Product Reviews

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Local Boat Ramps

Information on the quality and location of local Boat Ramp facilities. Includes photographs, maps and some video content.

Family orientated

Promoting family fishing.

Fish for the future promotes catch and release fishing.

Great Fishing Locations

Popular fishing spots including GPS locations, sounder shots and maps.

Regular fishing reports

Regular fishing reports from our fishing trips.

Product Reviews

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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Fishing Townsville & ProTackle Meet & Greet

Last night Fishing Townsville and Pro Tackle hosted a Meet and Greet for forum. In all approximately 65 members attended along with the Pro Tackle staff and some guest speakers. We were fortunate enough to have Steve Jetson of Hyperspace Sportfishing Tours come along and talk about Barramundi fishing, and our own Graham Knight (Knighty) of G and T Fishing School talked about fishing for Fingermark. The Pro Tackle boys put on a BBQ of snags and steak as well as free soft-drink. There were lucky door prizes during the night as well as some extra special for-the-night-only sales on selected tackle. The invitation was for forum members only and members needed to fill in a registration form before the night. With such a successful first attempt it looks like we will be holding more events like this in the future. So if you are not yet a member of the forum sign up is easy and free. Membership now exceeds 1000 and the conversation inside the forum is friendly and very active. Thanks again to our sponsors, members and guest speakers.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

SOLD - Side Console Barra Tracker

Up for sale is a Side Console Barra Tracker as is which was re-powered March 2010 with a 115 Yamaha 4 Stroke with hydraulic stearing, that currently has 135 running hours. Vessel has current 2 C Survey 3 + 1, Bimini, 3 interchangable seats, Casting Deck Front and Rear, Draining Floor, Live well, Dual Battery 12 Months Old, 8 Gunwale Rod Holders and 5 rocket launcher holders on Baitboard and has a utility compartment, kill pen, Dual Duck Boards, 100 L underfloor Fuel Tank, Fold Up Boarding Ladder, New Minn-Kota Riptide Bow Mount Electric Motor Riptide RT55AP, Compas, Humminbird GPS + Side Image Sounder & 2nd Navman GPS both with charts for North Queensland, VHF Radio, Epirb and Flares. 200 M Anchor Rope, 2nd - 30 M Rope, 2 Sand Anchors, Reef Anchor, shale anchor and much more !!! Single axel Drive on Aluminium Trailer, LED Indicators, Nylon Skids, Alloy Rims with Brand New Spare, Ford Stud pattern, new wheel bearings January 2011. Ideal for Impondment, Estuary and off shore work or fishing. The Ultimate Fishing machine ! $ 44,500.00 NOW $39,500


With the original 100 Yamaha 4 Stroke with hydraulic stearing, that currently has 530 running hours. Vessel has current 2 C Survey 3 + 1, Bimini, 3 interchangable seats, Casting Deck Front and Rear, Draining Floor, Live well, Dual Battery 12 Months Old, 8 Gunwale Rod Holders and 5 rocket launcher holders on Baitboard and has a utility compartment, kill pen, Dual Duck Boards, 100 L underfloor Fuel Tank, Fold Up Boarding Ladder New Minn-Kota Riptide Bow Mount Electric Motor Riptide RT55AP, Compas, Humminbird GPS + Side Image Sounder & 2nd Navman GPS both with charts for North Queensland, VHF Radio, Epirb and Flares. 200 M Anchor Rope, 2nd - 30 M Rope, 2 Sand Anchors, Reef Anchor, shale anchor and much more !!! Single axel Drive on Aluminium Trailer, LED Indicators, Nylon Skids, Alloy Rims with Brand New Spare, Ford Stud pattern, new wheel bearings January 2011. Ideal for Impondment, Estuary and off shore work or fishing. The Ultimate Fishing machine ! $ 34,500.00 SOLD

100 Yamaha 4-sroke motor available separately with full controls for $6,900.

For more details contact Paul Lyon via email at

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Catching Barramundi on Hard Bodied Lures

