If the thought of high impact, rod jarring, and reel screaming fishing brings a smile to your face, you will love Bumpa Barring. Here we will explore the tactics, techniques and tackle needed to get the most from your next Bumpa Barring experience.
Let me begin by saying that the success of any lure will always be greatly influenced by the skill, knowledge and expertise of the angler at the other end of the rod. Fishing with Bumpa Bars is no exception. Following are five fundamental principles of Bumpa Barring that will help with the task of consistently finding fish, and more importantly, delivering your next Bumpa Bar into the strike zone.
Know your Target
It is very important that you take the time to study the habits of the species that you wish to target. Familiarise yourself with the kind of habitat and structures around which they like to aggregate. Learn about the tides, moon, water temperature and seasons, and how these effect feeding patterns and activity levels. Also keep in mind the types and sizes of bait fish being consumed, and use this information to aid in the selection of lure colour and size.
Find the Action
Bumpa Barring is highly active, with success often depending on the angler searching for fish rather than waiting for the fish to find you. Using your knowledge of the species being targeted, identify suitable structures and substrate features that should hold fish. Learn to read the water and identify current lines, back eddies and upwellings. Always keep your eyes peeled for bait schools as these usually indicate the presence of some bottom feature that may be worth further investigation. By continually finding the action, you will cover far more water and catch many more fish in half the time.
Fish the Flow-on
Whether you are fishing wrecks, bommies, reefs, spurs or shoals, you will usually find fish and bait schools aggregated along the flow-on. The flow-on refers to the leading edge of these structures that is receiving the impacting force of the current. This impact point creates intense eddies and upwellings that provide suitable aggregation and feeding points for all kinds of marine creatures. Current direction can be determined from the light blue arrows on your navigation chart and is a good guide, particularly around islands and other major structures that interfere with normal current flow.
The E Factor
Recent technological advancements and substantial price reductions have meant that sophisticated marine electronics are now the norm, rather than the exception. Colour sounders, GPS and even under water video cameras have all made the fishing of hidden underwater structures far easier and effective.
When considering sounders, buy colour if you can afford it as it helps significantly to differentiate between bottom structures, bait schools and individual species. In the power department look for something around 400W RMS or greater and the best pixel count you can afford - it makes finding those half-buried plane wrecks much easier! For this style of fishing I prefer a large screen Chart plotter GPS that allows you to zoom right down to a few meters across the screen. This is very useful when repeating drifts, or relocating very small structures.
Talk to your marine electronics dealer for more information on brands, specifications and price.
Persistence, Patience and Confidence
Probably the most important characteristic of any successful Bumpa Barring session is the alibility to persist when the fish are not playing the game. To remain confident that you are fishing in the right place, at the right stage of tide, and with the right choice of lure is something that only comes from experience. It is important to realise that fish don’t feed all the time, so certain tide cycles will be more productive than others. It is common to observe a definite reduction in pelagic activity when tidal run slows between tides, so in this instance you would persist with the expectation that things will improve once the run increases. You must also have confidence in the lure being used, and trust that if the fish are there, they will be fooled by the imitation and that you are not wasting your time.
As with most lures, there are many retrieval methods that may be used which vary in effectiveness depending on the species being targeted and the location being fished. There are five main techniques that have proven deadly on a wide range of species that are well suited to the use of Bumpa-Bars.
Drift and Drop
Also known as vertical high-speed, this is the most common and effective way to fish Bumpa-Bars, being particularly devastating on pelagics of all shapes and sizes. This method involves motoring up current of the structure or bait school being fished, and then drifting silently back over the area whilst dropping the Bumpa Bar all the way to the bottom. Upon contact with the bottom, the lure is cranked as fast as possible back to the surface. This process is repeated until a strike is taken. A sea anchor or drone can be used to slow your drift and maximise the number of lure drops per drift. This technique is excellent when fishing around wrecks as the hooked fish drifts with the boat away from the structure. It is also a great way to discover new ground and build a detailed profile of an area, as each time you drift, a different transect is surveyed.
Cast and Crank
This technique is ideal when chasing surface feeding pelagics such as tuna. These fish feed by rounding up bait schools down deep and force them to the surface where they then carve them up in a spectacular visual display. Simply position the boat up wind of the feeding school and cast the Bumpa Bar into the leading edge while on the drift. Allow the lure to sink a couple of meters, then crank until your arms start smoking! In these situations it is important to match the lure size with that of the baitfish being consumed. This is a very exciting way to fish, with the angler often seeing the tuna break through the waves to smash the lure.
Cast & Skip (Alternative for Popper fishing)
This great alternative for the popular popper fishing is ideal when chasing surface feeding pelagics such as GT’s. These fish feed by rounding up bait on the surface and force them together into tight schools where they then carve them up in a spectacular visual display. Simply position the boat up wind of the feeding school and cast the Bumpa Bar into the leading edge while on the drift. Keep the skipping on the surface by starting the retrieve as the lure hits the water, then crank at a speed where it skips and slides across the surface without tumbling. This is a very exciting way to fish, with the strikes being spectacular.
