Mick has been fishing the Mackay area for barramundi for more than 30 years, but has also travelled Australia and the world in pursuit of fishing. A tackle enthusiast, Mick discovered tackle and techniques not commonly used for barra and applied them with spectacular results. Many of his metre plus barra from the Mackay area have come from shore-based expeditions.
Mick’s Top Tips For Mackay Barramundi
- An hour north to an hour south of Mackay offers excellent opportunities for saltwater barramundi over the magic metre. Many of Mick’s better fish have come from shore based trips.
- Many people make the mistake of believing that barra take up residence on snags and don’t move much. The truth is they move around a lot and can be found in different parts of the estuary on different tides. Focusing on fishing snags is counter-productive and usually results in unwanted by-catch and smaller barramundi.
- Mick looks for Barra anywhere there is plenty of water flow with bait and some kind of ambush opportunity. He finds fish tend to hold more around deeper water with a harder bottom rather than shallow sandy or muddy bottom.
- If the fish have been pressured by heavy fishing or boating traffic Mick will often fish with a silent wooden lure as he finds they are more receptive to a subtle approach.
- Mick finds the full moons fish best when targeting barra at night, but the new moons tend to give better results during the day. He has a preference for periods around the last part of the run-out and first part of the run-in tide, especially during periods when there is a relatively large tidal fluctuation. The opportunity to fish is shorter on the big tides, but the fish are more aggressive. During neap tides there is more time to throw lures, but the fish are often more cautious.
Mick’s Barra Tackle
- Mick likes a 7ft Dobyns Fury 704 baitcast rod in (10-20lb line class), which he couples with a Concept A (7.3:1 ratio) baitcast reel, 30lb braid and an 80lb mono leader. He finds the mono superior to fluorocarbon for this style of fishing.
Mick’s Best Barra Fishing Lures
- The Lucky Craft Pointer 100XD is Mick’s #1 choice for water of depth 7-12ft. He fishes it with a long, stretchy Sunline System Shock Leader in 80lb. He casts where the fish are expected to be and cranks the lure down to depth. He then gives the lure a couple of sharp jerks with the rod tip downwards. The stretchy leader springs the lure forwards sharply and he then mixes it up with twitches, pauses and burns. If that doesn’t work he’ll slow roll one cast, burn another and try other retrieves until he finds what’s working.
- Lucky Craft Pointer 100SP is especially good for land based fishing and for shallower water from a boat. Cast it out, give it a couple of cranks with the rod tip high to get the lure twitching at around 3-4 ft.
- BTD General by Benn Durkin is a silent timber lure made locally to Mackay. It’s fished the same way as the pointers but the silent lure can sometimes pick up fish when the fishing is tough.
Tide Apparel takes care or Mick’s fishing apparel needs and have been looking after him for a number of years.
Mako Eyewear are suppliers of high quality polarised eyewear for anglers and are Mick’s preferred eyewear option.
BKK Hooks are manufacturers of high quality hooks and offer creative solutions for thinking anglers.