I have to admit straight up that I am no Barra expert! To be honest, up until a couple of years ago, I found Barramundi to be a bit of a bore to catch. I thought they were very over-rated. "Put a Fingermark of the same size on the end of there line and they you have a fight on your hand" I use to say. But that was when I use to do a fair bit of live baiting in the creeks. Then, a little over a year ago, we purchased a small 3.86m Seajay secondhand from Townsville Marine. It allowed us to get into some smaller creeks and, with the addition of an Electric Motor, try our hand at lure casting. And THAT is when I discovered just how much fun Barramundi can be to catch! There is no better feeling than working a lure among the mangrove roots and have it inhaled by a big fish. The strike is sudden and aggressive. So I am going to share a little about what I have picked up in the last year or so about luring Barra in the creeks.

I have approaced lure fishing for Barramundi from two different angles. The first of which is using small soft plastics lures on light 1000 size spin reals and only 8lb braid. This is what I have termed 'fineness fishing for Barra'. Now this is a bit unconventional and deserves and atricle all on its own. So stay tuned for that one.

The second is the more common method of Hard Bodied lure fishing on 20-30lb braid and baitcaster tackle. That will be the focus of this article.

The Tackle

Tossing lures accurately for hours at a time demands good quality tackle that will handle heavy braided lines and big fish, while still remaining light and nimble in the hand. By far the best for this is short Graphite rods and low profile baitcaster reels. A short rod of between 5'3" and 5'6" is best for luring from a small boat. It allows quick and accurate casts over short distances, and lets you flick underhanded when trying to get lures in underneath mangrove ledges. Distance is not a necessity here, accuracy is! A G•Loomis GL2 CR644 is about the best rod on the market for this purpose. And, for a Loomis, its not too expensive either. Match it up to a low profile baitcaster, such as the Shimano Curado 200E, and 20lb Power Pro braided line and you will have an awesome weapon. I have been using a GL2 with Calcutta 200 for quite a while now. But the reel is too big in the had to use comfortably all day. I now have a Chronarch low profile reel on a custom graphite rod, and it is doing the trick so far. The guys in a ProTackle will happily put any reel on a rod for you and give you a demo.

The Tides

Big tides will dirty the water and create far too much run for effective lure casting. Conversely, small tides won't make the bate move through the system as much and therefore the fish don't feed as actively. I like tides that are somewhere in the middle! Enough movement to activate a good bite, but not so much that fishing is impossible. I also find that fishing is better while the tides are building. That is, the tides are in the part of the cycle where they are getting larger every day. The fish will be hungry after going through the slack period of the neap tides.

I much prefer a falling tide for lure fishing. On the top of the tide bait will move deep into the mangrove roots in search of cover from predatory fish. Fish like Barramundi will follow these bait into the 'sticks' where they can, and its not uncommon to hear big boofs from 1m+ Barra 30m or more back into the mangroves. But when the tide turns the bait must come out into the main channel, and its here that the predators will sit and work the edges for an easy meal.

The perfect tide would be something around a 2.5-2.8m high tide right on day-break. Falling to about 1 to 1.5m later in the morning will give a full session of lure casting. But thats not to say you won't catch Barramundi on any other tide or time of day! Its just my preference for what has produced the best fishing for me.

Lure Selection

I have said it before and I'll say it again, by far my favourite lure for casting to Barramundi in the snags is the Killalure Flatz Rat. But most of the popular Hard Bodied lures will work when set up and worked correctly. The most important feature of a lure when casting in the snags at Barra is to have it 'almost' neutrally buoyant. That is, you want it to suspend in the water column for a period before slowly rising. A lure that sinks will just result in lots of snags, and one that floats too quickly will rise out of the strike zone before the Barra has a chance to size it up and hit. Modifying a lure is simply achieved by replacing hooks and/or split-rings with ones that are heavier. It is generally the case that hooks and rings from lures out of the box will be too weak for Barramundi anyway, so upgrading these will be required for this reason alone. Sit with a bucket of water or a pool near by and replace hooks and rings until the lure has a gently rise through the water. Keep in mind that salt water is more buoyant that freshwater, and that hooks do not need to be of the same size all the way along the lure. There is a very simple hook upgrade that can be done to a Flatz Rat in less than 5mins and will give you exact action required. I have written an article on this here.

