Barra Fever...Everyone that comes to Australia or even resides here considers the barramundi as “the” fish to catch. Unfortunately not everyone has the opportunity to head up to the northern parts of Queensland or the Northern Territories to catch a wild fish. The other impoundments are the alternative option. I am one of the many that make the journey to the dams to experience some barramundi action. The fish in the dams can be extremely fickle at times and can switch on or off from day to day. When we headed up the fishing gods smiled on us for once and the fish played the game. The trip was planned as a fishing holiday for us and our good friends the Straume's. They also had a new addition to their family, and we travelled up in two cars to offer better ease of movement. (Actually one car was too full of fishing tackle.)
This arrangement worked out well because while Nathan and I were catching barra, our lovely wives were enjoying their time together with the little ones. It turned out to be an interesting case of juggling time between fishing and family. The fact that the majority of the fish were caught during the hours of darkness never made life easier but fortunately it worked out fine with the trip turning out to be a most enjoyable one. We have the pictures of the two of us asleep at the breakfast table to prove it. The fishing was excellent with myself and Nathan catching 101 barra in nine and a half days fishing. What made catching these fish more exciting from a South African's point of view was their similarities to large mouth black bass. Although they seem to prefer a steadier retrieve over a lift and drop (when using plastics), the structure and spots you need to fish are almost identical to that of the South African bass.
Don't think for an instant that they are easy to catch. We were very lucky to be at the dams during the exact week that the water began to warm up and the fishing went ballistic. A three-day trip up to the dams can often result in no fish being caught. Guides who operate on the dam are the key to catching your first barra and many first time barra fishermen often turn to a guide after several fishless trips. The barramundi is a truly great fish and once you have caught the first one it won't stop there. You will often experience a case of barra fever that makes you want to catch the next one. Well, who wouldn't want to be catching a 20kg fish that launches itself out of the water several times during a fight? Or powers straight through several trees and busts your 50lb braid off as if it wasn't there? If you decide it's time to break the barra duck and head up to the dams, keep a look out for me as I will probably be there too.