Equinox and Barramundi

‘Equinox’ is a ‘thingy thing’ occurring twice a year. The last equinox took place around March, the next in September.
As the earth orbits the sun, earth rotates on its axis. Each earth rotation takes about 24 hours, split into night and day. (a typical calendar day)
It takes about 365 days for earth to complete its orbit of the sun. (a year)
The earth’s axis tilts at about 23.5 degrees off centre. (Land masses and ice sheets in the northern hemisphere make the earth top heavy) This tilt along with the orbit creates the varying angles and time period the sun hits our hometowns, resulting in long summer days (14hrs of light) for us and long dark nights in the northern hemisphere at the same time.

As the orbit around the sun continues this eventually changes, where we experience short winter days (less daylight) while the north experiences opposite. So, enough of the celestial techno stuff….. what’s the message?!?!

Somewhere amongst it all the equinox occurs….. THE WHAT?


Perfectly equal time periods of day and night.. Yes, basically 12 hrs of daylight and 12 hours of darkness around your house.
They are known as the summer equinox and winter equinox, and of course happen twice a year. (Every six months)

So, put a microscope on this stuff, imagine animals and plants that rely on heat and light to survive. Varying amounts of heat and light become available throughout the year.
Plants can propagate or go to seed by the trigger of changing light length which marks the change in season.
A floating lilly plant called Azolla goes through a boom phase as winter approaches, triggered by photoperiodism.

These plants are triggered by the change.

Yet let’s look at barra!
With each equinox not only is there the sway in light, but the tides swing to opposites.
In summer the highest tides occur during the day, but at Easter (BTW which is always on a full moon) the tides swap over for the next six months where the highest tides now occur during the night.
This means the tide (conveyor belt) runs faster during the afternoon incoming, and evening outgoing. To gain a better response from timid winter fish one may be better synchronized with this change and fishing opposite times to summer.

If barra decide to choose the biggest flow out of a 24hr period (can be a metre more flow) it might mean you need to look at the afternoon incoming and evening outgoing, with barra potentially being less active on the smaller tide of the day. (location specific and other factor driven of course)

Consider it, and consider what else around you has changed with the equinox, for things never remain the same for too long….
As an exercise grab the tide chart and circle the equinoxes.


Start by scanning the pattern of winter tides where the big tides over the full and new moon occur at night.

An example of big winter night tides.

Now circle where the morning high on the full and new moon are biggest in late October – then work backwards from there until you see the numbers game change to pinpoint the equinox.

An example of big summer day tides.

Have a think about this change/equinox and how the effects could influence barra fishing locations………..and your timing as a hunter. The equinox forces my adaption, to conform with natures role reversal.

That difference can be a game changer. Fish may feed just once a day, gentlemen hours aren’t necessarily the best hours.

Johnny Mitchell