Deep diving lures are the best ones for casting around sunken timber and drop offs. They allow you to pull the lure deep into the water column without bringing it too far away from the structure. But shallow divers come into their own up on the flats and in the mouths of shallow drains. Poppers are very effective too, at the right time, and there will be an article dedicated to 'Poppering Barra' in the future. Again, the guys in ProTackle have years of lure casting experience between them and will help out with specific lure selection.

What ever you lure selection is, the biggest tip I can give is to SLOW DOWN your retrieve. Barramundi are not Mackerel! For the most part they will size up a prey item for several seconds before engulfing it. Just watch one in a fish tank one day. If you pull the lure too quickly the fish will spook and turn away. I like to give a twitch of the lure and then count to 3 before twitching again. 3 seconds seems to be about the right pause time. Counting sounds a bit mundane, but when things are quiet its really easy to slip into simple 'cast and retrieve' repetition without realising it. And it just won't be as effective. 


I much prefer fishing with braided fishing line for lure casting. Its much more sensitive and gives direct contact to the lure. But a small section of Monofilament or Flurocarbon leader is required to absorb the impact of the strike. Fishing with a 20lb braided main line then a 40lb mono leader will be adequate for most average size Barramundi. However, larger specimens will wear through light leaders fairly quickly with their rough mouths and sharp gill plates. If big Barra are the target then 30lb braid with 60lb mono leader will be a better option. Leaders should be about a rod length so as to cast freely. I like to tie a short double in the end of the braided main line using a simple spider hitch. I then use a double uni knot to connect leader to the double and a simple loop knot for tying the lure to the leader. An alternative is to skip the double and connect the main line to leader with a slim beauty knot. This will cast better as it runs more easily through the small guides of baitcaster rods, but may not be as strong.

Forum member Phil Lawlor has taken all the hard work out of leaders and is producing a hand made custom leader system known as the 'all aussie shock leader'. These are available for purchase in 40, 60, 80 or 100lb configurations. They feature a Dacron loop for easy connection to the main line, a line guard to prevent wear from the mouth and a strong clip for lure connection.


When you start to read all the books and magazines on Barramundi you start to think that they can be found just about anywhere! And to a point its quite true. You can get Barra in the snags, in drains, on the flats, above weed-beds, at the mouths of creeks, right up the channels, in the salt, in the fresh and even around headlands and islands! But the one thing to remember when it comes to chasing Barra is that they are bloody lazy fish! They will look for the easiest place to sit that will bring them the most amount of reward for their efforts. Its that simple! 

I am a really big fan of drains and Barra. On a falling tide prawn and other bait fish will have to exit the drain into the main river. This is an ideal ambush point for the Barra. And if there is a nice snag at the mouth of the drain for the fish to hide in, all the better. Flats are good too, especially on the top of bigger tides. Bait moves up onto these flats to escape predators, but Barra will follow them. There is a smaller 'window' to fish for Barra on the flats, as when the tide falls the fish will move off quickly. It also requires a more stealth approach as fish spook easily in shallow water. Snags around the deeper edges of the main rivers are also good. They provide protection for bait by breaking the flow of water. Barra love this and will sit under the snags waiting for a feed to pass them by. But don't discount features as simple as an indent in the bank, this can be enough to provide the 'soft' water that Barramundi love. 

There are plenty of other spots in creeks or around headlands to catch a Barra. But no matter where you are chasing them, look for areas where bait will gather and the Barra can sit lazily and wait close by for the food to come to them.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Barra and Jack from Morrissey's Creek

Weather again prevents the bigger boats from comfortably fishing the blue water this weekend. But that doesn't seem to matter as there have been reports of quality Barramundi coming from just about every local creek. So Dad and I spent yesterday morning chasing them down at Morrissey's. Its been a long time since I had a boat in that particular creek, and after re-visiting yesterday I think I'll be spending a little more time in there. Its a lovely big creek with lots of drains and snags. Its deep throughout the entire system making navigating even larger creek boats very easy. And the fishing isn't too bad either!

