When: All year round - best months September to May
How: Lure fishing the summer months, livebait the rest of the year works well. Casting mangrove creeks and channel flats, trolling drop-offs and river holes.
Size: Up to 45lb 20kg in this area
Tackle: Lurefishing bait/plug casters around 20lb/8kg
Habitat: Rivers, channel flats, mangroves, rocky shorelines and creeks
Season: Closed November/December/January - non target - water release
The Barramundi Life Cycle
Barramundi fishing is the single most popular fishing activity in tropical and sub tropical Australia.
Hinchinbrook is renown for it's vast mangrove wilderness and fine barramundi fishing. Located midway between Townsville and Cairns on the Coast from Ingham the Hinchinbrook shire is a great place to spend a little time barra fishing.
Hinchinbrook Channel has been protected from commercial net fishing since 1998 resulting in many more breeding stock in the channel for future enhancement. Restocking has also been taking place for many years now by the Hinchinbrook Restocking Group and supported by the local Ingham Rod and Reel fishing club.
Crackajack Sportfishing Adventures conducting Barramundi fishing holidays and day tours from Lucinda at the southern end of Hinchinbrook Channel since 1992. Whether it be lure casting or fly fishing visitors have the opportunity to experience some of the best wild stock barra fishing in the north. Fishing for and catching wild barramundi is the ultimate angling experience, barra in the wild are wrily, cautious and hard fighting.
The Barramundi produce eggs between the months of September and March with the build up period from October to December being the most important.
Barramundi eggs and larvae require salt water spawning normally takes place in Marine bays and river mouths Juvenile Barramundi (now 200-300mm) migrate up the rivers and its freshwater wetlands.
If the young do not have access to freshwater they will probably remain in coastal and estuarine areas to mature. After three to five years most of the freshwater Barramundi migrate back to the ocean to spawn.
How to tell the age of Barramundi
Length to age relationship is:
- 1 year old 30-40cm long
- 2 year old 50-60cm long
- 3 year old 60-80cm long
- 8 year old 1Metre long
When do Barramundi change sex?
Barramundi change sex from male to female.
The size of the Barramundi can be a good indicator of the sex of the fish.
Most Barramundi mature as males (about 50-60cm) and start to change sex to females at around 90cm but only if they live in saltwater.
What do Barra eat?
Barra are fairly lazy opportunistic feeders they eat just about anything that lives in or around the water including prawns, small crabs, and even each other.
The size of the prey is largely determined by the size of the Barra.
A larger Barramundi's diet consists of 60% fish and 40% crustaceans (mainly prawns), smaller barra eat mainly prawns.
This will vary according to where the fish is living.
How do Barra feed in dirty water?
Vision is probably limited in dirty water.
Barramundi utilise what is called a lateral line, which is a sensory organ that runs down both sides of the body.
The lateral line enables fish to detect vibrations in the water and so be able to locate prey and avoid predators.
The question of whether it is the colour or action of the lure that attracts the fish is difficult to answer, however it is probably a combination of both.
- Barramundi have been recorded up to 150cm long and with weights in excess to 40kg.
- Barramundi are thought to live to around 20 years of age.
- Large female Barramundi can produce 32 million eggs in a single session.
- Barramundi inhabit areas where the water temperature ranges between 20 to 35 degrees Celsius.
- Barramundi can travel great distances in their life, one fish was recaptured 600 kilometres away.