The barra is internationally recognised as one of the world's great sport and game fish and is prolific in the Northern Territory.
They are aggressive predators and terrific fighters as any angler who experiences their strong runs, high jumps, and rod-bending lunges can attest to. In the Territory, it's not uncommon to catch 10 kg-plus barra and there are plenty of fish weighing 20 kg or more landed each year.
One major attraction of the barramundi is the variety of locations where it can be found and the different fishing techniques that can be used to catch it. Barra frequent inshore rocks and headlands, coastal estuaries and creeks, big rivers and inland billabongs. They can be caught using a wide range of lures - casting and trolling - and a variety of baits can be successful. The barra is also a fantastic opponent for the fly fisher.
Northern Territory barra are available for anglers all year round in the right locations and using the right fishing techniques.
|Other Names:||Lates calcarifer - Barra|
Estuaries, creeks and coastal headlands fish well for barra right through the year, often peaking in the late dry season from September to December.
|Season:||Year-round (except for periods of high wet season floods which may occur during January and February)|
In the estuaries, sightcasting to barra on estuary sand and mud flats can provide exciting action for lure and fly anglers. For lure fishermen, shallow-running, minnow-style lures work well on the flats, whilst lures which get down to depths between 2 and 4 m are often effective around snags and along the edges of channels.
A personal possession limit of five barramundi applies across the NT except for the Mary River, where there is a personal possession limit of two barramundi. A minimum size limit of 55 cm must also be observed.
The barra is fabulous eating. Fish caught in the saltwater, or in the rivers when they have just moved up from the saltwater, have white, firm tender flesh with large flakes and a distinctive but mild flavour. At times the flesh can be slightly oily but this varies with the season. Fish that have spent time in the freshwater - particularly the inland billabongs through the dry season - can absorb a rather muddy flavour and are not quite as pleasant to eat.