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barramundi (barra, giant perch) [lates calcarifer]
Lates calcarifer
Size 2kg - 10kg, can reach over 30kg.
Habitat Barramundi occupy the warmer waters of estuary systems in the north of Australia living in both salt and fresh waters. They can be found in sea waters, estuaries, tidal creeks, inland tidal areas, rivers and billabongs with an attraction to submerged timber, rock bars and other snaggy areas. In late summer they travel from fresh to salt water to spawn, congregating toward river mouths.
Qualities Regarded as a true sporting fish with great fighting ability. Bite is sudden and savage and once hooked barramundi perform aerobatics and repeated powerful runs for cover of snags.
Record Australian record 37.85kg.
Best Bait
bait: Garfish, Hardiheads, Herring, Poddy mullet, Prawn
fly: Saltwater Baitfish
lure: Minnow Deep Diving, Minnow Rattler, Popper, Soft Plastics, Surface crawler
Other: Trolling and spinning lures such as Rapala minnows, Frog lures, Bomber Long A's, Nilsmaster Spearheads, Killalure Terminator II's and Cordell rattlers.
Tackle
Link: 4 - 10kg main line with a 1m monotrace.
Hook: No.3/0 - 5/0 Mustad 92554 Beak for bait. No.1 - 2 Trebles for lures.
Rig: Medium spinning or baitcaster gear for lures and baits.
More info: Bimini Twist
Hints Best Barramundi fishing depends on the time of the year and whether the water is tidal or not. For fresh water billabong fishing, just after the wet season in Northern Australia, cast into runoff water still flowing from the floodplains. The rest of the year try repeated casts into snaggy areas such as lotuses, and trolling close to the bank at depths of 8 - 12 feet. Trolling speed needs to be slow with the lure placed a fair distance from the boat. For river and stream fishing, during the wet season, dusk and night fishing in hot and sultry conditions is productive and the fish tend to be further downstream. In winter or the dry season the fish are located further upstream. The upper limit of tidal influence on rivers is a good point to start looking for barramundi. Work upstream from here checking the deeper holes during the day paying special attention to any snags of timber and rock bars. Barramundi tend to bite best straight after the wet season from April to May and then just prior to the following wet season from October to November. If fish are showing signs of surface feeding try surface minnows or poppers. For tidal or saltwater fishing, just after the wet season, fish the mouths of creeks and gutters which carry the floodplain runoff. For other times of the year try casting or trolling around snags and rock bars at creek mouths on a run out tide. Estuary fish congregate in deep holes and fishing the low and rising tide in these areas produces good catches. A drifting live prawn or mullet works well. Most fish less than 5 years old are male. The larger fish are female and important brood stock.
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