Every angler has this dream of catching various kinds of fishes, from the tiniest to the enormous ones. One such fish is the Barramundi fish which is known for its gigantic size and remains on the bucket list of many anglers. The sheer challenge of catching a barramundi makes it oh-so-satisfying to catch.
But then if it wasn’t such a challenging task then the top class fishers wouldn't be the hero for their kids and the envy of their peers. If you too are wondering as to how to catch barramundi, the good news is that it is possible to work out a few fishing habits. We share with you all about the physical features of the fish and the techniques that you can adapt to catch them.
About Barramundi Fish
The Barramundi or the Asian sea bass (Lates calcarifer) is a species of catadromous fish in the family Latidae. The species is distributed widely in the Indo-West Pacific region from Southeast Asia to Papua New Guinea as well as Northern Australia. It is very popular Thai cuisine and is referred to as Pla Kapong in the Thai language.
The name Barramundi is a loanword from an Australian Aboriginal language of the Rockhampton area in Queensland which means "large-scaled river fish". Barramundi is salt and freshwater sportfish which are targeted by many.
The Barramundi is known to change sex generally maturing as males in their 3rd to 5th year and then changing to females between 4 to 8 years. This, however, happens only in saltwater.
Physical Features of the Barramundi Fish
The Barramundi fish has an elongated body form with a slightly oblique and largemouth. Its upper jaw extends behind its eye. The lower edge of the preoperculum is serrated with a strong spine at its angle; the operculum has a small spine and a serrated flap above the lateral line’s origin.
Its scales have several tiny projections on the edge making it seem like the tooth of a comb.
In cross-section, the fish is compressed and the dorsal head profile clearly concave. The ventral and single dorsal fins have soft rays and spines. The paired pelvic and pectoral fins have soft rays while the caudal fin has soft rays and is truncate and rounded as well.
The species of this kind have large, silver scales which might be light or dark depending on their surrounding environments. They can grow up to 1.8 m (5.9 ft) long, however, evidence of fishes of these species being caught at such huge size is very scarce.
They can weigh as much as 60 kilograms (130lb) and their average length would be somewhere around 0.6–1.2 m (2.0–3.9 ft).
If you are interested in Barramundi fishing, you need to be aware of what these fishes generally eat. These species are known to be voracious opportunistic predators.
This means that they would eat anything in or around the water including spiders, insects, prawns, small crocodiles and fishes.
At times a mature Barramundi eats the juvenile Barramundis. A larger Barramundi's diet consists of 60% of fish and 40% of crustaceans (usually prawns) while the juvenile Barra eats prawns mostly.
Also, the fish barramundi isn't known to be very aggressive. They do not have very sharp or scary teeth and can easily be kept in aquariums and handfed.
Where is Barramundi Found
The female Barramundi lays millions of eggs each season. Therefore, the fishes of these species can be found in abundance.
Where to find these fishes?
Barramundi is demersal fishes, inhabiting estuaries, coastal waters, lagoons and rivers. They can be found in clear to turbid water which usually has a temperature range of 26−32 Celsius. Tropical and river waterbeds are ideal abode to the Barramundi fish. This species does not migrate extensively between or even within river systems.
It is because of this that there has been a presumably influenced establishment of genetically distinct stocks in Northern Australia.They can be found primarily in the northern half of Australia and in coastal areas from the Persian Gulf throughout Southeast Asia and into Papua New Guinea. If you do wish to catch some large fishes of these species, Australia does have various fantastic spots all along the northern coastline.
Best Fishing Season
According to the expert anglers, Barramundi fishing would best be done during the warmer months. Therefore, the right barramundi fishing season has to be when it is a bit warm as these fishes are known to thrive in water that has a temperature range of 26−32 Celsius.
Barramundi’s Mating Season
Another barramundi basic that you should be aware of is their mating season.
These species inhabits river and descend to tidal flats and estuaries to spawn. In areas that are remote from fresh water, purely marine populations might become established.
Towards the beginning of the monsoon, males migrate downriver to meet the females, who lay very large numbers of eggs. The large female Barramundi can lay as much as up to 32 million eggs in a season. The adults neither guard the eggs nor the fry, which needs brackish water to evolve.
Barramundi Fishing Rigs
For the people who use baits for Barramundi fishing suggest that the fish of this species would take prawns either dead or alive. Mullets or other types of baitfish are also a popular option. For catching the bigger ones, live mullet is the most favourable option. Prawns remain the widely popular choice.
The great thing about Barramundi fishing is the fact that a wide variety of lure is available for catching them.The size and the colour of the lure have been a topic of debate since ages. No matter whatever barramundi lures you choose, make sure that it is sturdy. The jellies or the soft plastic lures have proven to be very effective. Test and try out different lures in different conditions and see which one works best.
Ways to Target the Fishes
One of the barra catching secrets is to fish where there is moving water. This means that you would want to plan your trips around tides. The Barramundi fishes are known for being lazy and thereby wish to get food without putting in much effort. They hence try to position themselves in a way where the food would drift by them easily. Hence, planning for barramundi fishing around that time would yield fruitful results.
Also, the best way to catch barramundi is by continuing to pepper them with baits or lures once you find a school of these species. If you do it for a long time, there’s a high chance that you would get a good one. Avoid fishing during the rough conditions when the wind is a bit too much as that shuts them down. Another barramundi fishing tip would be to cast into snags in mangrove creeks. You need to be absolutely precise with your casts as these fishes won’t chase it far.
You would need to get your lure or bait right up to the current of the snag and then allow it to drift past with only small twitches. After that, let it hang right in front of hem and wait patiently for them to get it. In case a fish does bite the bait, you would need to pull up as quickly as possible to avoid it tangling up in the timber. In case the water is way too high, it would become difficult for you to make a catch as these species would retreat into the mangroves.
It is therefore essential to plan the barramundi fishing trip accordingly. Spooks or poppers would work great if you have to ever fish in high waters. Fish them at the snag’s edges and you might be successful in catching a few fishes.
The kind of tackle that you would use for Barramundi fishing would depend on the way that you are pursuing them. When you are fishing for the larger fishes in the sandy areas near the mouth of a river with no snags, you could use Largemouth Bass type tackle.
However, when fishing close to the timber or another cover, you would require a heavier tackle. They might have small teeth but it can wear a lighter leader when you are trying to pull them. Hence, when it comes to barramundi fishing tackle, make use of a leader which is approximately 30lbs.
Barramundi Fishing Techniques
The barramundi fish is known to respond well to a lot of jigs and lures. The most common barra fishing techniques are popping, jigging and spooning. The trick here is to make sure that your lure looks similar to the tiny fishes that barramundi feeds on.
Generally lures of yellow, silver and brown colour have shown great results. Fly fishing is also a popular technique but this would work only where the water is absolutely clear and where the fish would be to see the surface. Fly fishers usually use larger flies and nets.
It is quite obvious that you might not be able to succeed the very first time. However, with continual effort, practice and a lot of patience, you would definitely be able to make a good catch. You need to be in the right fishing spot, use right techniques and timings to have a great catch. Fish with a strategy and barramundi is sure to be ticked off from your fishing bucket list.