Instinctual Catch – 1270 mm Wild Barra For Johnny Mitchell

I had a day off work, but the wild world doesn’t have a day off and human instincts are unable to be turned off. A sleep-in was needed but alarm bells were going off in the body, knowing a bite from mega barra was going to occur. The coolest thing about patterns, cycles and understanding fish and animal behaviour is that you can’t bluff or bullshit your way through it. You either know it or you don’t!


Positive energy took over and before long the boat was positioned near a school of 1200mm class barra. I sat patiently, letting the dust settle and waited for the cues from nature, observing multiple, predictable events unfolding as expected. It’s an amazing feeling being able to predict events before they occur and even more exciting teaching the content, watching fellow Australian anglers, guides and tournament fisherman progressively step their way to new heights in fishing, strategy, observation and awareness.

What was exciting today was having the opportunity alone to slide into the required mental zone to merge with the ‘ebb and flow’ of nature’s way and be in tune with the animal being hunted. ( Modern life is too fast- what we teach is slow but deadly)

It’s not often Aussie anglers can beat to the rhythm of the wild and predict, envisage and recognise to the second when a 1200mm+ barra is going to feed. In this case I waited about 10 seconds, the problem being the cast and retrieve has be be timed to match, near the fish and presented to the right depth on the day. There’s a lot that has to be mastered, but it’s mostly controllable, and if your mindset is positively wired you’re on the right page.

A 1270mm wild barra capture, predicted months in advance to a 10 second window. The internal body buzz was strong as the days closed in- when in tune with nature even the hairs on your arms will stand up and goose bumps occur as you can train your body and mind to synchronise with the environment and the animal hunted. Powerful stuff!

The barra belted the large paddle-tail plastic and launched from the water like a missile. About a 50 metre run followed, the fish burning energy, reacting to the single hook pinned in the corner of the jaw. A few minutes later including two more mad jumps, the fish was scooped up, measured at 1270mm and released.

Animals have always been the centre of attention and to this day their fine-lined behaviour fascinates and drives the inner urge to keep learning and refining. A magical headshot before release and a photo for the wall was enough to keep the connection fulfilled between barra, environment and the human brain, as we have to practice what we teach to keep skills sharp and learnings progressing.

A canvas image for the wall as a reminder and visual connection to the animal we love. Primal instincts are kept strong when thinking about wild animals 24/7.

Click here to read more about the masterclass seminar

Johnny Mitchell

Wild Adventures JM

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