Bomber Farrell Bio

Bomber Farrell

Groote Eylandt Fishing Personality

Bomber is a high profile angler who has been living and fishing on Groote Eylandt for 15 years, but also fishes around Australia and around the world. Well known as a sailfish exponent and accomplished barra angler, Bomber turns his hand at whatever species are available at the time. And on Groote Eylandt, that’s a lot of species!

Groote Adventure #5: Rats Cove

  • Rat’s cove is a popular anchorage for boaties during the dry season, when the high cliffs provide shelter from the prevailing winds.
  • Bomber loves to flick plastics and poppers around the cove, but even more so likes to get off the boat and walk over the hill to the secluded bays on the opposite shoreline where he can flick lures land-based at coral trout, queenfish, cod, various trevallies, blue bastards and even squid.
  • A 7’ rod is perfect for long casts over shallow flats and reefs when coupled with a 4000-size reel, 30lb braid and a long 40lb leader.
  • Don’t give the fish an inch, it’s important to get them as far away from cover as possible in the first 2 seconds with a tight drag and lots of force. Once the fish is a little away from cover you can afford to ease off the drag a little.

Groote Adventure #4: Jurassic Reef

  • An unmarked reef about 10 miles off the eastern side of the island, Bomber dubbed it Jurassic Reef for the prehistoric monsters that dwell there. There’s a pinnacle here that rises from 30m of water up to 15m that attracts and holds bait and thus pelagics. It’s a long drive from the boat ramp on the NW side of the Island to the far NE side and requires very good weather.
  • This is the place for crazy Spanish mackerel fishing – imagine fish well over a metre launching themselves vertically into the air with your lure in their mouths and you get the idea.
  • Bomber uses his “don’t argue” tackle here: a 5’2” Shimano T-curve, 18000 size Stella, 85lb Fins braid and 150lb leader.
  • Jigging can also be a lot of fun on the slopes of the Pinnacle, but sharks and macks can make it hard to get fish up and can cost you a lot of lures.
  • Stickbaits and poppers are great for the mackerel and an 80g Gillies Pilchard is the perfect jig for both high speed retrieving and dropping down to the reef. Don’t bring expensive lures…. You’ll lose a lot here, even with the “don’t argue” gear.
  • Longtail tuna usually sit a fair way off any structure that causes upwelling, so when you seen schools of tuna it’s time to start using the sidescan to find structure.

Groote Adventure #3: Cape Beatrice

  • This spot is on the opposite side of the island to the boat ramp and offers some incredible opportunities. Bomber has seen, but unfortunately not caught, permit at this location. The area around Groote Reef is especially good for mackerel, barracuda and other pelagics.
  • This is the place to find red emperor on the flats in 0.5 to 3 m of crystal-clear water. These fish are spectacular and stand out like a sore thumb on the flats. Catching them on small soft plastics, soft vibes and even saltwater flies can be effective on emperor. It’s not necessary to cast hard against structure for red emperors and spangos, they tend to get onto the sandy, rubbly bottom between the reefs and bommies. We gave this subject a good going over back in Episode 349
  • This spot is a 2hr drive from the ramp and has plenty of little islands with shallow reefs that produce a wide array of fish on popper and plastics.
  • Chinaman fish are a great sporting option on shallow reefs when using small vibes and plastics.
  • There are places here where the escarpment drops into 20m of clear water, but also plenty of very shallow reefs to drift over. Like everywhere on Groote, crocodiles are a constant threat, so don’t be tempted to wade or snorkel.

Groote Adventure #2: Koolatong River

  • The Koolatong River system in Blue Mud Bay is Bombers Favourite barra fishing It needs to be approached by sea on a high tide, staying away from the area directly out from the river mouth where logs and other navigational hazards tend to accumulate. Once into the river, it’s around 92km long and offers exceptional barra fishing.
  • The maximum tidal movement in this system is about 1.5m, and the water stays reasonably clean because of fairly limited flow.
  • The large, shallow flats in front of the river tend to warm the water, which encourages prawns and baitfish. When Bomber first started fishing the system it wasn’t unusual to catch 50-80 barra in a morning at the entrance, with at least one or two being over one metre in length.
  • Recently at Bunyalla there is a tourism facility in Gringle Bay where small boats can be launched and driven to the Koolatong River.
  • It’s worth turning up at the Koolatong with plenty of 10’ Barra Classic lures in Guns n Roses and Purple Bobby Dazzler colours. Go for green lures if the water is clean, metallic colours if the water is a bit dirtier. A 6” Paddletail plastic rigged weedless is perfect for slinging into the snags and structure.

Groote Adventure #1: Billfish Grounds

  • We’ve previously talked about Groote Sailfish fishing, but it’s worth reiterating how much time and effort, long sea hours and fishless days Bomber put into working out how to target billfish at Groote. In the end he was consistently getting double figure days, double and triple hookups, but it was very hard-earned. He’s tagged 1040 billfish since those early days.

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