Roderick Walmsley Fishing Bio

Roderick Walmsley

Fishing Writer And Personality

Roderick has made a life out of fishing. A former commercial fisherman and charter operator, he’s been living near Awoonga Dam for the past 6 years, but was frequently fishing that system for 9 years prior to that. Roderick has written numerous fishing articles and reports and is a familiar face to those who regularly fish for barra at Awoonga.

Roderick’s Top Tips For Awoonga Barramundi Fishing

  • In Awoonga Dam, fish are spread out like grazing cattle. Don’t be offput if you find someone in a spot you wanted to fish, you can still catch fish by fishing similar structure, depth and habitat.
  • The wind is your friend for impoundment barramundi fishing. Look out for periods when there is constant wind from the same direction for several days. Barra will often be found feeding on the windswept points or in bays that have been exposed to wind turbulence for days.
  • Don’t be in too much of a hurry to start fishing. Take some time to explore and watch your side scan sonar before you pull out the fishing rods, try and find fish, likely structure and bait before casting.
  • Fish become more active and aggressive around the times when there are tide changes in the nearby estuaries. Moonrise and moon overhead can sometimes spur a bite period, but consistent weather conditions (especially warm, calm days) are typically more important. Sometimes low light periods fish well, but Awoonga tends to be a little unpredictable.
  •  Awoonga has a lot of structure including points, weed beds, timbered areas and so on. Barra tend to be fairly structure oriented and Roderick prefers to anchor or tie up to a tree than to use the electric motor, finding the stealth factor is important. Fish likely areas fairly thoroughly and barramundi are very mobile.Move on if you haven’t had any interest after 15-20 minutes and repeat the process until you find fish.
  • At times the fish will be sitting on certain types of structure and/or a certain depth range throughout the lake. Other times they are scattered across all structure types.
  • Once you’ve found the fish it becomes a case of cycling through all of the lures in your box until you figure out what thy are taking.
  • In September/October the fish often come up into shallower water and can be more aggressive.
  • Barra feed above their heads, so be careful not to run lures too deep if the fish are suspending. They’ll rarely move downwards to take a lure, but will often take on above their heads.
  • It’s never coincidence when a fish eats a lure, there’s always a reason for it, so try and figure out what it was that triggered a strike and do that again!

Roderick’s Tackle Recommendations For Barra

  • Roderick like the Gary Loomis Edge Rods, and the BCR665 6’6″ baitcast (17lb) is light and powerful and is a great all-round option paired with a baitcast reel and Toray 30lb braid. He likes the 4 weave braids as they handle abrasion better and cut through weed effectively. 40-50 lb jigging leader is fine for hard bodies, but Roderick will step up to 80lb if he’s in heavy timber.
  • He also uses a 6’6″ or 7′,  20lb spin or baitcast rod (eg a 705 Black Widow Edge) with a softer tip is fine for soft plastics fishing.
  • A lighter 17-20 lb spin rod with a softer tip is perfect for vibing.

Roderick’s Best Awoonga Barra Lures

  • A 5″ Castaic Jerky J Swimbait rigged weedless for around weed or timber, or on a jig head for fishing deeper water. These can be worked fairly shallow or allowed to sink down deeper, depending on what you need.
  • A deep diving suspending lure such as a lucky Craft Pointer 78mm (silent) or an Imakatchu Rip Riser (rattling). These work best with a twitch-twich-pause style retrieve in moderately deep water. They’re great for staying in the fish’s face. 
  • Some form of soft Vibe works well in the warmer months the fish will often had a bit deeper. These are best hopped along the bottom in deeper water during the warmer months.
  • A shallow diving jerkbait such as an Imakatsu Alive Roller works well in shallow, weedy areas.

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Roderick’s Sponsor

  • FishTec Solutions are importers and distributors of high quality lures, rods and other tackle.


  1. The Xtreme Armchair Angler

    Man, Roderick sure slam dunks this one. And what a great story teller, and so generous too. I feel like I’ve known Roderick all my life.

    So listen up folks … this is barra fish’n by the numbers – where, what, when and how, with a bit of why thrown in just for good measure.

    ALF Podcasts are the next best thing to actually do’n it.

    • DocLuresFishing

      Thanks Jon, Yes Roderick definitely knows his stuff and is very skilled at delivering his message. Thanks for your feedback!


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