THE impoundment barra season is well and truly under way, with awesome fishing providing anglers with some memorable captures and cricket-score sessions.
Big numbers of fish have been reported in both Peter Faust and Kinchant dams and the action is going to get even better. With the drought in Queensland only getting worse, the dam levels are slowly dropping. While this means a tough time on the land, the impoundment fishing will continue to improve.
At Peter Faust, the dam level is down in the 70 percent range and the water’s edge has come away from the innumerable melaleuca trees that border almost the entire dam. This means a lot of great things for barra anglers, such as less cover for the fish and a whole new series of points, inlets and creeks to target. While we’re sure the barra loved nothing more than to navigate through all the melaleucas and gorge on baitfish, anglers now have good open water to fish that’s close to the timber but not so close they have to donate lures.
We recently spent a week at Peter Faust and had an absolute blast putting Zerek Flat Shad soft plastics to the test as well as some other fantastic lures from the Wilson Fishing stable. It’s always a pleasure to fish with great gear and to top it off, all our fish were caught using the Wilson Venom range of rods made right here in Australia at the Wilson factory in Brisbane.
When fishing plastics in open areas, we prefer to use spin gear to get that bit of extra length with the cast.
It’s important not to try to make massively long casts, especially on spin gear, because this gives the fish more time to jump off or chew through your line, or even worse, the long fight could stress the fish out so much that it won’t be able to swim away after release.
Our favourite barra spin setup is a Venom 15-40lb one-piece 7’ spin rod matched to an ATC Valiant SW4000 spin reel spooled with 20lb Platypus Platinum braid and a 40-50lb leader. The quality of Wilson’s Venom series of rods is second to none and they have a big strong butt that is built specifically for putting the heat on big fish.
In the coming months we will bring you updates on these products and info on how to use them to target barra.
The Surger, which featured in last month’s article is right up there among barra fishers who love to fish the trees with suspending divers. When fishing Faust’s timber it is almost imperative to have a suspending or very slow-rising lure to allow that extra time in the water and increase the chances of a strike.
Leading up to our visit the fishing had been fairly tough at Faust, so we knew the barra were going to take some cracking. With a solid day put in fishing the timber for only one or two hook-ups, we decided to take a step back in time, just like the old Awoonga days, and locate a point with weed but minimal timber.
After a couple of months mucking around with different ways to rig the Zerek Flat Shad plastics, we were satisfied that what we had come up with would work and hopefully stick to these barra. When chasing these powerhouses we always use and recommend running a fully exposed top hook with a treble or hook below the lure, somehow connected to the main hook.
We have been running the Mustad Saltism 4X hook range and there’s not too many barra that have had a second chance after locking horns with these. By rigging our Flat Shads like this we have bettered our hook-up rates by 50 percent and have also experienced very few jump-offs during the fight.
Fishing the Flat Shads straight out of the packet is the preferred option when fishing in very weedy conditions, but if you’re in open water on a point with submerged weed beds or even just floating weed, we strongly suggest rigging them as explained.
A good swallow from a barra will allow the weedless hooks to set, but if the fish are finicky and rolling up and head butting your plastics, needle-sharp exposed hooks are required. Every second or third cast usually produces small amounts of weed in these situations but if the fish really want your lure they will smack it, even with weed on it.
Your chances of a hook-up or even finding the fish to start with will be very slim if weed is lacking.
When fishing on shallow weedy points we like to get the weight of our plastics just right so they are always in the strike zone.
We vary our jig head weights from 3/8oz through to 3/4oz depending on depth and where the fish are holding.
For any other information regarding this article or any of the gear mentioned, please don’t hesitate to contact us through Facebook at our new page Wells Brothers Fishing – Official.
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