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Fishing Report: Barra on the Sunshine Coast? 29/04/2010



What's the perfect way to spend a day fishing in-between seasons where you are pretty much guaranteed a catch with the added bonus of being only a stone throw away?   Want a piece of the best local sport-fishing action - Suncoast Barra Fishing Park is the answer!



Located on the northern banks of the Maroochy River at Bli Bli, Suncoast Barra Park boasts three large saltwater ponds of over 18 acres of fish rich waters. Current owner, "Fish" aka Micheal Searle and his family have put in the hard yards to make the park the attraction it is today.  Soon "Fish" is taking some much needed time off so his bright and bubbly offsider Zoe Chakley will be running the show in his absence.  Zoe comes from a fishing-mad family and is more than qualified for the position. 


If you've never caught yourself a barra or the king of the jungle of estuaries, then Suncoast Barra is the best option which doesn't involve a 900km drive to the top end!  For those of you who have experienced the thrill of the chase and are looking for some other species, then look no further because it's not just barra marauding in these waters!


The mixed species ponds have some fantastic sport fish waiting for your hook to pass their awaiting mouths.  Some 45 species can be found, including: estuary cod, flathead, jew, mangrove jack, trevally, tarpon/giant herring, milk fish, queenies, snapper and whiting.  Despite having all of these species in great numbers, both snapper and jew have proven elusive. That said, cod to 10kg and 26kg barra are a great prize! 


Unlike fishing up north, there is no need for a fancy boat nor the risk of getting chomped by a croc.  With several sheltered areas, bbq's and plenty of space it's an angler friendly environment. The aim is to provide a relaxing location, ample fish for all plus chances to set new catch records or win 'Fish of the Month' to score a free full day pass as well as the accolade of going on the 'Wall of Fame'.


The nitty gritty details: this park gives all anglers a free tub of pellets for bait/berley on entry, but you can easily use live, fresh or frozen baits, lures and fly gear. Best baits for the beautiful sportfish include live poddy mullet, herring, pilchards, whitebait, herring, prawns or garfish, but the pellets are also tried and tested many times over.


If lures are more your thing then the local SunCoast Barra Park regulars recommend a small to medium shallow diving lure with natural tones, medium Prawn-stars, Crawdaddy surface lures or the 2-4 inch soft plastics in minnows, double tails and yabbie shapes. 


Anglers can expect to view an induction video on barra fishing and handling techniques.  Plus there is expert tuition from the friendly staff on how to catch Australia's premier sportfish and a policy that if you have fished for 30mins without a hit, then some hands-on assistance is on offer.  The staff are all local and fish at the park and also in the river, offering plenty of advice on baits to use, technique, lures and even flies that work best.  Big barra can easily destroy inferior tackle so be sure to equip a quality rod/reel loaded with at least 20lb line and even heavier mono leader to 50 lb is required to extract these fish. Don't let anyone tell you that impoundment fish are lazy - the photographic evidence is proof enough!


Tackle and rods are available for hire from the park and with the option of catch and release or catch and purchase (only barramundi up to 55cm) keeping the promise of fish for dinner suddenly becomes a whole lot easier! The most popular keepers are usually the 2-3kg barra which are $20/kg to keep.


Suncoast Barra Park also invites you to inquire about their great options for groups, corporate events and parties. Maybe you would like to make a day of your visit...bring your lunch and take advantage of the BBQ facilities and sheltered areas.


For more info give the team a call on 54487514 or check out their website:




Noosa: Spotty mackerel, yellow fin and blue fin tuna between the river mouth and Halls Reef. Cobia from Chardon’s Reef on live bait.Tailor to 3.7kg, whiting, dart and tarwhine  along the North Shore. Whiting throughout the lower reaches. Flathead at the river mouth and at the entrance to the 1st lake.  Mud crabs in the canals.


Maroochy: Spanish and spotty mackerel on trolled baits on the close inshore reefs between Coolum and the Maroochy River mouth. Yellow fin tuna and spanish mackerel at the Inner Gneerings.  Tailor, flathead and dart either side of the river mouth. Sand whiting to 500g and flathead caught off the bank near the Cotton Tree Pool, sand whiting also on the drift around Goat and Channel Islands.  A few grunter bream and flathead at Picnic Point and Yinni Street.  Trevally, tailor and estuary cod in the Cod Hole and the middle reach of Petrie Creek.


Kawana: Spanish mackerel on most of the closer inshore reefs. Good moses perch, snapper, sweetlip and coral trout at 5 Mile Reef, Murphy’s and Barwon Banks. Sweetlip, parrot, moses perch at Murphy’s. Dart and whiting along Kawana. Big bream and trevally in the lower river.


Caloundra:  Spotty mackerel and grass sweetlip at Brays Rock.  Pan sized flathead throughout the passage.  Bream off the Boardwalk. Whiting from the Power Boat club.  





Dave and Brae Edgerton were enjoying a mornings fishing session together off Chambers Island, when Brae hooked his biggest flathead yet at 1kg.



Jack McLennon was floating half pillies around the boat moorings in the lower Mooloolah river earlier in the week and he came up with several quality bream 700-990g.



Neil Dale was hopping big soft plastics between the coffee rock patches along mudjimba Beach when he struck this solid 73cm dusky flathead.  



Jake Jodvalkis was trolling large pilchards behind his ocean kayak out from Coolum and was lucky to catch this 18kg Spanish mackerel on his way back to the beach.


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