Barra season set to open tomorrow with perfect conditions
CENTRAL QUEENSLAND fishermen (and women) have been counting down the sleeps in the past few weeks - but the wait is over.
As of midday tomorrow, the barramundi season is officially open.
Owner of Barra Jacks Rockhampton Steve Pill is gearing up his business for what he thinks will be a "reely" good season.
"Particularly because the river is in such good condition at the moment," he said.
"There isn't a big flood this year, there has been in the last couple of years.
"This year it is nice and stable."
The river conditions are making waves for a good opening.
"Best opening season conditions we have had for a good few years," he said.
"There is big set of tides coming and they will taper off mid next week."
Excitement has been building in the store with both staff and customers as the conditions peak and opening dates nears.
"A lot of people are waiting with anticipation, the vibe has been really positive," Mr Pill said.
"Because you have to get in while you can."
Mr Pill said there is only a small window of time where the barra season really hits the top marks but rainfall can be a hindrance.
"It's good news if it is a big rain but if it is only a small amount from say Emerald, it causes a small flow.
"It takes 8 to 12 weeks for the water to clean up.
"Then you get into the winter and the water gets colder, the barra turns off, they don't get as hungry and bite as much.
"And then it is September and October and the season closes."
Mr Pill said there is no one "go to" spot for barra with the Rockhampton region providing many top spots.
"I don't think it matters where you go, Corio Bay, Fitzroy, Causeway, Port Alma, I think everywhere will have barra caught it in this weekend," he said.
"Everywhere, there is no one spot at the moment."
He said a prime spot for this weekend's tide could be around the rock ridges in the Fitzroy River.
"Probably in the up end of town from Gavial Creek to the 400 metre mark
"After the first week there will be some hot spots."
The Rockhampton business was established in 1995 and provides locals and tourists with all things boating and fishing.
Barra season is a major player in the profits of their business each year.
"This whole month has been good, that is due to anticipation," Mr Pill said.
"Everyone is buying their lures, their aerators."
With all the talk saying it will be a good season and signs pointing in the right direction, the shelves are being stocked to the nines.
"We keep an eye on the weather and see what the general feel is," Mr Pill said.
"Because it has been good this year, we have extra lures in and we just came off one of the best barra bounties."
When he isn't busy at the shop this weekend, Mr Pill be one of the many hitting the waters chasing the biggest barra - but he won't say where.
"The whole essence of being a fishermen is having a secret spot, never give away your secret spot," he said.
Opens on February 1, midday
Minimum barra size limit is 58 cm
Maximum barra size limit is 120 cm
Possession limit is five fish per person
Common length of a barra is 80cm