prawn type presentations and this worked to great effect, however, still to many jacks. Slow down. This season I want to take that a few steps further, with tiny prawns and hard bodies, small plastics, vibes, regular jerk and twitch baits, through to large lures and swim baits, mostly all fished dead slow!

New areas I would like to explore include a couple of land based spots, learning how to fish the flats and headlands. Run off period (‘what run off period?’ I hear you say, it’s looking late) is when this plan will kick in and I’d like to fish the same spot once every few days in an attempt to crack some sort of pattern.

Being prepared for that beasty mumma!

Embarrassed to say it, but I lost some big fish last year. One in particular sticks out, I was fishing a lucky craft sammy walk the dog surface lure and exploring a local creek. I was new to fishing walk the dog lures and enjoying just getting the hang of the action. Catching a fish wasn’t really top of mind when I went down that day, but after a while the conditions just started to feel right. I was starting to feel confident I’d catch a fish. Experimenting with different cadences, I slowed to an almost¬†mesmerising retrieve. It wasn’t until the lure was within the last 10 metres that it hit, and HIT IT DID! OMG! What the hell just happened? It was like someone had dropped two besser bricks on top of my lure. Instantly my rod loaded up right through the butt, something I’d never have imagined as it’s not exactly the lightest rod, the drag screamed off and before I could even say YES! The hooks pulled.

How could this happen? I reeled in my lure, still trembling from the adrenaline rush and all was revealed. One treble was totally straightened. How could I do this? I normally replace all my trebles with serious ones, but in a rush to learn walk the dog, I’d not even thought twice and lost what would have been the fish of the year. Talk about devastated. I still think about it.

Don’t repeat my bad experiences and prepare well!

Pay more attention to the signs & fish the correct tides at least once a day

When do barramundi bite the most? Dawn and dusk, yes! But apart from that I’m none the wiser apart from fishing around the tide turns mostly high and fishing when the conditions are stable or about to change with an approaching storm front. I want to change this and start to learn a few more patterns and likely haunts throughout some of the local systems around Cairns.

So what are your plans for this season? Any special new techniques planned? Any new area you want to try?