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Home » Fishing-Tips-Techniques » Product-News-and-Views » Barra Proofing the Live Mullet

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By Nick Whyte - Tech Angler

With recent success on my last trip up at Awoonga chasing the mighty barramundi I've had quite a few people asking about rigging options I used with the Zerek Live Mullet in the 5.5" version and if the standard treble and split rings are in need of an upgrade.

I thought I'd shine a bit of light on the way I rigged and fished them to put a few fish on the deck.

With the southern barra dams coming back online in the last 2 years and now at a stage where the fish are getting back up close to the meter mark, there's going to be a lot more southerners willing to make the drive to chase this iconic fish. Lake Monduran is putting out just as much quality as Awoonga at the moment and the numbers and quality are starting to replicate the mid to late 2000s when these dams were peaking.

Our recent trip to Lake Awoonga was a quick dash over the full moon and we had planned to fish the darker hours of the day while the moon was in the sky. Launch the boat at 4-5pm in the afternoon and target the time's around moon rise, set and moon overhead while trying to fish a tide change in there somewhere as well. We would try and sleep a little in between these periods if we had the chance for an hour or so.

What we found on our recent trip is that the Zerek Live Mullet 5.5" was an awesome lure to cover the different depths of the water column while still being able to keep the bigger swimbait profile in the barra's face. It's a lure that has a perfect action on a constant retrieve and doesn't require a lot of rod action to get the results. It was our star performer of the trip accounting for 10 of our fish with another 5 or so jumped off. With the success we had with this lure I thought I'd share a few of the alterations that helped us keep the fish attached and coming over the side.

With the 5.5" Live Mullet the standard hook is by no means Barra stong. Especially if you are going to be running heavy gear targeting these fish up in the timbers. It's a crazy type of fishing where neither angler or fish want to give an inch and can be likened to hand to hand combat as such. It's all battle stations when you come up tight and don't kid yourself thinking you're going to boat every fish as even a little fella can get the best of you at times.

With this in mind, heavy drags are a must. Having the right lure to get the bite is important, but if you can't direct that fish to the net then she's all over pretty quick. With heavy drags, good terminal tackle is required. What I do is switch out the standard treble and add in a 1/0 or even a 2/0 for big fish. I choose to run the Mustad 4x strong Saltism hooks as these are a super strong treble that is super sharp and holds its point really well. This hook also has a thin gauge for its strength, which is optimal for this species to get good penetration and a great hook set. We all know how barra can suck a lure in and spit out a foriegn feeling bait quicker than we can blink, so having a super tacky hook like the Saltism is an integral part of this lure.

Because barra can inhale a bait and expel it just as quick, we want to have as many hook points as possible exposed to keep a biting fish connected. When the bigger brother to the Live Mullet, the Live Swimbait was released, Troy Dixon let me in on a little tip of adding in a stinger treble to the top tow point as I always like to have as many hook points exposed as possible to get every chance to keep these head shakers connected. Since then I've implemented it across the range of sizes and it makes a massive difference in bites to landed fish.

Out of fish landed, 60% were hooked on the top stinger hook. I know this hook is situated further forward on the lure so they should be hooked on it first, but it allows that little bit more insurance that you're going to stay connected to that fish. With the stinger hook I like to use the Mustad Saltism but in a smaller size - either a size 1 or 2. With split rings I like to run a size 5H Sure Catch 55lb to have the confidence to put everything through the rod while fighting fish.

If you're looking to head up to our Southern Barra dams this summer make sure you don't leave home without the deadly silent assassin the Zerek Live Mullet in the 5.5" range. It's a barra's lollipop.

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