Brodie Quaas fishing lake tinaroo barramundi

Brodie Quaas

Far North Queensland Fishing Guide

Brodie is a former NSW tournament angler who relocated to Far North Queensland some time back and recently started a guiding business “Tropics Barra Adventures” helping clients target barramundi at Lake Tinaroo, as well as the rivers and estuaries from Daintree to Hinchinbrook. 

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Brodie’s Best Tips For Tinaroo Barramundi

  • It’s important to spend some serious time looking for fish before you actually start fishing. Brodie will often spend most of the first day of a 3-day trip just concentrating on finding where they’ll be.
  • There are definite bite periods with barra, such as dawn and dusk, but it’s possible to catch barra that aren’t feeding if you know how to create a reaction bite.
  • Over the last half of summer and into autumn many people will focus on the wind-blown banks, which isn’t a bad strategy. However, in summer the windblown banks can become too warm. Whilst many people fish the eastern banks in what Brodie refers to as the “community holes”, the western banks can have slightly cooler water but also get a lot less boat traffic and see far fewer lures.
  • It’s worth fishing anywhere that there is an incoming creek bringing both cooler, oxygenated water and also ample food in the form of bony bream, mouth almighty and other baitfish. Often the barra are not right up in the inflowing creek, but back a little in the eddies and mixing zone.
  • For the night time fishers or those on the water at first light the muddy water line caused by water skiers around the main basin are worth fishing.
  • Brodie is largely a daytime fisherman and doesn’t focus too much on bite windows, but finds that the sunrise and sunset are by far the peak times when barra feed. These are the times to be at a prime location, on the anchor, ready to fish.
  • Points are a restaurant or highway for barra, but the ones that are close to the old river bed and have a flat associated with them are definitely places where barra congregate for extended periods of time.
  • When you’re finding fish that won’t bite it’s important to avoid falling into the trap of just continuing to cast and repeat what’s not working. Think about where your lure is in the water column, is it in the barra’s face? Stop fishing and think about what you might be doing wrong.
  • Stealth is super important. Brodie uses a flats pole to move his boat silently and anchors with a “plonk” rather than spot locking his electric motor on the spot.

Brodie’s Barra Fishing Tackle

  • As a guide targeting big fish Brodie often has novice anglers on the boat and the odd rod gets broken through enthusiastic high sticking. He needs quality but affordable gear for this reason and favours the Shimano Snapper Raider 732 5-10kg rod with a 3000-4000 size spin reel. The long rod is super important for making very long casts to reach fish that are not spooked. A braided mainline of around 30lb and a leader of 80lb and up to 120lb complete the outfit. Brodie finds he needs to drop down to a 50lb leader when fishing soft vibes as the heavier leaders impeded lure action.
  • Baitcast gear has a place too and the Shimano Curado or Curado DC is a good option, once again with 30lb braid and a 7ft baitcast rod.

Brodies Tinaroo Barra Lures

  • The Squidgies Slick Rig remains the number 1 lure for impoundment barramundi. If you keep casting these things long enough you’ll eventually get hit by a barra. It’s important to upgrade the hook in the Slickrig, Brodie uses the Bassman Jason Wilhelm slick rig hooks in 3/4 and 1oz weights with an ST66 treble stinger. It’s also important to prepare your Slick Rigs before fishing them and Brodie suggests you watch this video for info on how best to do that. This lure works everywhere in the lake and can be burned through the thermocline, slow rolled near the bottom or fished in any number of other ways. In summer the fish are often down around 20ft, so the 1oz jig head is the most commonly used size.
  • Tinaroo is famous for barra on soft vibes and Brodie favours either the Jackall Transam or the Zerek Fishtrap, finding the Transam a little more durable. The great thing about vibes is that they spend a lot of time in the barra’s zone, especially if they’re hard to the bottom. Cast the lure out and let it sit on the bottom for a bit, then give it 2-3 strong rips to attract attention, then bring it back with double or triple hops, allowing the lure to hit bottom between hops.
  • A topwater frog, burned fast through shallow water has been both incredibly successful and very spectacular for Brodie and his clients. There is a lot to this technique and there is a lot of misinformation about how to do it well. Topwater frogs are good at any time of day, but Brodie especially loves fishing them during the middle of the day. If there is a northerly wind blowing, it’s definitely time to put on the soft frog. Tinaroo doesn’t have the extensive weedbeds of Faust or Kinchant, but flooded grass along the edges of the dam are perfect for frogging.

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Tropic Barra Adventures

Brodie takes clients on tailored barra fishing adventures not only at Lake Tinaroo, but all over the Wet Tropics region. For more information, give him a call on 0434045088 or visit https://tropicbarraadventures.com.au/

 

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