11 May – Barra Action

in the Kimberley

The boys from SA were back again for their 6th year in a row. Tim, Scotty, Brian & Harry are the regular 4 and this year were joined by good friends John & Geoff. They are the maddest Barra fishermen and this year had 11 days of great Barra action ahead of them. The weather was nothing more than sensational, the boat hardly rocked the whole time we were away. We had clear skies and cool mornings, perfect for the early starts. John kicked off the trip with a nice 83cm fish, his first Barra for a while as he hadn’t picked up a rod for some time. It was a great start after the long overnight and next day steam into good Barra country. In the short session the group landed 5 Barra and a number of other species.

Tides were great for the trip, we doubled our Barra score on the second day and Harry took the lead with an 85cm fish (He loves being on top! except for the top bunk!!). We kept a feed and also a nice Queenie that Johnno caught for Nummus (pickled fish) and a Salmon for the smoker. We moved anchorage over high tide and Brian joined Harry in the lead with another 85cm Barra, but Harry also landed a 119cm Mulloway which kept him up there.

The next few days saw good numbers of Barra being caught and a new leader emerging. Tim fishing in Marcus’ dinghy landed a massive 95.5cm Barra which sadly went back in after measuring before a photo could be taken. They caught a bucket load that morning right up the end of creek where the fresh meets the salt, a great fishing combination.  We had a few night popper fishing sessions which although were a bit quiet still produced some nice fish to make the effort worthwhile.

We moved anchorages a few times but had good fishing at all spots. Sadly Scotty was bedridden for a few days with the flu but came good and still managed a good number of fish including this nice 83cm Barra. It was good he was onboard for the big fresh water session and to see his Dad catch the big fish.  As the spring tides finished the water started to clear up and we began sighting a lot of fish, some were quite hard to convince to take a lure.

At one particular spot we had about 15 fish swimming around the boat and were only able to catch 4, with most hook-ups happening in the dirtier water. We love sight casting, there is nothing better than spotting a fish, casting past it and then retrieving the lure to meet the fish at the exact moment. Watching the strike then fighting the fish to the boat.  I saw some great casts and some shockers on this trip, it’s amazing how everyone gets flustered when big fish are really close by. Things often go adrift!

One example was, we entered a small gutter with a great looking old snag out the front. We had never fished this particular spot before, couple of casts and we were on. As the fish was coming into the boat we spotted another bigger fish following just underneath it so prompted the other guys to get their lures in to catch this one too. Do you think the other 2 anglers could get their lure just in the water to near it TO HOOK IT UP!!!

We continued to cast in after the first fish was landed and once again this big old girl kept following lures into the boat, but some anglers just pulled their lures right out of the water just as the fish was about to inhale it!!! I am not mentioning any names here but no wonder a guide gets frustrated and starts yelling all sorts of things like “Didn’t you guys come up here to catch fish?”. Finally we left that spot and eventually yes we even landed that big dumb one.

Finally though one of the best casts for the trip goes to Brian, who in dirty water after I’d spotted a wake travelling away from us at maximum casting range put his lure right on the spot and with one wind and twitch was on. It was perfection. Another great trip with a stack of fish, lots of laughs and good times. Hope to see you again next year for number 7.

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