Written by Mark Bargenquast. As a self-confessed barra nut for the past 30 years I have fished for them from the NT right down the east coast to their most southern limits of Noosa in SE Queensland. I have caught them from water as deep as 18 meters right up to sight casting at them as they lay on their side trying to reach mullet in 100 mm of water.
I used to spend hundreds of hours in the Mary River in Maryborough, a tough fishery, trying to work out these fish, have been through the highs and lows often fishing days on end to get a bite.
My first real success was fishing after a heavy rain period, fishing shallow drain run offs with the old gold bombers, catching quite a few fish and then Reidys b52’s when they came onto the market with a more robust construction. Lures come and go and I have probably tried them all.
A few weeks ago I received a handful of DAIWA’s new TD minnows, the 120SP, 120 stands for 120mm lure length and the S is for suspending. This lure really took my fancy as soon as I opened the packaging, typical Japanese detail and quality…………….almost too good to cast into the water and being a bit of a shallow water drain sight casting freak I was just itching to give one a swim.
The lure has great weight to cast a long way on a baitcaster, 15.5 grams to be exact, it has a 2 hook system which I love for Barra as it lets you hand 2 decent strong hooks for better hold, 3 hook systems only allow for small hooks otherwise they will foul each other and retard the lures action which is a definite minus on any Barra lure. Standard hooks are the new SAQ SAS trebles which are super sticky with great penetration and do the job well.
On a constant medium retrieve they dive about a meter deep, same as a bomber/B52 etc. but has a much better action and when retrieved in a slow, twitchy stop/start barra retrieve looks pretty awesome in the water! It is a strongly built lure that I can guarantee won’t let you down on a metery for sure.
As usual the range of colors is superb with some real usable shades, I love the ghost herring and Black and Gold but there’s another 6 colors that will suit different conditions. So I finally had to try this lure in the field and tests have been above expectations.
Fishing some shallow drains on the last half of a good run out produced some nice Barra’s and Threadys, all hitting the lure with anger as it was twitched over the drains, a really good session and a good tip to remember here is to look for nervous bait on a drain mouth and keep working it, the predators won’t be faraway and this lure will defiantly get the bites.
One good Barra was quite memorable, my fishing companion on the day was my son Jacko, he sight cast at a nice Barra swimming along a mud bank in 50 cm of water, not a big fish but good enough to catch on the light tackle we were using at the time, Jack had 3 attempts to get the bite with his lure, it followed but shied away, I just couldn’t help myself and laid a good cast in front and just past the line the fish was travelling and started to retrieve the lure as to create the intercept with the fish, no hesitation and it smashed the lure hard, all in plain view………………..not a big one but 66 cm was good enough for the 2500 Freams I was using, great fun.
This lure has a permanent spot in my box, right on top. Other captures include grunter, big flathead, threadfin salmon, golden trevally and queenfish and that’s only after 2 trips with the TD minnow, I’m defiantly getting a few more as I can see a few of these heading off attached to some big fish.