We headed off early, well aware its almost an hours drive to the ramp. Sunrise was 6am, but we launched on first light about 5.30. Initially we headed well upstream into where the fresh is still running off the flood planes and into the main creek. The water was dirty from the fresh, but visibility was still ok for lure casting. There is a lot of bait in the top sections of the creek. Heaps of jelly prawn and a stack of mullet. But to our surprise fishing was a lot quieter than we would have anticipated.

It was a ridiculous number of casts before we had our first strike. Dad had put his lure right into one of those spots that 'just had to have a fish'. And wack, he was on. For small fish he sure did go hard, looked a stick just sticking out of the water and then took of for our electric. But he didn't stand a chance agains the 20lb braid and was soon netted, photographed and released.

Dad also took second strike a short time later, but despite having two goes at the lure it didn't stay connected. We then moved even further upstream to a series of gutters. I put a cast into one that looked very fishy and was almost immediately hooked up. The fish tried to head for cover and I applied some firm thumb pressure to the Chronarch and 30lb Power Pro. But the hooks pulled. This was a good fish, and on closer inspection of the lure I had managed to straighten one of the VMC 6X trebles! A second cast back into the same spot and I was hooked up again. Expecting another good fish I hit the breaks hard and just about pulled the little Barra straight into the boat! Not quite of the same calibre as the first fish it was photographed and released.

Things then went VERY quite. We had been throwing Flatz Rat lures all morning and I was starting to get a little frustrated at the lack of attention. So I decided to change over to the lighter Stella and a 3in Prong. I had only made a few casts with it when a good fish hit and raced off. Expecting a rat barra I held the spool right on the limit of the 8lb Power Pro and led the fish clear of the snags. But when the fish surfaced it was no Barra, it was a nice Mangrove Jack. At 38cm it was good to put a fish in the eski finally.

A few cast later I was on again, this one 41cm. And then came one at 42cm. Those Jacks sure do like the Prongs.

We then decided to head back to the mouth area for a look around before finally heading home. Despite only a small tide change, the water was running out quite hard. So we found a nice set of snags in deep water out of the main current flow. I stayed with the Prong and Dad keep up with the HB lures. It didn't take long and I had my first hookup, but he buried me into the snags pretty quickly. One of down sides of fishing light line in the snags. A bit further along the bank and I was pulling the prong high in the water over a snag when a pair of rat barra surfaced and one managed to grab the prong and hook up. A few casts later and another rat barra took the prong from the mouth of a drain.

It had been a difficult morning, plenty of casts between fish. But we managed to put together a reasonable catch by the end of the morning. No big barra landed today, but they are there!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Barramundi Season Open

With all the activity following the crossing of Cyclone Yasi Wednesday night, the opening of Barra season is pretty low on most peoples priority list. And rightly so, most of us are quite busy cleaning up around our homes. But I think its important that we take a bit of time out for ourselves too. Dad and I had our first fish for the season yesterday. First off we met Dave at the Lakes to throw some lures for an hour or two at first light. 

It was pretty quiet, with mainly small Barramundi hunting bait in the flooded grass. Dave managed his first Barra of the season, at 35cm it was not much to get excited about. I threw one at my feet about the same size. Best fish of the morning was a nice Giant Herring that took my white 3in prong in a drain. Those things sure do run hard for their size. With lots still to do we finished at 8.30am and headed home.

Dad and I then ventured out again that afternoon to look at some flood waters further South. But despite driving a considerable number of km's we found little in the way of fishable water. Most of our spots were either still too flooded or had trees over the roads blocking access in. But we did find one spot that turned on a little action for us right on sunset. I caught a few Barra in the 50's and Dad managed a nice one about 62cm. They mainly fell to fizzers fished in the fading light. 

Friday, 4 February 2011

Aftermath of Cyclone Yasi in Townsville - Video

Aftermath of Cyclone Yasi in Townsville - Photographs

Some pics I took while driving family back to their houses yesterday morning. Video to follow once upload has completed.