Darwin Fishing Identity
Charlotte has lived in the Darwin area for a long time and grew up fishing for barramundi with her family and friends. Her passion for Barra fishing started early and resulted in her first metre plus fish as a teenager. Working within the tackle industry has enabled Charlotte to continue pursuing her passion for lure fishing – and to boat plenty more quality barra.
Charlotte’s Top Darwin Barra Tips
- There are numerous barramundi fishing options within a short drive of Darwin, with year round options if you know when, where and how to fish. Cape Hotham, the Adelaide, Daly and Alligator rivers are all within easy reach. Despite the close proximity of many of the river systems, the barra can behave very differently between systems.
- Tides are everything in the Northern Territory. The best tides vary with time of year – September till Jan the neap tides fish well, especially along the coastal areas, River mouths and headlands. As the rains begin and the rivers start to flow the fish move up river and into the flood plains, so Charlotte prefers the making tides leading up the the full moon at that time of year.
- Barometric pressure has a big influence on barramundi. In coastal areas the Barra can get fussy when the wind is up or if the water temperature is too high. Fishing can also be tough when it’s raining because the water temps drop, but the bite gets really hot as the river levels begin to drop (the runoff).
- Charlotte recommends targeting the coastal areas and places such as coastal creeks, Tommycut, sand pan, shady camp and during the “build-up” and early in the wet season. When the tide is moving expect to find the barra on the snags, eddies and places where there is less flow.
- A quality sounder is a key piece of barramundi fishing equipment. Learn to distinguish Barra from other species on the sounder screen and if you can’t find fish at a particular spot then keep moving around until you locate them.
Charlotte’s Darwin Barra Tackle
- Charlotte uses a 7’5” Abu Garcia Villain casting rod, or similar. Reels vary from an Abu Garcia Revo Beast for fishing in heavy cover to Abu Garcia Premiers for lighter fishing where more finesse is required. 30lb Rapala Suffix 8 ply gortex braid is the line of choice in the Northern Territory due to it’s abrasion resistance and the fact it doesn’t soften over time and use. A 70-80 lb fluorocarbon leader (either YGK Galis or Sumaki) Completes the outfit. Charlotte will sometimes drop down to 60lb when fishing for smaller Barra.
Charlotte’s Best Barramundi Lures
- Bite Me Lures Barra Wedgies in 5 and 7” sizes are great in olive, bleeding mullet and striped minnow colours, depending on water clarity. The 5” version is good year-round, the 7” version is best when fish are large and/or aggressively feeding on larger bait. Charlotte fishes these lures on a 5/0 or 6/0 Owner flashy jig head, casting the lure deep in snags and slow rolling it out. Twitching or hopping the lure is not necessary. This lure is very versatile and can also be fished on the flats, trolled or worked deeper by placing a size 1 or 2 ball sinker into the loop knot when tying on the lure.
- A soft vibe is a great option for Barra fishing when the fish are down deeper, especially in flowing water, and are not feeding so actively. Charlotte likes the 100mm Sumaki Vibelicious in Salty colour, or the locally made 100mm Pro Lates Enticer vibe. These are slow hopped long the bottom by lifting the rod up, feeling the lure work, then dropping the rod down at the same rate as the lure falls, keeping in touch with the lure. Barramundi usually take these lures on the drop, so be vigilant for bites and be ready to set the hooks. Charlotte finds that fishing them gently rather than erratically reduces the chances of spooking timid fish.
- The pro hook 16A Bomber is a good lure all year round in the Darwin area and is especially good in water depths of 3-6 ft when the fish are marking off the bottom. This lure can be trolled or flicked into creek mouths and eddies, anywhere Barra are likely to be feeding on mullet.