Holding Barra to Survive
A barra suported like this has a very good chance of survival a quick photo then release.
Holding a barra like this is all right if you are going to keep it for a feed but not if you wish to release it. A 90cm Barra measured before holding it like this can measure 93cm after being held, that is 3cm the back and neck of the barra has stretched and it it one of the main reasons we see dead barra floating around our lakes.
Please take care of our great barramundi fisheries so that we all can enjoy them for now and the furture
For more information on Barramundi Handling for Release please read my article on the subject below
BARRAMUNDI HANDLING FOR RELEASE.
The thrill of catching a big barra is something you will never forget and so is the feeling of releasing such a magnificent creature back into its natural environment.To release a barra is one thing but to do it in a way that it has the best chance of surviving takes a bit of thought. Here are a few simple things to do that can help increase the barramundi’s chances of survival and make it’s capture less stressful.
Use good quality line, traces, rods and reels. Using light line and tackle/equipment, not up to the task, only see’s big fish lost with lures/hooks still attached.Also with using light line and light rod/reel setups, the time taken to land a big barra is too long, many big fish are totally exhausted and near to death before even coming to the boat. A barra that is brought to the boat quickly is in much better health and less stressed.
Once the barra is beside the boat decide whether you really have to remove it from the water to release it. Only remove barra from the water if you require a photo and ask yourself, do I need to photograph every fish I catch or only the trophy size fish.
Now that you have decided to put the barra in the boat make sure that where you are going to place the fish is not hot. This is best done by wetting the carpet, Truth Mat, etc on which you intend to lay the barra. Remember that on hot days even wet carpet etc can become hot again very quickly. Place your barra down and remove lure as quickly as possible using a strong pair of bent nose pliers.
The best way to remove big barra from the water is with an extra large knotless net. DO NOT USE LIP GRIPPERS AND DRAG IT OVER THE SIDE OF THE BOAT.
To hold your fish up for a photo you must never lift the whole fish up by the jaw as this will almost certainly kill it as you will break the gill latch and or cause spinal damage.
Grab the fish via the mouth, then slide your other hand under the middle part as well, run your arm parallel to the fish if you can for added support as this transfers weight over more of its body. Holding a barra with this support is also the best way to take a photo of your catch and will have a chance of making it into fishing magazines, papers as they don’t like publishing fish being held by the jaw.
Take a Quick photo and then get the fish back into the water, if the fish has only been out of water for less than 2 minutes then you should not have to swim it beside the boat. Just let it regain its composure for a few seconds while you have your thumb in its lower jaw and just push it off and its on its way. There is no need to swim these fish for any more time unless they are showing worse for wear.
Most of the barra if only out of the water for a short period of time can be speared head first straight back in, Just be sure that there is enough depth and you are not driving it into the bottom of the lake or river.
Always be careful when handling these magnificent fish and treat them with the respect they deserve, they are a strong and powerful fish so always be aware of their razor sharp gill plates and large dorsal fins.
These days there is so many barramundi lures available to anglers, hard bodies, soft bodies and surface lures it all depends on if you want to troll or cast for them. Below is a list of good barramundi lures, this list is a guide to help you get started, remember that these lures come in many different colours and depths and conditions are always changing. The lures below are not numbered as No1 being the best because as stated before conditions do change and so should your choice of lure to suit the day and conditions.
1 Reidy's B52
2 Gaden Classic F!8 &120's
3 RMG Scorpion 125 1 & 3 metre
4 Yo Zuri Crystal Minnow
5 Predatek Sandviper
6 Rapala X rap
7 Gaden Classic Barra 97
1 Koolabung Boney Barra Bait
2 Gaden Classic F18 Manta Ray
3 RMG Scorpion 125 & 150
4 Predatek Viper and Hyper Viper
5 Oar-gee Oarsome's
6 Killalure 2Deep and 2Easy
7 Killalure Barra Bait
2 Thready Buster
3 Zoom Horny Toads
4 Squidgies Pro Range
5 Ecooda Live Shrimp
6 Berkley Ripple shad
7 Sizmic Frog
1 Zoom Horny Toads
2 Owner Tango Dancer
3 River2Sea Tango Prop,
4 Dahlberg Diver Frog
6 Sizmic Frog
7 Rapala Walk
Knots are avery important part of barra fishing as these fish will punsish any weak points in your gear.check out the link below,click on Fishing Knots and practice the following knots.
Tying to Hook or Snap- Trilene Knot or the Uni-Knot.
Tying to Lure- Perfection Loop,Non Slip Loop or the Rapala Loop.
Tying Leader to Line- Albright Special, Bloodknot,Double Uni or the Slim Beauty.
Practice these knots and choose the ones that you prefer.
Soft Plastic Frogs
Barra have been known as a hard body lure fishery but a lot of barra are how have been taken on plastic frogs using spin gear.
Some of the more successful soft bodies have been the Zoom Horny Toad and the Sizmic Toad,
Frogs being high on the menu for barra make these soft plastic lures very attractive to barra in Monduran as well all the other lakes that have been stocked with barra.
Because they can be fished with a weedless hook system they are also proving dynamite in tempting big fish out the lily pads in billabongs. There are a lot of different styles on the market from different manufactures but the main difference is in the style of the feet.
When it comes to feet you can either choose the flatter feet and legs like on the Zoom Horny Toads which are a better choice in thicker vegetation and produce a scurrying splashing sound when retrieved?
The other option is the paddle-style foot, like those on the Sizmic
These paddle-style feet will make more of a plopping sound when retrieved through the water and both produce good barra at Monduran.
There are several different ways to use plastic toads/frogs but the first thing to think about is where frogs hang out.
Frogs don’t hang around in the middle of the lake or billabongs unless suicidal, they hang around the edges of the lake in shallow coves and around cover like weed beds and lily-pads.
They also prefer these areas as they can hunt here for bugs and other food and it also provides vegetation to lay their eggs.
It’s only common sense to use this lure where the barra will be hunting for frogs.
I rig the lure Texas style with either a Gamakatsu 5/0 weedless hook if I want the frog to float or if I want to use it just under the surface I use the TT Lures 3 x3.5g 6/0.
Even with the unweighted hook the Horny Toad will sink eventually but is highly buoyant and will float as long as it is fished slowly and kept moving.
Using this method the secret is to twitch on the top of the water and then give it a pause after creating ripples or a splash, then when the water has calmed down give it another twitch to create more ripples.
This usually attracts the barra into a vicious surface strike.
Like I mentioned earlier these lures can be fished in several different ways and if you don’t like the slow retrieve try the spin and burn style.
First cast to the banks or weed beds, then as soon as the toad hits the water start retrieving as fast as possible to make your toad skim across the surface.
With your rod tip high, now add some quick small twitches to make the nose of the toad porpoise, this adds more splashing and movement to the lure.
This method is both a fast and exciting way to target Barra and often works when nothing else does, but remember that using frogs is no guarantee that you are going to catch barra, frogs are only another way of enticing a barra to strike.