Social Media Personality And Barra Enthusiast
Jimmy is a Townsville based angler and social media personality who reckons winter should be all about sight fishing to Hinchinbrook barramundi in shallow, crystal clear water. In this episode he shares his tips for light line, shallow water barra fishing through the cooler months.
Jimmy’s Top Barra Fishing Tips
- Jim reckons that barramundi fishing around Hinchinbrook over the winter months can be exciting. Fish are usually a little on the smaller side but often move onto the flats in a few feet of crystal clear water. Anglers can watch the strike and the entire fight with the fish.
- The bait species that barra feed on over winter tend to be a little smaller, so put away the large hard bodies and switch over to smaller, more subtle lures.
- Flat’s barramundi are a little skittish, so fishing for them is about stealth. Get as close as you can without spooking them and fish your lures a little distance away, making each successive cast a little closer to the fish until it takes the lure or moves off.
- Jim fishes very light for barra on the flats as there is minimal structure to wrestle them out of. Positioning yourself between the fish and structure helps ensure the fish will run away from cover.
- Prime Hinchinbrook barra fishing days are in the lead up to the new and full moons. try and pick days when there is a high tide first thing in the morning. This allows you to fish the run-out tide initially until the low tide during early-mid afternoon. The run in tide is often good because the shallow water gets warmed as it inundates flats that have been exposed through the day, warming the water as it comes in.
- Keep an eye on water temperatures. Barra become very hard to temp when the water temp drops to the high teens or below. Best opportunities occur when the water is low to mid 20’s temperatures.
- If the fish aren’t biting try mixing it up with different lures or retrieves, what do you have to lose?
- Check the terminals on your lures. The small, light lures Jimmy uses are often designed and used for smaller species, so you may need to switch up to stronger hooks and rings. Using the light gear that Jim suggests you won’t want super heavy hooks, but replacing cheap hooks with lightweight, high strength alternatives such as Owner, BKK or Decoy is definitely worth the effort.
Jimmy’s Barra Fishing Tackle
- Jim likes a 6’6″ spin rod coupled with a 2500-3000 sized Shimano reel loaded with 4lb braid. When Hinchinbrrok flats barra are his prime target he’ll use a 20lb fluorocarbon leader with a 40cm bite tippet of 30-40lb flurocarbon. This gives a little protection against abrasion, especially if a larger than average barramundi shows up.
Top Winter Barramundi Fishing Lures
- Jim’s favourite lures for this style of barramundi fishing are small sinking or suspending stickbaits in the 50-60mm size class, such as those produced by Missing At sea. He’ll cast these within a couple of metres in front of a barra and work them with gentle side to side movements similar to a walk the dog retrieve but sub-surface. He makes each cast a little close to the fish until the lure gets eaten, rejected totally or the fish swims off. Then he finds another fish to target!
- If the stickbait is rejected by multiple fish Jim will switch to a 3-4″ paddle tail soft plastic lure on a 1/4 oz jig head, his favourite being the Samaki Boom Bait. These are more subtle than the stickbaits and can be fished with a series of gentle hops, again with each successive cast getting closer to the fish.
- If both the stickbait and the soft plastic are not getting a response from multiple fish it’s worth fishing a small, 3-4″ soft plastic prawn such as the Berkley Gulp Shrimp, Zerek Live Shrimp or DOA Shrimp. These can be worked gently along the bottom and can be fished incredibly close to a barra without spooking it.