Fitzroy River Barra
John Haenke Profile
Fishing Guide, Videographer and TV Producer
John Haenke is well known for his television and DVD fishing productions such as “Escape with ET”, “Wildfish With Peter Morse” and the “Fishing Downunder” series. But he’s an exceptional angler in his own right – when he’s not busy filming Australia’s fishing elite. John also runs a boutique and very personal guiding service out of Rockhampton for barramundi, king threadfin and a multitude of other species.
John Haenke’s Tips For Fitzroy River Barramundi Fishing
1. Be prepared with good quality spinning or baitcasting gear in the 10kg line class. Barramundi take a heavy toll on terminal tackle, so beef up your lure hooks and use 24 – 30kg fluorocarbon leaders.
2. Be persistent. Learn how to recognise barramundi on your sounder, and once you’ve found them, stay with them. Try switching lures or changing retrieve styles until you find what’s working on the day. Often when they’re quiet a smaller lure can make the difference
3. The time and tide are critical. It pays to start downstream at the bottom of the tide and follow the tide as it moves up the 40km of Fitzroy River Estuary. The best tides are making tides shortly after the neap.
John’s Top Lures For Fitzroy River Barramundi
1. Soft vibes in the 20-30g sizes. These can be hopped along the bottom with small twitches or fished faster and more aggressively.
2. Suspending hard body lures in the 100-125mm size range for fishing deeper rock bars and snags. Floating, shallow swimming crankbaits for shallow flats and around the mouths of small drains.
3. Small poppers and stickbaits (90-100mm) when fish are surface feeding.
4. Weedless soft plastic lures are prefect for fishing for barra in freshwater areas around Rockhampton.
John’s Pick: Time Of Year & Tides For Top Barra Fishing
1. Best tides for Fitzroy River Barra are building tides following the neap. The last couple of hours of the runout and the first hour of the run in can also be good, especially along the edges of flats or in the mouths of small creeks.
2. September and October are prime big barra times in the Fitzroy River.
3. March, April and May can be especially productive if there has been a decent wet season, but timing is absolutely critical – it depends entirely on the wet season on any given year.