We are now at Mt Isa having travelled down the Stuart Hwy from Katherine and then at 3 Ways turned east on the Barkly Hwy. I thought I would reflect on Barramundi. These fish populate all the waterways in the north and are just waiting to have a go at your hook and then jump into the boat or onto the riverbank and be taken home to be cooked by all sorts of methods. And they are just the best! Or so the travel promos tell you, not to mention the towns one passes through. Allthego had taken a trusty rod with him on the trip to catch this fish. But as reported previously a few under size salmon and a sting ray at Karumba on the Gulf has been the result, nothing has changed since. THE BARRAMUNDI IS ELUSIVE! This is what the people on the ground tell me when I ask. It’s like they are not meant to be caught. Then I suppose you do have to get the rod out!
However, it seems this has not always been the case. Our aboriginal people had great success in catching this fish. Rock art documents the many such fish caught. As an aside I recall a story about some aboriginal sisters (I think) who disobeyed the law and went fishing for Barramundi when they were spawning, caught some and were promptly turned into Gingas (crocodiles) as punishment. The crocodile is not well looked upon. This seems to be evidence of the first closed season for fishing. Today one gets a fine (as well as losing the fish) rather than being turned into a Ginga. Barramundi feature prominently in rock art and is also popular with modern painters.
Anyway, back to Barramundi. We have eaten a few on the trip. Grilled, baked and deep-fried. It’s not bad. And we have had them for dinner in a few places; each says they have the best Barramundi in the north. Last night in Mt Isa I had one deep-fried in Fat Yak beer batter at the Buffs Club. Not bad at all and certainly plenty of it. But,in looking back I think we had the best Barra at the cafe at Kurumba. If you are ever there try it!.
We are now moving onto to Cloncurry.