This method is great for targeting bottom dwelling species in deeper water such as coral trout, nannygai, red emperor, fingermark and cod to name a few. Jigging can be undertaken from either a drifting or anchored boat. Simply drop the lure to the bottom, engage the reel, and bounce the lure off the bottom using sweeps of the rod tip. Lower the rod and allow the lure to flutter back to the bottom before repeating. It is important to keep in direct contact with the lure at all times as some bottom dwellers will smash you up in seconds unless you put the hurt on immediately.
Flick and Twitch
Ideal for fishing around sandbars and shallow sand flats, this technique involves a long cast followed by a slow and erratic retrieve. The lure is cast and allowed to sink into the bottom before quickly twitching the rod tip to kick the lure into action. The lure then settles back to the bottom as the slack line is retrieved creating a cloud of sand each time the process is repeated. Species such as flathead and salmon find this approach irresistible. An alternative is to work the surface in the same way, allowing the lure to sink only a small distance before twitching it back to the surface. This method is extremely effective on tarpon around well-lit bridges and jetties at night.
Although trolling Bumpa-Bars is less common, it is best suited to the larger lure sizes and will troll close to the surface unless assisted by lead keels, par vanes or downriggers. The wide and erratic action of the large 75g model has proven very effective on large Spanish mackerel when trolled deep using a downrigger.
While Bumpa-Bars can be successful on all types of tackle, Bumpa Barring is an intense form of fishing and the best quality tackle is recommended to survive the experience, especially over the long term.
Recommendations for best results
Bumpa Barring involves the angler actively working the rod for the entire session, so it is important that rods are lightweight and comfortable to use. The rear grip should be long enough to tuck up under your arm when cranking, and the fore grip also long enough to enable effective lifting of the rod during prolonged battles. Experience has found that shorter rods (less than 1.8m) give maximum leverage when fighting fish and reduced fatigue on the angler. Rod components should be the best you can afford, especially the guides as they will endure some serious mileage during an average Bumpa Barring session.
There are very few high-speed reels on the market that also have quality internal gearing capable of long-term operation. The average Bumpa Barring day can involve anything up to 400 high-speed retrieves plus any additional stress resulting from a hook-up and ensuing battle. Personally I prefer spinning reels, as you can usually cast further and retrieve much faster. Over the years I have fished extensively with most brands of reels and can say without a doubt that when it comes to reels, you get what you pay for. Buy the best you can afford. Following is a list of features that should be considered when purchasing a quality high-speed reel:
||High speed - The reel speed is determined by the number of spool rotations per turn of the handle and is expressed as a gear ratio. For example, a gear ratio of 6.1:1 means that that the bail arm will rotate 6.1 times around the spool each time the reel handle is turned 1 complete revolution. The amount of line retrieved per turn of the handle will reflect the combination of gear ratio and spool diameter. The higher the gear ratio and larger the spool size, the more line retrieved per turn of the handle, and therefore the faster the reel.
||Quality gears - The gears are placed under considerable stress and must be of a hard wearing material if the reel is to last years, rather than weeks.
||Non-flex body - Body construction needs to be strong and ridged, especially when cranking larger lures on heavier line. There is nothing worse than a reel that twists side-to-side when retrieving or fighting a fish.
||Anti-twist line roller - Helps minimise line twist caused by the uni-directional rotation of the bail arm. As the line glides over the roller it is forced to twist in the opposite direction, counteracting the twist generated by the retrieve. Line twist is not a problem when using overheads.
||Comfort - Choose a reel that is ergonomic to use, lightweight and easy to crank at speed.
||Quality smooth drag - A necessity for any reel, but even more so when Bumpa Barring. A cruising Spaniard smashing a lure being cranked at speeds in excess of 130cm per turn of the handle will challenge any drag. Drags must be silky smooth and dissipate heat, even under prolonged pressure and speed.
Bumpa-Bars are best fished using a heavier mono leader attached to a double tied in the main line. The length of leader is a matter of personal choice, and will reflect the location and size of fish being targeted. Lures may be attached to the leader via a swivel or tied directly using a loop knot. Wire traces can also be used to reduce lure loses, particularly when mackerel swallow them down while they are still sinking. Keep the wire as short and light as possible.
Well, it’s time for me to wrap this up so you can stop reading and do some fishing. I hope that you find the information useful and sufficient to get you connected to a Bumpa-Bar smashing, line-screaming speedster guaranteed to give you a rush like no other. Remember that there are no rules, just principles. We hope our information is of good use and wish you all the best of luck as you pull all the pieces together to experience the thrill of Bumpa Barring.