Justin Nye

Justin Nye

Lake Awoonga Barramundi Fishing Guide

Justin and his fellow guide are fishing the Gladstone area 7 days a week with their clients – and Lake Awoonga Barramundi are the main game. Years of successful guiding on this system have given Justin unique insights into the fish and the fishery.

Justin’s Top Barramundi Fishing Tips

  • Lake Awoonga is a year-round barramundi fishery, but the spring and autumn months bring the water temps that A successful technique of late has been to position a boat over the weedbeds and alternate casts towards the shore or towards the middle of the lake. Bass have been holding on both sides of the weedbed.
  • The fishing in this system changes by the hour based on weather conditions, particularly wind. It’s not uncommon for a spot that fished well yesterday to fish very poorly.
  • Wind is one of the primary factors to consider and is definitely an anglers friend. Consistent SE or NE winds of 20 knots or more can create wind currents that create a lot of feeding activity among barra. Spend time figuring out how the wind might be affecting the fish and be prepared to shift spots or change tactics multiple times in a day.
  • Dawn and dusk topwater fishing around weedbeds and shallow bays will be extremely good through the autumn months using frog or walk the dog lures. However, many fish will start to move deeper, school up around timbered points and become more aggressive through April and May.
  • Lunar peaks such as moon rise and set influence barra bites. Forget the old wives tale that fishing is best around a full moon. Justin finds a large proportion of his catch comes from the periods between the moons when tidal movement at the coast is minimal.
  • There are areas within Lake Awoonga where barramundi go to rest up and aren’t actually feeding. If you find yourself in a patch of fish and they’re not actively feeding it may be best to move on and find active fish.

Justin’s Barramundi Fishing Tackle

  • Both spin and baitcast gear are great, though Justin usually prefers spin gear for his guiding clients unless he needs accurate casting. A 7’ rod and a 4000 to 5000 size reel and 30lb braid is more than adequate. Quality leaders are critical as barra will wear through light leaders. Justin prefers some of the high end fluorocarbon leaders such as Black Magic Super Tough fluorocarbon leader, minimum 60lb breaking strain.

Justin’s Top Barramundi Lures

  • Zerek Live Mullet (5.5”) in Dark Ale colour is a go-to lure for Lake Awoonga. Justin adds a stinger hook by attaching a second split ring with a size 2 treble to the tow point where the line is tied. Unlike other anglers, he doesn’t bury one of the points on the plastic into the lure, but leaves it free-hanging. This lures is great for deep points – count the lure down to the depth you want to fish and either slow roll or use a stop-start retrieve. It can also be dropped down vertically to fish holding on timber and fished vertically.
  • Jackall Super Squirrel (110mm) is a suspending jerkbait that is similar to the original Jackall Squirrel but can be fished a little more aggressively. When it’s ripped hard it turns sharply and is deadly, especially on afternoon shore bites or first thing in the morning fished in timbered areas. Long pauses if up to 20 seconds work well, fish usually take them while the lure is stationary. Adding some heavier hooks to sink the lure a bit deeper also works.
  • Zerek Fishtrap 95mm is great for fishing deeper points and timbered areas. It’s a very versatile lure that can be burned across flats and ripped through weeds, slow rolled through deeper waters or even fished vertically around timber. These lures are deadly when the fish are feeding on smaller boney bream as the size and profile matches the bait. During autumn this is a great lure for fishing vertically around deeper timber.

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Jase Wilhelm's Impoundment Barra Mastery
Jase Wilhelm's Impoundment Barra Mastery
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Gladstone Fly And Sportfishing

Gladstone Fly And Sportfishing is Justin’s fishing guiding service. Whether you’re keen to target the magnificent barramundi of Lake Awoonga or want to hit the bluewater with lure or fly to target GT’s, permit, cobia or a myriad of other species, Justin can tailor a package from 5 hours to several weeks.

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