Sam Gibson

Sam Gibson

Local Peronality And Cast eMag Contributor

Sam is a keen young gun who has been fishing for barramundi in the Rockhampton area for around 7 years and has discovered some lures and techniques that work wonders in pressured, clear water creeks. Sam contributes to Cast eMag and also has a reputation for taking some quality GT’s and other pelagics.

Sam’s Top Tips For Targeting Rockhampton Barramundi

  • Quality barramundi in the clear water creeks around Rockhampton tend to school over sandy dropoffs and structure, in eddies and current lines, rather than holding on snags.
  • Fish in in clear, shallow water near major populations tend to be pressured and stealth is the key. Motors, electric motors and sounders can all spook these fish, so keep their use to a minimum and give the fish plenty of space, making longer casts to reach them without alerting them to your presence.
  • Focus on the profile, action and vibration that your lures create as the top factors that determine their effectiveness. Colour and detail aren’t that important.
  • Fish that are tightly schooled in slack water are generally not feeding as actively. Look for fish that are moving about, near the head of the eddy and facing into the current as these fish are likely to be feeding more freely.
  • Sam prefers to fish either side of the neap tides when there is definite water movement, but it’s not racing through the system.
  • The typical loud, rattling lures are not a great choice for barra in these systems. More subtle offerings that can be cast up-current and worked back  barely faster than the water movement are the best options.
  • When fish are shut down, try downsizing lures and leaders and cycling through your lures and presentation techniques until you find what’s working.

Sam’s Barramundi Tackle Recommendations

  • Quality baitcast or spin gear with 10kg braid, a 50lb fluorocarbon leader and 30cm bite tippet of 80lb fluorocarbon is adequate for fishing these systems. Sam uses a spin outfit for lighter lures and a baitcaster for heavier offerings.
  • A fast taper rod allows the angler to get more lure speed sooner, which causes lures like vibration baits to get their action sooner. Softer rods can be better for fishing soft plastics as they allow the fish to inhale the lure better and reduce the possibility of pulling the lure away from the fish on the strike.

Sam’s Top Barra Fishing Lures

  • Sam likes the Castaic Jerky J-Swim, which is a paddle tail soft plastic that work at extremely slow speeds and are perfect for casting upstream and pulling back with the current. The 7″ size is deadly on really big fish.
  • The Holt Prawn is a nondescript lure that has a great prawn silhouette and create a vibration that attracts barramundi. These are best cast upstream and hopped back down. On the drop they create a subtle prawn vibration and that’s usually when they are taken by the barra.
  • The Berkley Gulp Shrimp is a great choice with a great silhouette. These are hopped and allowed to glide back on a tight line and fish usually take them on the glide.
  • Any of these lures can work on the day and essentially you’re throwing all at them at the same fish, so cycle through this selection until you find what’s working on the day. If you have more than one angler on the boat, fish several different lures until you find which one is getting the best results.

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