How To Catch Barramundi

by | Aug 23, 2023 | how to catch | 0 comments

The Ultimate How To Catch Barramundi Guide

In this comprehensive guide on how to catch Barramundi, we share insider tips, tricks, and knowledge that will help you reel in that legendary Barramundi. This iconic fish has been at the heart of Aussie angling for generations. 

The Barramundi: A Quick Introduction

Also known as ‘Barra’, the Barramundi is a native fish species to Australia and Southeast Asia. Its name comes from an Australian Aboriginal language of the Rockhampton area in Queensland, meaning “large-scaled silver fish.” The Barramundi grows to substantial sizes, especially in impoundments or lakes. One of the largest recorded in Australia measured 134cm and 44.62kg at Lake Monduran. Around three to four years, Barramundi reach sexual maturity as males. They transition into females from approximately five to six years old, with salt water essential for this transformation. Barramundi have a lifespan reaching 20 years and beyond. 

Barramundi fishing in broome

Barramundi caught in Crab Creek Broome.

Ideal Locations for Barramundi Fishing

Barramundi are predominantly found in the tropical waters of northern Australia. These habitats include Coastal areas, estuaries, rivers, creeks, and even artificial impoundments. Deciphering their tidal-influenced behaviour is vital when learning how to catch Barramundi as they shift locations based on tidal activities. They can be found on the Flats in very shallow water, along mangrove tree lines, in deep holes, and around isolated snags and rocky structures. During the different stages of a tide cycle, they will move to these areas, and every location can be different. 

Best spots for Barramundi

If fishing in a new area, I would start fishing deeper holes on the low tide. Usually, this is a great place to start because fish will be concentrated in these areas. There is nowhere else for them to go until the water rises. Another productive time and place to try is the “run-off” This occurs after the wet season when fresh water makes its way from inland to the ocean in areas such as River mouths and creeks. Nutrient-rich freshwater meets the saltwater bringing along with it an abundance of food for bait fish and, intern attracting predators like the Barramundi.

Key Techniques for Catching Barramundi

Fishing for Barramundi is a blend of strategy, technique, and patience. Here are some effective ways how to catch Barramundi:

Lure Fishing

Lure fishing is the way to go for those seeking an active and engaging fishing experience. Surface lures like Poppers or fizzers, soft plastics such as Paddle tails or vibes and diving hard body lures are all effective choices. Remember to match the lure size with the size of the bait found in your location.

Lure colour choice

When selecting the perfect lure colour for Barramundi, it’s best to mirror the fish’s natural diet. Gold and silver hues mimic the sheen of baitfish, making them excellent choices. In murkier waters, opt for brighter colours like orange or green. Remember, the key to success lies in experimenting with various colours to identify what the Barramundi are responding to on a given day.

Catching live bait

Using live bait for catching Barramundi means catching live bait first. Catching live bait is usually done with a Cast net, and there are Three types to choose from. First, draw Sting, Bottom Pocket and Top Pocket nets; each used in different areas. Drawstring nets for deeper water, bottom pocket nets for shallow water and top pocket nets for prawns. Here is a great how-to throw-a-cast net guide. When using a cast net of any kind, check your local regulations, including net licences.

How to tie a loop knot diagram.

Use of Live Bait

Live bait is a tried-and-true method for Barramundi fishing. Mullet, prawns, and Herring are among the favourites for salt water. (when fishing in freshwater, Cherabin make an excellent bait). These baits mimic the natural diet of the Barramundi, attracting them more effectively. We encourage the use of circle hooks which reduces the risk of gill or gut hooking a fish, allowing for a much healthier release of the fish. Hook sizes 4/0 to 7/0 are preferred depending on the size of bait used, paired with a 30 to 50-pound Fluorocarbon leader.

land based Barramundi fishing
Using live bait to catch Barramundi.


The Best Times for Barramundi Fishing

Barramundi are more active during the summer months when the water is warm, and bait fish is plentiful. Time your fishing trip wisely to increase your chances of success. The best times to fish for Barramundi are early morning, late afternoon and night. Additionally, fishing the turn of larger tides can also improve your chances.

Essential Gear for Barramundi Fishing

Every piece of equipment plays a crucial role in Barramundi fishing, from your rod and reel to the type of line. A 6-10kg rod with a reel capable of holding at least 200m of 30-50lb braid is a good starting point. Remember a quality net or lip grip for landing your catch.

Barramundi caught during the run off.

Conservation and Responsible Fishing

As anglers passionate about how to catch Barramundi, it’s our responsibility to practice sustainable fishing. The Barramundi is a treasured resource, and ensuring its continued abundance benefits everyone. Therefore, we encourage all anglers only to take what they need and to follow local regulations in your area.

Western Australia bag and size limits


Queensland bag and size limits


Northern Territory bag and size limits


Barramundi fishing is a thrilling and rewarding pastime, promising the chance for an epic fishing tale. Equipped with the proper knowledge, gear, and respect for the environment, you’re set for a fantastic Barramundi fishing adventure. Complement this epic adventure with our Barramundi Fishing shirt.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your gear, set out, and may your next cast land you the catch of a lifetime!

Check out our other how-to-catch Mud Crab and Mangrove Jack guides.