Hey, my names Jaega Desainis and I’m a passionate lure fisho from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Barramundi has become a true obsession to me over the last few years, they're a fish that once you catch one they pretty much take over your life and you don’t really want to chase anything but Barra from the rivers and creeks. Australia’s most iconic fish and best fighting sport fish in the rivers and dams.
You are obviously very passionate about seq salty Barra, what're your favourite characteristics that keep you coming back for more?
My favourite characteristics about Barra would have to be they always keep you guessing, there have been so many times I’ve thought I’ve worked them out with tides, moons and bite times but there always changing. They're so temperamental and can be shut down at times. Wind changes and water temp changes play a part in this. Another thing is the bite from a Barra. It’s such a distinct hit like no other that plays over your head as a donk!
What are the top 3 determining factors you look for when chasing these fish?
Try not to over-complicate things. Firstly, locate a likely-looking structure, my preferred structures are rock bars and outcrops or laydown sunken trees with bait present in the area, as big barra have to feed. The next factor (one of the most important) is timing, being at that location at the correct stage of the tide when they are going to bite. Timing is so crucial and learning when to be at a location according to the stages of the tide takes many hours spent on the water. With fishing saltwater Barra at night, other things I look for would be light lines, pressure edges or back eddies were lights in the water hold bait attracting Barra for an easy feed!.
How do you feel about tides? Are they key?
Tides are a big key when chasing these fish, there are certain spots that fish well on a run-in tide and a run-out tide or spots that fish well when the tides flowing or on the slack. Generally, I like to have flow for Barra and most definitely not afraid of big tides up north for chasing them. low water period also makes finding structure a lot easier, as often it isn’t visible.
What're some different techniques you use in different style spots?
There are many different lures and techniques available nowadays that if used in the correct scenario will undoubtedly work and draw a bite. For seq Barra, we don’t face much tide movement unlike Harvey bay and further north. Therefore prawn lures can be a go-to lure for me as it’s worked with a subtle retrieve. Hoping vibes where there is more flow movement can work well for getting your lure in the zone or adding extra weight to plastics to get down to depth faster. It’s all about adapting to the conditions.
Run us through the tackle you are using for each technique you use?
I run either a 10-20lb spin with a 4000 size real or a bait caster with a 10-20lb bc rod. I find the Spin rod is great for anything like prawn lures to paddle tails or vibes. And the bc is great for hardbodies with a jerk baiting retrieve or slow-rolling paddle tails and hoping/slow lifting vibes. All outfits are running 30lb braid and 80lb leader. I’ve found Barra are not leader shy and had multiple Barra fray offs using 60lb and less. Once I went 80lb I’ve never been frayed off on one. With hardbody lures, I suggest upgrading your terminals to heavy-duty and always pays to have a few different size trebles to correctly get your lure to sit right in the water.
What are some common misconceptions about Barra?
Some common misconceptions would be most people think Barra are always on the bottom, these fish suspend in the water Column so sounders are very handy for this sort of fishing knowing what depth the fish is at and getting your lure to that depth. Jerk baiting Barra is another one, giving you're a lure a decent pause especially in dams can result in a bite.
How important is using your sounder?
When chasing Barra sounders play a massive part in locating these fish.
The technology these days are unreal, Barra stand out like no other so can be very easy to locate in certain spots that hold Barra. Knowing how to read a sounder is also important knowing if the fish are hugging the bottom or suspended in the water column. Modern advancements in electronics have definitely come a long way with features such as StructureScan and DownScan being invaluable tools when searching for barra, especially in new territory. You can basically scan a rock bar or laydown timber and determine whether or not there are any fish sitting on this structure.
Most memorable moment chasing this fish?
Would have to be a session I had up north with my mate Jake Johnson.
We set of on a weekend in search for big fish, we found a big school of animals and had a wild time catching Barra on vibes and prawns all around the 110 to 115. Not to forget about a metre 34 that was also very memorable as it was from a local system.