Thursday, February 11, 2010

Impoundment barramundi - freshwater hunters

Impoundment barramundi have taken the spotlight in Queensland's freshwater fishing. Other species such as Australian bass, sooty grunter and yellowbelly were once the primary target of many impoundment fisherman.

Now, with the barramundi at consistent sizes of 1m in some lakes, their looks and their ability to jump clear out of the water, it's easy to see why they are getting attention.

The look of a metre plus barramundi is amazing - they have solid silver scales, a chunky tail wrist, a large paddle-like tail and a strange head that slopes down to form their mouth and eyes closely together.

Their mouth is teeth-less, so they have an abrasive sandpaper-like texture surrounding their mouth to grip bait and swallow it whole.

They have sharp scutes around their gills which can cut mono lines very easily - it is unknown why these scutes actually exist.

Their eyes are positioned right near their mouth for accuracy when attacking bait - both of the eyes are on top of the head giving them the ability to see their prey on the surface easily. They are known for attacking all types of small baitfish and crustaceans hanging around on top of the water.

Their jawbones open up to an amazing size so they can swallow bait up to one and a half feet long in one movement - without chewing!

They have all of the features of a hunting fish including a lateral line to detect vibrations from fish movement, amazing eyesight in both day and night, a swim bladder to rise and fall in the water, fins for positoning and nostrils to pick up any underwater scents.

These features are what makes them a unique underwater hunter.

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