Friday, April 25, 2008

Flying barra

Catching a barramundi on fly is on top of the goal list for most dedicated fly fisherman around Aus.

Just catching any type or size of fish on a fly rod is a great experience - feeling the fly line pull through your fingers after the strike and the feel of the rod as it bends into a fish - it's awesome.
Barramundi of big sizes were a little harder to find with fly fishing techniques before the impoundments were stocked in Queensland.
Now, with metre plus barra in large numbers in dams, the dream of landing a big barra on fly has become easier to achieve.

But it's still an extremely challenging goal - getting a big barra to eat your fly requires thought & effort.
Here's some tips that might help you achieve this goal:
1. Find a few spots that you know will hold barra - weedy areas, laydown timber, points.
2. Plan how you'll fish them - your fly choice, where you'll be casting etc.
3. When you start fishing, come in stealthy & make long casts to the area.
+ persist! This is one of the main ingredients of any successful idea.
The 112cm in the photo was captured after returning to a hot area the day after we landed around 6 barra up to 113cm in 3 hours of fishing.
We think we could have caught a lot more on lure but persisted with the technique for 2 hours until we had the strike.
After setting the hook, it ran out into the deep and was a challenge to apply pressure. It finally came in and measured 112cm - taking around 2 minutes to land from the strike.
It was awesome fun & an amazing experience.
BTW, the fly was a slow sinking Sal-Mul-Mac at about 130mm long - and was sunk down some weeds for 10 seconds, after pulling the lure out of some weedy strands.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Enviro brand

The Enviro brand is an important part in healthy catch & release fishing.

Catch & release in recreational fishing is a growing sport - for all species of fish. Therefore, if a fish is to be released to survive after capture, it's important that the fish is not damaged in any way to give it a good chance of survival.

The Enviro brand provides nets & measuring mats which are perfect for catch and release fishing.

Fish have a protective slime coating which covers their entire body - this acts as a protective coating which shields them from disease or parasites.

The Brag mat (measuring mat) has a smooth material so that if you water it, and then place the fish on it, the slime coating will stay on the fish.

The material needs to be wet that comes in contact with the fish - if it's dry it can rub and take away the slime coating.

The Environet is a landing net which comes in all sizes - anything from bream to big jewfish will fit in an Environet.

The material on the Environet combines a smooth material just like on the brag mat and a mesh with tiny holes that the fishes spines will not fit through.
If you've seen a standard rope mesh net, they have large holes and the fishes spines will stick out through them and cut the skin between the spines.

With the Environet, the holes are very small and there's a great chance that the spines will stay in tact.

The holes on the net are for allowing water to pass through when scooping up a fish boatside.

The best way to land a fish with an Environet is for the hooked-up angler to lead the fish into the net head first and for the net person to dig the net into the water right before the fish heads into the net.

Attempting to scoop up a fish tail first with the net or side on can be difficult - especially with barramundi. They will usually kick right when you're scooping them up and will head in the direction they are facing - if they're facing into the net that's the most likely place they'll go.

We have lost several barra over a metre this way - after they get into the net they blast out and shake the hooks out near the boat - yes, it is a bad feeling!

These 2 great items can be bought in a lot of tackle & outdoors shops around Australia.

They are a 'must have' for any catch & release angler - for whatever the type of fishing you do.

Go get one!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Giants on the surface

Giant Trevally, or GT for short are one of the strongest fish in the sea.
They aren't a colourful fish although they have an amazing grey colour scheme - which shines in the sunlight.

They live around reef and feed on all sorts of large baitfish including wolf herring, garfish, fusiliers & mullet species.

Surface luring is popular to catch them and is still an unrecognised technique among many fisherman today.

Giant trevally can reach incredible sizes, up to 90kg. Anything above 60kg is an absolute mega size fish that has to be seen to be believed.

Stickbaits or large poppers are great lures to cast around for them. They work well casted over reefy country and worked back with huge commotion & movement.

Explosive is the perfect description of a GT strike. On many occasions, the fish will come up from behind, turn to face the lure and eat it head on. This is what they do to large baitfish as the avoid the backwards facing spines.

Some 'quick' info on tackle
- 10 - 25kg spinning rods & reels - Shimano Stellas

- 80Lb - 150Lb braid

- 150lb - 200lb leader

- Nomad Ulua stickbaits and Cubera poppers