The Year in Review
Arnhemland Barramundi Nature Lodge Guide, Shaun Taylor, describes the sensational fishing at the Lodge in 2011.
After a fantastic 2011 wet season in the north, the predictions of great fishing have proved correct, with the barra biting in record numbers at the Lodge, and the condition of the fish being outstanding. Fat, fit and healthy barras have been keeping guests very busy.
We have been using a variety of techniques on the fish, and guests have been very interested in learning new fishing methods such as weedless soft plastic fishing, and jigging with bibless softies. Of course, it isn’t just the barra on offer in the pristine Arnehmland river systems available to us at the Barra Lodge, with threadfin and blue salmon, mangrove jack, golden snapper (fingermark), black jewfish, saratoga, and even the odd archer fish and sooty grunter.
The often overlooked bluewater scene has been amazingly good as well. I would recommend to any guest at the Lodge to take the opportunity to sample the offshore fishing. The species available reads like a who’s who of tropical sportfish: longtail tuna, Spanish mackerel, broad-barred macs, queenfish, GTs, golden trevally, cobia and giant herring to name a few.
Some amazing popper sessions on queenies and longtail tuna have been highlights, with triple hook-ups being common. The visual aspect of this style of fishing is a memory sure to stay with guests, as they watch these high-speed, predatory sportfish hunt down their popper and smash it beside the boat…AMAZING STUFF!
Then of course there are the bottom dwellers, and I have put many clients onto great sessions with soft plastics and jigs catching golden snapper, bluebone, tricky snapper, coral trout and various other delicious reef species which our talented Chef Marc cooks to perfection.
I love guiding at the Lodge. Every month we operated this year, as guides we’ve had several 100-plus barra boat days, and that sort of incredible and consistent fishing just doesn’t happen anywhere else in Australia. Check out some of the highlights below: March 2011: 15 anglers/3 days/500+ barra/500+ bluewater fish April 2011: 3 anglers/5 hours/230 barra (new Lodge record for one boat/one day) May 2011: 12 anglers/3 days/378 barra (heaps in the 80s & 90s)/100s of mixed bluewater species June 2011: 15 anglers/3 days/5 boats/ 500+ barra/100s of lure-caught pelagics July 2011: 2 anglers/3 days/1 boat/ 364 barra (including 196 in a day)/ 28 bluewater species Aug 2011 (mid-year break but reopened last week of Aug): mixed groups/5 days/600+ barra/100s of bluewater reefies & speedsters Sept 2011: 12 anglers/4 days/4 boats/734 barra Oct 2011: 14 anglers/4 days/1,112 barra including 4 over a metre (122cm, 116cm, 109cm, 106cm) Oct 2011: 11 metre-plus barra caught in two weeks Nov/Dec 2011: Bring it on!