Threadybuster - An innovative Aussie made soft plastic vibe. At about 16grams and 95mm these are good for working deep holes and outside banks. Throw the lure up-current of the boat and allow it to sink to the bottom. Slowly twitch and work the lure back to the boat, keeping the lure in contact with the bottom. Gentle lifts of the rod are all that is required to insight vibration in the lure. Two sets of trebles make them quite prone to snagging, and in deep water this can get expensive. Removing the rear treble considerably reduces snagging.
Smoking Drags stable is the 60mm Mini-Threadybuster. Since the release of these lures I have used them very successfully chasing Grunter. But they have already accounted for numerous incidental Barramundi over 60cm. Although they are tiny, they are well worth a shot. Follow Threadybuster on Facebook.
Quickcatch Lures are importing a range of cheaper alternatives to the Aussie made Threadybuster. Available directly from the Quickcatch Facebook page, these lures are about half the price of a Threadybuster and do work. However, I don't find the vibration to be as intense and the plastic seems to suffer more easily from sun and heat damage. They need to be worked harder than the Threadybuster to achieve the same action.
Most Barramundi are targeted by local lure fishers on either 20 or 30lb braided fishing lines. Heavier lines than this are not required, and it should always be remembered that lighter lines present lures better. 20lb is my preferred breaking strain when fishing Hard Bodied lures and the more expensive soft vibes.
Stradic Ci4+ range of reels are a great starting point. But the Sustain and Stella range offer little more 'precision' and quality for their higher price tag. 2500 size reels are a good starting point, especially for fishing in the 8-10lb line class. But a 4000 size might be better suited for 20-30lb lines.
Very few people will give away their favourite Barramundi haunt! But all the major systems around Townsville hold good numbers of fish. The best thing you can do is to pick a river system and get to know it well. Spend the time looking at the snags from the mouth to the upper reaches. Get to know which areas fish best at different tides and different times of the year. There is no substitute for time spent on the water. The Bohle river, for example, is probably one of the most heavily fished systems close to town, and yet those that know it well can still pull good 1m+ fish fairly consistently. The Haughton and Morriseys to the south are also good options. And during the warmer times of the year, don't discount the headlands around Cape Cleveland and Maggie Island. Think about the conditions; wind, tide, rain, etc. Consider the effect these will have on factors that effect fishabilty and fish activity; flow rate and water quality for example. Then try to pick a system or area that is going to best suit those conditions offered. You can't change the conditions presented, but you can make the most of them. For example, last year Andrew and I put in the Haughton after heavy rain. It was running very hard and dirty with big logs floating throughout. We pulled the boat out and moved over to Cocoa Creek. Only a 15min drive away, the water was running clean and clear. We had a fantastic day on Rat Barra! Cocoa creek does not have a huge catchment area like the Haughton and was relatively unaffected by the heavy rains.