Monday, September 3, 2007

Australian Sportfish Profile - Barramundi

Yesterday I posted a barramundi fishing video and so today I thought I would write a sportfish profile for this amazing fish.

The barramundi, or barra as it is referred to, is a special fish to Northern Australia. It is highly regarded as a strong fighting sportfish and combined with it's eating qualities makes it the most highly regarded catch in many northern regions.

Barramundi are a large growing estuary, river and billabong species that is often stocked in freshwater impoundments. They have an affinity for warm tropical water but can survive as far south as Brisbane. They have a large tail and thick shoulders, which means they put up a great fight often interspersed with the famous gill arching leaps into the air when hooked. An interesting fact about barramundi is that they change sex during their life. They are all born male and become females after spawning once of twice. Therefore Barramundi over 8kgs are almost certainly female.

Barramundi are top predators and are taken in some of the most spectacular locations in Australia. They are ambush feeders and lurk in places where bait congregate. Most barra anglers fish snags, drop-offs and rock bars. Hard body minnow lures are the most popular barramundi lures altough soft plastics and spinnerbaits also have their place. Barramundi are tough on tackle and the angler must be prepared for this aspect otherwise you will end up losing more than you catch. Most people either buy lures with hooks and rings specifically made for the species or change the treble hooks on American made lures.
Barramundi are also taken on fly and many anglers use Dahlberg divers and Deceiver patterns and tease the barra into striking.
Live bait will also catch barra and this method is used in the colder months when the fish are less active. A live mullet, prawn or cherabin on the bottom of a hole or under a float is a popular method of catching a barra.

There are strict bag and size limits in every state to help protect this iconic fish. Check with the local authorities.


Jon said...

Tom, good post. I love the fishing stories from "down under"!


Tom said...

Thanks for the encouragement! There will be plenty more stories from "down under" to come