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Winter Barra - Deep or Shallow

There is some congecture as to the where & why of lake barra in winter. The following is a view that night help take some of the guess work out of fishing for barramundi in winter.
Many anglers say "Fish the shallow bays" while others claim "get out in the deep water & troll or jig for barra". Both can be correct ways to find a big barra in winter. Here's why...

Shallow water can & often does heat up quicker in the mornings, however it cools off faster in windy conditions and at night. Looking for pockets of warmer water, even half a degree can make a difference at times, particularly in winter. It may not mean that there is more barra in a bay that is warmer, but it can mean that the barra that are in the warmer areas are more active & thus more catchable. As can the opposite happen in summer when the water gets too hot & doesnt hold O2 as well. In this situation fish will become stressed and will either sulk or simply move to somewhere that is more to their liking.

Some lakes can become stratified. Have you ever seen a thermocline on a fish finder or swum down in a farm dam & felt the water temp change at a certain point?
The water below a thermocline can be either warmer OR cooler than the water above. Generally in windy conditions, particularly in winter, the surface water cools down considerably & can stay that way for some time until either the lake "turns over" aka "rolls over" or the weather changes things back to normal.
When a lake rolls or turns over, the warmer water below will come to the surface & the cooler surface water will roll to the deeper water. A roll over often spells disaster for some fish species & generally put all fish under stress. A hard time for anglers as well!!
The Author with a meter of barra
Barra are catchable in winter

When barra, bass, sooties and many other Australia predator fish hold in deep water it can mean they are looking for a comfort zone or simply chasing food. A thermocline often holds its own small food web of algae & microscopic organisms which attracts bait fish, thus being a great place for predatory fish to go for a feed. If they are there to be in their comfort zone, they can be simply going into passive mode, sulking, looking for suitable disolved O2 levels or looking for a prefered water temp.

The hard part is working out which of these reasons is the one (or combination of) that is making the fish sit in the thermals at any given time.

Both fishing in shallow bays and working the deep water can produce fish on any given day in winter. Clever anglers will be the ones who keep aware of the consitions and are willing to try different things from week to week.

Now all you have to do is tempt those fish to strike your lure or bait..... good luck.

Garry Fitzgerald

Related Topics:
Gearing up for Big Lake Barra - Jason Bird
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Dawson River - Information Page
Lake Maraboon (Fairbairn Dam) - Information Page
Theresa Creek Dam -
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Burdekin Falls Dam / Lake Dalyrmple - Information Page
Eungella Dam - Information Page
Kinchant Dam - Information Page
Koombooloomba Dam - Information Page
Teemburra Dam - Information Page
Lake Proserpine (Peter Faust Dam) - Information Page
Ross River - Information Page
Lake Tinaroo - Information Page
Lake Belmore - Information Page
Chinaman Creek Dam - Information Page
Corella Dam -
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East Leichardt Dam / Lake Mary Kathleen - Information Page
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Moondarra Dam -
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Copyright© 2007 Garry Fitzgerald. Sweetwater Fishing Australia