BIG CATCH: Ryan Paterson from Gladstone Sportfishing Club with a trophy-size barramundi just over the one-metre mark caught in the Boyne River during the 2017 season.
BIG CATCH: Ryan Paterson from Gladstone Sportfishing Club with a trophy-size barramundi just over the one-metre mark caught in the Boyne River during the 2017 season. Contributed

Barramundi open season is fast approaching

THERE'S only three sleeps left until the 2018 barramundi season opens, leaving just enough time to fill your tackle box with all the essential gear to snare the prized fish.

The annual closed season for barramundi comes into effect every year from midday November 1 to midday February 1.

The exception to this in the Gladstone region has been Lake Awoonga, as the closed season doesn't apply to that waterway.

Closed seasons are designed to protect species at vulnerable times in their life cycle, such as during spawning seasons.

 

A nice big barramundi caught in the Boyne River.

Photo Contributed
A nice big barramundi caught in the Boyne River. Photo Contributed Contributed

However, come noon on Thursday it will be on for young and old, although LJ's Compleat Angler co-director Les Jones says the tide will tease anglers on the day.

"Tides aren't perfect for the opening day because they're massive, but people will gear up ready for it when the tides drop a bit," Mr Jones said.

"(Thursday's high) tide is 4.80m which is the biggest tide of the year, so that will be hard fishing for barra in the estuaries and ocean with that tide, but as it drops off it will definitely improve."

Mr Jones said smaller tides coinciding with smaller moon cycles offered better conditions to catch the species and there were many spots around the region where they could be caught.

"The (Gladstone) Harbour, Boyne River, Calliope River - you're going to find barra everywhere at this time of the year because they've been fairly prolific that people are seeing them with their sounders," he said.

 

LJs Compleat Angler co-director Les Jones with a vast quantity of lures ready for the opening of barramundi season at 12pm on Thursday, February 1.
LJs Compleat Angler co-director Les Jones with a vast quantity of lures ready for the opening of barramundi season at 12pm on Thursday, February 1. Matt Taylor GLA280118FISH

Mr Jones said barra would be more on the bite during the warmer months.

"It makes them a little more active so you'll catch more at the opening of the season," he said.

"You'll still catch them all through winter, but they're not as active."

There are varying methods for catching barra, but advancements in lure technology make them the popular choice.

"People will still use live bait but the majority of people now are using lures," Mr Jones said.

"You can work a bigger area with lures and with the electronics we have today people will find them on their sounders."

The legal size for barra is between 58cm-120cm.



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