Sponsored Angler And Freshwater Barramundi Enthusiast
Nathan has been fishing the freshwater reaches of the Upper Burdekin River for oversized barramundi and sooty grunter for round 8 years. Based in Townsville he enjoys plenty of other fishing opportunities, but rates the Upper Burdekin area as his favourite place to spend some time..
Nathan’s Top Barramundi Tips
- There is quality barramundi fishing to be had in the freshwater reaches of the upper Burdekin River beneath the dam wall, although Nathan finds that the bite windows can often be well defined. First thing in the morning fishes well, with fish all but disappearing through the middle of the day and returning for a snack before dark.
- The cooler months over winter fish best as the water is clearer and usually not flowing as much. However, water can be released for irrigation at any time and Nathan prefers a falling water level to a rising one.
- Use Google Earth or Queensland Globe to look for access points as well as likely fishing spots. Nathan looks for eddies and backwaters downstream of rapids and finds the fish are often in the current breaks waiting for food to be brought by flowing water. There can be a lot of barren water between fishing spots, so be prepared to walk.
- Nathan is fortunate to have had helicopter access to more difficult to access areas, but it’s possible to walk from the dam wall down to fishable areas. The further you go and the harder to access the better the fishing is likely to be.
- Make sure your tackle is up to the task. Lure sizes range from 30 to 160 mm, but the hooks have to be capable of handling barra regardless of the size of the lure. Nathans best results often come from using the smaller sizes of lure.
Nathan’s Burdekin Barra Tackle
- Nathan’s lighter outfit is a Samaki Archer rod with Shimano 4000 size HG spin reel, 20lb Fins braid and 40lb leader.
- For heavier fishing he switches to a Curado HG with 50lb braid and 60lb leader .
Nathan’s Top Barra Fishing Lures
- The 95mm Samaki Redic is a top notch hard body lure for this part of the world and recently accounted for Nathan’s 123cm Pb and another fish of 119cm from the Burdekin. Nathan likes to cast the lure into the eddy and give it a quick rip, then leave it for 5 or 6 seconds before ripping again and working it back with a jerky retrieve with plenty of pauses. Barra usually engulf the lure on the second rip.
- Any quality paddle tail soft plastic lure is a good option. These can be worked around the edges, through eddies, around mid-stream rocks and so on. Once again, be sure to work slowly with plenty of pauses and opportunities for the lure to drop back down. They can also be very effective simply slow rolled
- Nathan has recently discovered whilst using spinnerbaits for Sooty Grunter that these same lures can be deadly on barramundi. The “noname” brand of spinnerbait he’s been using may be a Savage Gear product has a hook of around 5/0 and twin Colorado blades that sin at very slow speeds. He helicopters this lure into deeper holes and then slow rolls it back out, pausing occasionally to let the lure sink back down.
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