Corroboree Billabong Barra

Corroboree Billabong Barra trolling techniques revealed by Jarrod Day after a successfull Barramundi fishing trip.

Jarrod Day clearly has a love affair with beautiful Corroboree Billabong, less than 90 minutes drive from Darwin. In this articla intended for interstate novices to barra fishing in the billabong, he outlines the basics of trolling.

Jarrod Day with a good catch
Picturesque Corroboree Billabong.

Weaving our way through the billabong, large groups of pandanus trees line the banks,water lillies shed a blanket of green foliage on the water's surface, and every so often a large crocodile lies basking on the bank,soaking upwhat heat he can absorb.

We'd just taken a right turn down a narrow arm which,after a few hundred metres, opened up into a vaste waterway. Here, lily pads extended from the shoreline a good 10m towards the centre of the billabong; where the edge of the lily pads met the open water, the bank dropped away from 4ft to 9ft, a stepped decline.

Watching the sounder, one, two and then a third solid arch came into view. Alittyle further on and more fish lay waiting for the next meal to emerge from it's safe haven. We were travelling along the edge of the drop-off.

Doubling back to re-troll over where we sighted the fish on the sounder, four lures were sent out the back: two at 40m and two closer at 30m. On the bank side of the boat,the two lures were run at 6ft,just enough to work over the top of the muddy weedbed and to dart around the lily tems. On the opposite side we ran 9 footer, to reach the edge of the drop-off where the fish we sounded were lying in ambush.

The fish again came into view and, as the lures passed over their heads,we gave the rod tips a little whip every few seconds to get the internal ball bearings in the lures rattling. Sound signals are picked up by the lateral line along barra -- and for any fish, for that matter. This is their way of hunting as bait fish give off vibrations. The rattling sound from the lures imitates a baitfish and barra in particular respond very well to rattling lures.

Jumping barramundi
A sizeable Barra
burst from the water.

The lures set back in the distance came overhead of where we first spotted the fish, and in that second I felt a bump through the braided line and a sizeable billabong barra burst from the water. Re-entering after a second or two, we all gazed to where the fish gave a little hang time and left a spalsh as if somebody tossed a brick into the water.

Immediately Allan put the boat into gear as everybody else retreived their lures. Meanwhile I was holding on tight, thumbing the spool to keep the fish from heading back to the snaggy billabong bank. Dragging it from the lily stems, the fish still tried heading towards the bank in an attempt at dislodging the hooks.

Each time the fish came to the surface, I pointed the rod tip to the water, keeping both the line tight and the fish's head close to the water with every jump. With every jump the fish opened it's mouth. This is how hooks get bent and good barra escape. But not this fish -- each jump had it's head barely leaving the water, keeping the hooks where they should be.

A barra takes a lure
Billabong Barra

The reel, having a ratio of 7:1, gave me substantial winding ability, and I gathered line quickly when I needed to. In due course the fish was boat side, yet still deep. After each downward run, I slowly coaxed it towards the surface and, as Allan counted from 1 to 3, on 3 the net was drawn and the fish was safely in the boat.

I'd fished Corroboree Billabong on a few accasions over the years and still to this day it is the most picturesque location I have laid eyes apon in the Northern Territory.

Crocodile with a Billabong Barra
Barra attract more than just anglers

From brolgas to crocodiles, it has everything, especially the barra which attract so many throughout the year. Although many anglers head to the NT for the run-off season targetting big barra, sometimes just getting the 30 degree temperatures without the 100 percent humidity becomes very appealing.

I am one of these types and love nothing more than to sit back, take in the surroundings of such a majestic location and troll a lure in search of the Northern Territory's most-prized species.

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