Top End Barra Guide And Fishing Identity
Glenn has been a top end fishing guide for 11 years, running his own guiding service, “Barefoot Fishing Safaris” for the past 9 years and having fished the Daly Runoff as a professional guide for the past 4 years. When he’s not guiding, Glenn runs a fishing travel company and delivers an online barramundi fishing course.
Glenn’s Top Tips For Daly River Barra
- Barra fishing in the Daly River system is all about the tides and knowing how fish respond to the daily cycles.
- Large barra are essentially absent from much of the Daly River system during early March, having made the migration to the mouth to spawn during the wet. As the first spring tides push up the Daly, the barra ride the currents back to the upper reaches.
- When large currents create massive inflow with foam and debris on the water surface the barra will often become pelagic. At these times “mackerel trolling” is effective. This involves using large hard body lures at 15-18km/hr, straight up the middle of the river.
- On more neapish tides or runout tides the edge bite is the better option. Look for the mouths of creeks that bring water from floodplains and billabongs into the Daly. Holding station off one of these creeks for hours or even a full day can be very rewarding, especially if there is a snag near the mouth.
- It is possible to run well down river and follow the tide, enabling the angler to fish the last part of the run-in tide at several different locations in the course of a day. Or the opposite, following the tide downriver and staying just ahead of it.
- Many people visiting the top end will attempt to spend a couple of days on several different river systems and get poor results. It’s better to spend 5-10 days on one system, giving yourself enough time to understand the system. This can result in a couple of slow days at first but some outstanding fishing once you learn the system.
- Glenn recommends planning your day so that you have lures in the water at key times such as solunar peaks, key tide phases and so on.
- When the fishing is tough it’s worth throwing everything in the box at the fish. If you know they’re there make five or so casts with a lure and change the retrieve style on each cast, then switch lures and do the same. If you have more than one angler on the boat, each should fish different lures until you find the one the fish are hitting.
- Using a small, strong, high quality clip can make changing lures very quick and doesn’t shorten the leader each time a new lure is attached.
Glenn’s Barramundi Fishing Tackle
- A 5-10kg, 6’4” to 6’6” baitcast rod with a 200 size reel (Glenn likes the Craigs Warehouse custom Shimano Barra Slayer and the Shimano SLX DC reel). This outfit is great for throwing heavier lures. 30lb braid and a 70lb Schneider leader completes the outfit.
- A 4000 size Shimano Vanford spinning reel on a 6’4” Shimano Power Barra 7-14lb rod is perfect for throwing lighter lures. 20lb braid and 65lb Schneider fluorocarbon leader tops this outfit.
- A 7’2”, 1-4kg spin rod with a 2500 size reel and 10lb braid comes into play on the tough days when it becomes to fish very small, light lures such as 3” Gulp on a ¼ oz head. Leaders are usually 40lb, but sometimes it’s necessary to drop down to 30lb on this setup.
Glenn’s Lures For Daly River Barramundi
- A chartreuse Bomber 16A is a great shallow diving hardbody that does a great job of imitating mullet in the Daly system and can be fished with nothing more than a “cast and crank” retrieve, although adding twitches often helps. Good from coastal areas to right up in the fresh.
- The 4” Reidy’s Rubber in gold, white or chartreuse is a very easy to fish lure that’s deadly on the Daly barra.
- The Zerek Live Mullet 5” Swimbait is a very successful big fish lure when slow rolled along colour changes. Glenn crimps a stinger hook to the tow point with 70lb Schneider line and beds it into the tail at the top of the lure.
- A soft prawn imitation is a great “tough day” lure and most quality soft prawns will work. Glenn has been using the light Chasebaits Flick Prawn (125mm, 8gr) and has been placing a #2 ball sinker in the loop knot to get it down to where it’s needed. Heavier versions of the Flick Prawn are available, but the light one gives the versatility of being able to add weight or fish it straight from the box.
Businesses That Support Glenn
Shimano are one of the largest and best known tackle suppliers in Australia and Glenn uses much of their tackle in his business, including the custom barra rods produced for Craigs Fishing Warehouse, not to mention the SLX DC reels.
Mako Eyewear produce high quality lenses for every fishing situation, not to mention frame styles that comfortably fish all head shapes!
Lowrance electronics are central to the success of Glenn’s charter operation and he attributes the new active target to changing the way he fishes for barramundi