FNQ Fishing Guide
Vinnie Versfeld has fished all over the world but has been a keen fisherman, guide and social media personality in the Townsville area for 14 years. Vinnie has set himself the objective of nailing a meter of barra in the shallow waters of the beaches to the north of Townsville and in todays episode explains how he targets the chrome icon from the sand.
Vinnie’s Tips For Beach Barra In Townsville
- The dry season in Townsville sees barramundi in the 50-70cm size class (with the occasional larger fish) school in numbers in the shallow water along the beaches. Look for beaches with a series of gutters running parallel with the waters edge, barra and other predators will work the edges of the gutters.
- Vinnie likes the first 2.5 hours of a morning run-in tide for this style of fishing as it tends to coincide with wind that dirties the water and excites the barra into feeding on jelly prawns and baitfish. Calm, still days are usually tough for fishing and winds above about 15-20 knots make it too difficult to cast light lures.
- Look for places where a sand spit or other formation causes the current moving along the gutters to strike a bank or structure. And kind of edge, such as where sand, rock, shell or mud meet, weedbed margins and so on are all great places to try, as is any kind of isolated hard structure along the beach.
- Neapish tides tend to fish best and anywhere that waves are breaking and sand is getting stirred up will fish well. Barra love to hunt in dirty water.
- Don’t cast at 90 degrees to the beach, it’s best to make casts at 45 degrees to the beach as you walk along. Every now and then make a cast parallel with the beach in case there’s a fish at the waters edge.
- Be aware of the hazards of wading beaches in north Queensland and avoid areas around river mouths or deeper, dirty water where crocs might hide. Vinnie wears a stinger suit for protection but prefers to be in bare feet as he can feel when there are jelly prawns present, which is a good indication that barra might be nearby.
Vinnie’s Beach Barramundi Tackle!
- Vinnie uses a 7’ rod for extra casting distance. A 3-6 kg spin stick with matching 2500-3000 size reel, 10lb braid and 30lb leader is ideal, despite the possibility that a bigger fish may eventually come along and rub through the leader.
Vinnie’s Beach Barramundi Fishing Lures!
- A 3” Z-Man MinnowZ on a 3/O ChinlockZ jig head is a great combination that sinks just enough without bumping the bottom and attracting too many flathead. Vinnie likes bright colours when the water is dirty and more natural colours when the water is clearer. Fishing with this lure is as simple as casting it long and then cranking it back at a slow to medium speed.
- Small stickbaits and poppers are great for searching and covering water. Lures in the 4” size range are perfect, with poppers being best when there’s a bit of chop and stickbaits when it’s flatter. A “pop, pop, pause” style retrieve is perfect for the poppers, whilst the stickbaits seem to work best if they’re allowed to travel to each side a bit more than normal, until they reach the end of their movement range and are flicked back the opposite direction.
- Small, floating hard bodied lures work well and at times are the only thing that will take fish. A 100mm shadrap is a good example and can be fish with two short, sharp rips before being allowed to float back to the surface and repeated. Again, natural colours are best if the water is clear, a gold colours works a treat in dirty water.