The Asian Sea Bass, Barra what?
Anecdotes and Behavior
The Asian Sea Bass is a slick silver wonder. It is literally silver all over with orangy eyes thats almost translucent. Its one of those eyes that can hypnotize you almost. It is a phenomenal rod and reel target and can be exquisite eating.
So I have just learned from wikipedia that this fish has an 'Asian' prefix. I have always known it as simply 'Sea Bass' but turns out there are at least 10 different kinds out there, so I think putting the prefix 'Asian' needs to be done. The question does arise as well whether its 2 words 'Sea Bass' or just one word 'Seabass'.
Its well known as well as the 'Barramundi' which is basically what they call this fish Down Under. Call it what you will, this is one of those first time experiences in fishing, that you will not forget.
This fish is found in the mangrove areas and in the sea as well. My experience with the Asian Sea Bass is from pay pond fishing. The Sea Bass has been one of the main pioneers of this type of fishing, I would suspect that its either quite easy to breed or perhaps its one of the first marine fishes that was chosen for Aquaculture.
Of course, its meat is pretty tasty (if the fish is kept in the right conditions that is - it can have a 'muddy' taste otherwise) which is probably a huge influence on its prolific abundance.
Anyway, so how do you catch one of these guys?
Its quite interesting how every kind of fish has its own habits. I suppose thats why God made different kinds of fish in the first place so I wont get too deep into the philosophy of it (not now anyway).
The Asian Sea Bass prefers open water. Open water can mean right in the middle of the pond or it could also means right by the side of the pond.
This fish is one of those that moves about a lot and so you can be sure that leaving your bait at one spot near a pier for e.g. may not get you very many Barramundi. If you have live bait, which will move about by itself, you may have some luck and catch one in open water.
The key to this fish though is the bait. It loves, and I mean love (did I say love?)...
Thats right, this creature is the key. If you are using a float, use a live shrimp and perhaps you may catch one. Better still though, use a dead shrimp and do some trolling (Basically reeling the bait through the water at a steady pace).
You can actually even do trolling with a live one. Doesnt really matter, but trolling with some sort of shrimp is the way to go for catching an Asian Sea Bass.
As a matter of fact, by using this method, you can be almost assured that if you catch any fish that day, its going to be Asian Sea Bass!
Float fishing for this fish, although do-able, takes away the fun a little bit. Part of the idea of fishing is to be able to 'think like a fish' and see where the fish may be.
Nothing gives you this illusion better than trolling, as you picture yourself enticing the fish to your bait. Of course not all fish take to trolling but the Asian Sea Bass does.
The thing about this fish is, its fast and it loves chasing bait, especially shrimp bait. Its almost like a dog with a stick. If you throw a stick with your pet dog, likely it will have an irresistible urge to fetch the stick.
Who knows why that is right? Same thing for the Asian Sea Bass, once it sees a shrimp swimming through the water (which is actually tied to you), it will chase it down and bite it. (Of course its never that simple, there are plenty of other factors as well but the idea is so).
In the pay ponds I have visited, I would see people leave with half a dozen or more of this fish. Of course we cannot downplay the 'fishing hand' of the guy with all the fish (and what I mean there is, many of us know at least one person who seem to be just a 'fish magnet', doesnt matter what they do, they will catch lotsa fish, and I know you know what I am talking about!), his skill and simple knack for fishing. However, chances are this guy did some trolling, and did it well.
When an Asian Sea Bass attacks your trolling bait, you will know immediately. It will be a split second thing, where most of the time the hook sticks and you will be up against a creature that will simply swerve this way and that way.
It will take you for a ride! There was once, I hooked a monster, a crazy nut it was, and I saw it jump out of the water too, it was so huge that I had no control of my rod and inevitably lost the fish (the one that got away, its always huge right? :D ).
I have actually caught this fish on dead fish bait but I think it was because I mixed it up with some mashed shrimp so it still smelt like a shrimp! At least thats what I try to convince myself as it didnt make much sense otherwise.
Anyway, the Asian Sea Bass is a definite joy on rod and reel and tastes pretty good (again depends how it was raised).
Fish Satisfaction Index (FSI)
The Asian Sea Bass, is THE favorite aquaculture fish. Even more so than any Snapper. I think its just been in the aquaculture space longer. As such, its probably pretty easy care for aquaculture. Its not really for the fish keeping enthusiast, as it grows to a few kg (double that for lbs). You could keep it in a tank I guess, but probably not for too long since it grows pretty fast.
This fish is all silver. It has that glistening effect with the sun. There may be some slight golden tinges as well. What I find more interesting though is its translucent orangy/red eyes. This kinda makes it look out of this world like.
This fish is a joy reeling in. It fights you and fights you hard. Plus, as I was saying, since one of the better ways to catch it is trolling, there is an added satisfaction (or perhaps shock) of you suddenly feeling a huge tug on your line, when you had been casting and reeling about 10 times before that with nothing biting.
I give this fish a 7.5 out of 10. If there were no other fish to fish, this may be higher. Although it is fun to reel, there are just too many of this fish around and so its a pretty 'normal' fish in that sense. At the same time, if you are unlucky, you may get a 'muddy' tasting fish and that could just spoil your whole situation. Its still pretty good though.
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