How to make the most of Spring Tides with the right Barra lures for fishing the Top of the Tide in creeks, mudflats and barrages.
Nathan Litjens has extensive experience fishing for Barramundi in the Mary River and connecting creeks and mudflats. His choice of lures in these conditions is guided by experience and knowledge of the Barramundi feeding patterns.
So you've decided to have a go at the TOT Barra, and have selected a location and arrived just before the tide change. Don't be afraid to have a crack at the barra that are waiting for the tide to fall.
So what lures to use? There are no hard and fast rules with lure selection, but I like to at least try and imitate the baitfish present. Popeye Mullet, when present can be imitated wonderfully with topwater lures such as poppers, fizzers and especially walk-the-dog styles.
Greenback mullet can be imitated with most shallow divers such as Bombers, B52s and shallow Barra Classics. In the deeper junctions, casting +10 patterns can be brilliant on some days. Despite the typically filthy water, rattling lures are often outfished by silent types for unknown reasons. Plastics such as Swimshads also have their place too, so it definitely pays to experiment.
It's not just Barra that feed on these vast schools of baitfish. Other predators will often move in to take advantage of the easy food supply. Threadfin and Blue Salmon often turn up, especially in the Coastal Creeks, and sometimes on the Salt Flats. Jewfish are rare but not unknown in these areas either. Quite often gigantic Turbo Catfish make an unwanted guest appearance (or wanted if you have Europeans on board!)
At any rate, you will want to time your trip carefully, as some of the better places will have seasoned anglers there early to claim a spot. Arriving right on the turn of the tide will see you miss great opportunities, and obviously not looking carefully where you tie up can see you stranded until the next high. Once the tide gets a fair bit of pace to it, it's time to get out.
In conclusion, although these places at the TOT can yield incredible fishing opportunities, you really do need to dust off the tide charts and pick your spot before the action begins if you are to see good results.
It's not hard, and getting to know the area for yourself makes life so much easier. If you don't want the headaches, you could do far worse than hire a guide. Happy fishing this Runoff.