Darwin run off Barra fishingJames Dainton
With my first bub due later in the year I thought it was about time I pulled my finger out and came up to Darwin for a few days to try out the Balista’s. I’ve been doing a sales run from my hometown of Shepparton up to Cairns twice a year for the last 3 years. The first year was more about refining the Balista products to perform well on Barra which required a few tweaks with performance, upgrading the standard hardware that comes on our lures as well as adding more Barra specific colours into the range including UV paints.
The LED technology was proven to increase strikes in the research labs of James Cook University in Cairns a few years ago however the biggest challenge was creating quality lures. Some of the original designs from 2011 were very basic and hence didn’t sell that well. Since that time I’ve worked my backside off designing and refining a new range of lures, I’m now more than happy with the selection of Barra lures we have in the range.
There are a hand full of lures on the market that have electronics in them, from what I’ve seen they are rubbish which understandably people then assume all electronic lures are a gimmick. Some of the lures I’ve seen twitch and promise to a catch a fish every cast, others have a cricket sound in the lure, and others also have LED lights. The lures with the LED light would work however I haven’t seen them use the right colour LED (which is red), some have 4 different coloured LED which makes them more like a disco ball than a lure that would catch fish. The one thing they all have in common is they have no research behind them; they have just banged their technology inside an average lure and hoped for the best. The only colour LED we found to work was red; we also found that a flashing LED worked better than not flashing. The only way that you can get an edge with the LED is to put the technology inside a quality lure that would work brilliantly even without an LED. That’s we’ve aimed to do and the anglers that are giving the technology a proper crack are getting great results.
Fishing on a run out tide we anchored up at a junction where a clear creek ran into the main river, we were getting a few bumps on plastics however the Trigger was the lure that got belted the most consistently.
With the amount of boat traffic on the Daly it was nice to be swimming something that the Barra haven’t have seen much of. We had a spread of lures that we were constantly changing to give a variety of lures the opportunity to produce. The Firestorm 120 Shallow got just as much action if not more than any the run of the mill Barra lures that are commonly used on the Daly.
Testing a new Balista prototype lure called the Smoke. I tied on the smaller 65mm size given that we had been getting more action on smaller lures. On the second cast this 92cm Barra belted it. What I liked most about the lure is that even if water is pumping out of a creek the lure digs in and dives down enough to get in the zone where a lot of hardbodies don’t dive down deep quickly enough to get a bite.
If you can get over the notion that the LED looks like a gimmick and give them a chance you’ll find out pretty quickly that the LED works well, especially in dirty water, low light conditions and after dark.
We spent hours anchored up fishing the one spot constantly changing lures and colours to try and find something that worked. As soon as I cast out the Glimmer Pink colour in the Trigger it got belted.
White was a stand out colour from the trip, the side of the lure is translucent with a lilac pearl through it to give it a natural baitfish shimmer as it swims.
Ash with a Barra caught around Shady Camp on the Glimmer Pink Trigger. One of a few fish he caught that day.