Mackay Barramundi Enthusiast
Brendan has been fishing the Mackay, central Queensland area since he was 15 years of age, competing in Mackay Tournament Anglers comps, assisting the local stocking group and getting the wily barra in Teemburra dialled in. He also writes for “Bush and Beach magazine” – including an article about Teemburra barramundi in the current edition. Oh, and he’s co-owner of fishing apparel brand “Casting Cowboys”.
Brendan’s Best Teemburra Barramundi Fishing Tips
- Mackay Area Fish Stocking group is a volunteer organisation that takes care of stocking of the lake with around 10,000 barramundi fingerlings per year. Today, an average barra from Teemburra is around the 85-90cm mark, with bigger fish definitely present.
- Teemburra Dam barramundi can be caught all year round, but October fishes particularly well and the warmer months see the fish getting more active.
- Do your research before you head up to the dam. Look for points and bays and take the time to overlay weather over the past week to find wind energised points or inflowing freshwater. Have four or five spots in mind before you leave home and check them all out before ou set up to fish. A common rookie mistake is to find a few fish on a point and to start fishing when another point might hold much larger numbers of more active fish. Sound around all of the areas you identified before leaving home to find the fishiest one before you start casting lures.
- Stable weather suits impoundment barramundi. If the wind is blowing onto a point for a few days the bait and fish will accumulate on those points. If this coincides with dawn/dusk or moonrise/moonset then you’re starting to create conditions when barra get into a feeding pattern.
- The 5 days leading up to the full moon is a prime time at any time of year, but especially the October full moon. Also an hour either side of the turn of the tide at Mackay is also a prime time for barra fishing in Teemburra Dam.
- Water temps of around 24-25 C or above will always result in barramundi becoming more active and feeding more aggressively.
- During the warmer months the fish tend to hold on points that drop into the main basin of the dam. Look for points with 4m or so of water and plenty of weed to attract and hold bait.
- If the barra and shut down and the bite is slow, Brendan finds that leaning on the fish’s other senses can work. He likes to rub Berkley lure scents on his soft plastics, vibes and hard bodies.
Brendan’s Suggested Barramundi Fishing Tackle
- Spin gear consisting of a 25-30 lb line class rod, 4000 size reel and 30lb braid with an 80lb fluorocarbon leader is great for throwing lighter lures around windblown points and weedbeds.
- A shorter baitcast rod of 25-30lb line class with 30lb braid and a 100lb leader gives better control over fish around timber.
Brendan’s Favourite Barramundi Fishing Lures
- A 95-100mm (28-30g) soft plastic vibration bait is great around the windblown points. Make good use of your sounder to locate the depth the fish are holding and get your lure into their face. Try mixing the retrieve up, there are lots of retrieves that can be effective at times, from hopping the lure in short lifts, keeping it close to the bottom to burning it cross flats and weedbeds for a reaction bite. Brendan likes to put in 5-6 casts using one retrieve before trying a different style of retrieve.
- The Berkley 6” (and also the 4”) Hollowbelly Paddletail on Nitro specialist jig heads with an assist stinger hook in the tail is an older technique, but Brendan has recently started using it again and has found it amazingly effective. They’re great fished around weedbeds and and lillies or dropped down into creek beds and allowed to sink to the bottom before being slow rolled out. They can also be hopped along the same way as a soft vibe, keeping in close contact with the bottom.
- The Jackall Squirrel 80mm Hank Tune suspending jerkbait in 3m diving depth is great for stands of submerged timber or timbered points. They’re rigged with heavy duty terminals straight from the box and are best worked by cranking it close to the timber and then letting the lure sit stationary for a few seconds before recommencing the retrieve.
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