Paul Worsteling: Hi, I’m Paul Worsteling from from iFish for Club Marine TV and I’m about to tell you about one of the most special fish on the planet, lates calcarifer, the barramundi. A lot of people think the barramundi is an Australian native fish but sadly that isn’t true, they’re found in India, South East Asia and Papua New Guinea.
In some parts of the world they’re known as the Asian sea bass, but I like to think of the Australian barramundi as an iconic Aussie native. They’re just so special. Paul Worsteling: Now I say to people, it isn’t just about the fish you catch, it’s the environment in which you catch them.
And every time I fish for barramundi I tend to be in some of the most beautiful locations in the world. They go as far south as Exmouth, on the west coast of Australia and they go as far south as Noosa, on the east coast of Australia.
Most barramundi, however, live in the northern territory and when you get a big build up and a great big wet, those barramundi come everywhere, off the floodplains, down to do their thing at some of the best fishing you’ll ever get.
Paul Worsteling: In general, barramundi range from about 30 centimeters through to a meter fifty, but the one meter barramundi is the magic mark. They’re iconic fish. They’re fish that take artificials very well, both hard bodies and soft plastics, you can cast it snags, you can cast to schools, you can troll and you can even fly fish for them.
If you want to catch big barramundi, I’m here to tell you trolling is the best method. The reason for this, you put your lure out, it gets down to a certain depth and your lure stays at that depth or in the zone for a long period of time doing its thing.
You can pick it up on the sounder, just run over and over, and over, until you annoy them into taking a bite. Paul Worsteling: I do, however, love casting a barramundi. Nothing better than finding a small drain, you know there’s bait there, cast a plastic or hard body in, you’ve got to get it moving, don’t just wind, get that bait really twitching.
It drives them nuts, and bang. Now, really important too, barramundi lures, as in hard bodies, they come in floating, suspending, and sinking. You need to look at the lure, don’t just pick a lure and say, “I like that because it’s that big and it’s gold”, you need to know if it floats, suspends or sinks.
If you cast a floating lure in and wind it then stop winding, it’ll come up to the top. Paul Worsteling: A suspending lure, however, cast, wind, it’ll go down to the desired depth, you stop winding, it’ll sit there and that is a good thing.
If you bring it past a snag, wind, stop, hold the lure in the spot, it doesn’t go like that, it sits. Give it a twitch, move the rod tip, it’ll literally sit in the fish’s face, bang, they can’t help themselves.
I’m a massive fan of suspending lures. Paul Worsteling: When it comes to plastics, white is probably my favorite color, I love to put a ball sink on the nose, use a weedless hook, there’s nothing better, getting through the lilies, through the trees, next thing, bang, the barramundi comes in and nails it.
I love barramundi because you can literally be casting your school, you get 20 fish this big and then along comes the beast. When you catch an Aussie barramundi that comes out of the water and starts to shake his big head, it’ll blow your mind.
There’s also dam barramundi in Australia, famous dams like Proserpine, Awoonga, these have massive, massive fish that have been put into the dams and stocked. They don’t breed but they grow to ginormous proportions.
Paul Worsteling: Ill never forget, I took Christie up to Lake Tinaroo in Queensland years ago, she wanted to go on a holiday, I said, “great, let’s go barramundi fishing”. We trolled for hours, never caught a fish, but it just made me want them even more.
Finally, Lake Awoonga one night, after seven days of dam fishing, I caught 50 barramundi, half of them over a meter, one of the best fishing sessions ever. They just get big and fat and they are big fish.
Seriously, when you feel that bump, bump, you set the hook and that barramundi comes out, there are very few things like it. Remember they are hard to catch at times, but don’t be disheartened, just keep going barra fishing, work your tides, make sure you know where the bait is because if you get it all right, it’s one of the best things you’ll ever do.
Paul Worsteling: Fishing gear wise, I love to use bait cast outfits, generally about a 30 pound braid, 200 size reel, and a four to six kilo rod. If you’re fishing for real big fish, you might need to up that to 10 KG but just don’t go too hard and pull those hooks.
Spin gear is also become really big for barra in the last few years, try a 4000 size reel, a fix foot two piece rod, weight at three to six kilo, and I like to use around 30 pound braid, because with a thinner braid, get your lures down deeper, when you hook the big fish, you gotta get him off the snags, you can pull pretty hard.
Paul Worsteling: When it comes to leader, 60 to 70 pound is ideal. Try fluorocarbon because fluorocarbon helps with those nasty gill bits around here where they can cut you off and don’t forget when you’re attaching lures, always use a loop knot.
Your idea behind this, it gives a great pivot point for the lure to move through the water, much better action if you tie a solid knot on the front of that lure. Paul Worsteling: That’s what you need to know about barramundi, but the main thing is they are absolutely epic, I love them and I think every person that has ever wet a line in Australia, has just prayed that one day they might catch the iconic barramundi.
Good luck, I hope you catch yours.