Barra Bash to shine a light on Kununurra’s world-class fishery

Fishers are preparing to chase big barramundi at Kimberley Coastal Camp Apex Kununurra Barra Bash on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

The competition, to be held from 25 – 27 September, is now in its 22nd year and celebrates the amazing barra fishing opportunities in WA’s East Kimberley.

Steve Hart loves catching barra in Kununurra. Picture: Western Angler

A host of great prizes will be up for grabs at this year’s Barra Bash including the main prize of a Quintrex F390 Explorer. This speccy boat will be fitted with a Suzuki 25HP four-stroke outboard — donated by Steve Cooke and the crew from Ord Mechanical Services — and a trailer,  all you need to do is catch a barra measuring more than 55cm to be in the running.

Registration is $50 for adults, with all juniors (15 years old and under) receiving free entry. Fishers can register at Ski Beach from 10am to 5pm on Friday and from 6am to 12pm on the Saturday with all fish needing to be entered by 3pm on Sunday.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland will be attending to support this year’s Barra Bash.

With excitement building among fishers who are set to compete, Dr Rowland said the event would showcase Kununurra’s world-class barra fishing.

“The East Kimberley boasts Australia’s best barramundi fishery, with plenty of safe and accessible spots for fishers to chase the iconic species,” he said.

Curt McCartney with a beautiful Kununurra barra.

“Barramundi are highly-valued and the abundant stocks throughout the Kimberley have the ability to draw fishers from far and wide to the region in pursuit of catching a 1m-plus barra.”

Read Western Angler editor Scott Coghlan’s guide to fishing Kununurra here!

A bucket list trophy fish

Recfishwest has always regarded barramundi as an important recfishing species, with the fish’s tough fighting offering a sudden rush of excitement for any mad-keen sportfishing enthusiast.

Dr Rowland said Kununurra’s brimming barra stocks were a testament to the community’s drive to establish and maintain an abundant fishery.

“Barramundi fishing’s economic and social return in Kununurra is massive,” he said.

“Competitions, such as the annual Barra Bash, represent the community’s commitment to establishing Kununurra as an internationally renowned sportfishing location.”

Lake Kununurra’s barramundi dream

We don’t want barra stocks to be sustainable, we want them to be abundant. That’s why Recfishwest has consistently pushed for barramundi stocking at Lake Kununurra since 2013.

In the past eight years, more than 850,000 barramundi fingerlings have been stocked into Lake Kununurra to help establish abundant barramundi stocks in the freshwater reservoir.

Since the stocking program began, Lake Kununurra has solidified itself as a world-class trophy barramundi fishery.

In addition to maximising a fisher’s chances of catching a  trophy fish, there are also no saltwater crocs or big Kimberley tides to battle within Lake Kununurra making it an ideal tourism asset right on the town’s doorstep.

The continual release of barra aims to bolster sustainable tourism options in Kununurra locality and attract fishers — with rod-and-reel in tow — to the remote East Kimberley town.

Check this out! Josh Hatton recorded this amazing footage while free-diving Lake Kununurra

Kununurra: The gateway to fishing the East Kimberley

“Hopefully next time you’re in Kununurra you can get out on the water and enjoy the amazing barra fishing on offer,” Dr Rowland said.

“If you want to catch a bucket list barra, Lake Kununurra and the Ord River at the town’s doorstep – is one of the best places in Australia to do it.

“The way the Lake Kununurra barramundi fishery is developing it is only a matter of time before Kununurra is recognised as the best place in Australia to fish for barra.”

Kununurra’s world-class barra fishery brings smiles to many faces!