Lincoln Kirby set up Barra or Blue Fishing Charters three years ago, drawing on his extensive knowledge as a fishing guide to share his passion with anyone ready to throw a line. We chatted to Lincoln to find out more.
Why should people visit the NT during the Wet Season/Tropical Summer to catch barra?
Barra are more active at this time. During the dry season they are a bit docile, but once the water temperature warms up they fire up a lot more, and you have a better chance of reeling in a fish.
Is this your favourite fishing season?
The run off between March and April is my favourite time. The weather’s good and the fish are biting, with lots of action around the mouths of creeks inside the rivers.
What’s your top fishing spot in the NT?
It would have to be Dundee Beach, about 59km southwest of Darwin. There’s so much variety. You can be out on a boat in the morning chasing barra and in the afternoon go for sail fish and red emperor. You can pretty much catch everything there.
Why do you think so many people come to the Territory to chase barra?
They’re such an iconic fish. They fight hard, and are not easy to catch. Barra are a challenge and people like a challenge. Down south, catching a whiting or flathead is the staple fish, whereas up here we have barra. Barra would be the Number 1 sporting fish in the Northern Territory and Australia-wide.
What’s your go-to fishing hack?
Have a good time. As long as you’re enjoying yourself, you’ll catch something. Having the right attitude attracts the fish. Works every time.
What’s a top tip for someone fishing for barra in the NT for the first time?
Go with a guide. Instead of spending days and weeks on the water trying to find where all the barra are, go with someone who knows about all the good spots. That way you can relax and use your time to do what you’ve come to the Northern Territory for – catching a prized barra, especially a million dollar one.
Any tips for lures?
We have a term called matching the hatch. Basically, it means you need to match your style of lure to the size, colour, and shape of a barra’s current natural prey, to mimic what they are feeding on that day. If the barra are eating small bait fish we run smaller plastics. If they’re eating bigger mullet we run big, hard-body lures. If you match the hatch, your chances of bagging a barra increase greatly.
What’s your most memorable catch?
A 110cm caught on a lure at Shady Camp as the sun was going down on a 60-fish day. It was an epic day finished off with an epic fish. Outside of the Territory, it was an 80kg striped marlin caught in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. As the second fastest fish in the world, it was one of the most exciting and toughest challenges of my fishing life.
What’s your bucket-list fish?
It’d have to be the Papuan Black Bass. I nearly made it to Papua New Guinea this year on a trip, but couldn’t go due to COVID-19 restrictions.