WHOPPER BARRA: Dustin Sippel pulled out a ripper of a barramundi during the Australian Barra and Basstasstic Tournaments.
WHOPPER BARRA: Dustin Sippel pulled out a ripper of a barramundi during the Australian Barra and Basstasstic Tournaments. Contributed

Barra pop up everywhere as conditions suit growth

FRIDAY the 13th is with us once again, but I'm not a superstitious person so it doesn't bother me at all.

Apart from don't walk under a ladder, touch a black cat for luck, and as for bananas on boats, let's not go there.

With the spawning of the barramundi now done and dusted one doesn't have to go too far or look too hard to find young barra fingerlings in our system, and sometimes it can just be a puddle or a wet area.

With the excellent timing of the wet season, habitat for this fry to grow is popping up everywhere from roadside gullies, to quiet wetland areas, and right through the likes of Auckland Creek, and our estuarine system of this awesome harbour.

Their growth rate at this stage is astounding, growing around 1-2mm on a daily basis.

They are easy to spot especially with their white flash running down the top of their heads and the fingerling will be quite dark.

Gladstone harbour, with its amazing creek and mangrove systems, is the perfect place for them to grow rapidly with plenty of tucker and reasonably quiet waterways.

Last week when the weather was tad better than this week Alan Kitson, and trusty first mate, "aarr", Peter Roberts, ventured out to Rock Cod Shoals to try their luck.

They spotted an enormous cobia swim close to the boat, and out goes a whole fillet of baldy bream.

They missed the cobia, but came up with an absolute snodger of a GT weighing in around 35kg, after a 30-minute battle!

It was released soon after the photo was taken. Well done guys!

Looking closer to shore, as the weather predictions are indicating that it'll blow like blazes for a few more days yet, the harbour and creek systems have certainly came alive with this recent rain.

Don't be surprised if you really have to go looking of the fish, which are affected by the amount of fresh water draining down through the run-off creeks.

There are still plenty of barra, salmon, grunter, bream and jack around, and with the approaching last quarter, with little tidal run, it could be a great opportunity to start targeting those structures, being rock walls, hidden rocky reefs, fallen trees, and mangrove roots, without too much current to contend with.

The likes of the muddies will definitely retreat in the salt water, away from the fresh, so best to put the pots in some well thought out spots and keep your eye on them.

After yesterday's and today's showers we should be able to dry out a little and the wind could back off a tad on Monday and Tuesday but keep an eye on that.

New moon on Wednesday so big tides with +4.6m highs and down to around .5-.6 lows which will result in the toe of the boat ramps being exposed.

I was chatting on 4RO last Friday with one of the marine and tackle operators up that way and the subject came up that they actually don't have too many mangrove jack in their region and Chappy reckons its because most of their system is mud-based where as a large majority of our region's system is sand-based like Wild Cattle, Colosseum, Mundoolin, 7 Mile, Turkey Beach and obviously up through the harbour.

I'd never given that a thought, but then again, why on earth would you venture up there to go for a fish, unless you were heading for Port Clinton, which Johnny Mitchell described to me one day, as Yellow Patch on steroids, when we have such an awesome fishery here.

The first weekend in March, yours truly along with Greg Realf are manning the GAPDL Gladstone, and Banana Region, stand at the Tinny and Tackle Show, which this year will be held at Manly due to the RNA Showgrounds being developed.

Lots of new things on display, but we reckon you should have a chat with your local supplier of your wants, and needs prior to going down, as these folk need your support.

If you do end up down there please pop in and say g'day March 6, 7, and 8 at Manly.

Have a cracker weekend!

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