STUDYING SALTWATER & FRESHWATER BARRAMUNDI;
THE BACKBONE TO JOHNNY'S GUIDING SUCCESS
Johnny Mitchell is a highly requested fishing guide. Born and bred in Gladstone, the mothering town of Lake Awoonga, Johnny is highly dedicated to studying barramundi behaviour,
and is a very successful angler in many fields of fishing, the envy of many in his local district. He has completed many chapters in the barramundi world which includes 26 yrs
of saltwater barramundi fishing from the Northern Territory to Gladstone, as well as having 14 years of impoundment barramundi fishing experience, documented and recorded.
Having interacted every year with Lake Awoonga's
barramundi and closely micro scoping the fishery's lifelong progression was a distinct and obvious advantage that quietly set Johnny years ahead of any would be competitor.
Capturing and providing many of the wild saltwater barramundi and mangrove jack brood stock for the local Gladstone fish hatchery to use, to help stock Lake Awoonga over 13
years ago was just part of a low key style that he adopted. Johnny is an impoundment barramundi specialist and an extremist when it comes to saltwater barramundi fishing
with annual barramundi captures between 26 and 38 kilograms over the last 16 years in local salt waters. He quietly avoids all barramundi competitions, instead spending
further time in the field learning, or guiding clients. An experienced and versatile angler, yet not one to usually talk it up, but a short, intense annual effort in
Australia's largest recreational saltwater fishing competition has seen Johnny's skills set records with the largest fish to ever hit the scales in over 16 years of
the competition's history. Forming a team with close friends, the competition's record spanish mackerel captures and record black spot tusk fish are unsurpassed, down played achievements.
Adding personal finesse to lure fishing techniques is where Johnny gained the uncanny ability to fool barramundi on a wide selection of lure types on a 365 day playing field,
salt and fresh water. Summer or winter and in deep water sometimes miles from the coastline Johnny Mitchell is at ease with barramundi. A big box of tricks to tempt barramundi
exaggerates the reason why there is no individual gun technique. Every luring technique is crafted to suit a specific situation, species, season, or client.
Since the crippling overflow event at Lake Awoonga in December 2010, Johnny was asked to write a factual paper for Queensland Fisheries; a representation of his extensive
knowledge bank based on experience and observation.
No stranger to bluewater angling, extending his arm to offshore charters will allow his many hidden talents and closely guarded secrets to surface. Johnny's fishing,
hunting and bush experiences in his 37 years of living see him as being highly tuned to the environment, whether it is above or below the water's surface.
He has spent over a decade filming the activities of wildlife species like birds, wild pigs, dingoes, wild cattle and foxes, on a coastal island off Gladstone,
as well as expanding to underwater footage, filming many ocean going creatures including tiger sharks, dog tooth tuna, mud crabs, whales, dugongs, spanish mackerel,
fingermark, and of course fishing adventures surrounding saltwater and impoundment barramundi. Putting the fishing rod aside and spending time filming and just watching
wildlife opens many new doors to learning and understanding animal behaviour. Sacrificing personal fishing time to sit and watch is extremely important, and to be a
successful guide this trait stands well clear on its own as a professional operator takes second place on charter and promotes a keen angler to step forward to grow.
His observant manner and enthusiasm to nature and Australia's inhabitants helps formulate an impressive collection of fishing knowledge that sees his business thrive.
He has a strong focus, clear thought processes and a precise memory bank that helps him piece together patterns and behaviours of many animal species.
His adventurous attitude will fill the gap with these remote charters, his experience and positive thirst for new challenges will help push the boundaries of success.
He spent 6 yrs as a deckhand, working on many offshore reef charter fishing operations, also on scuba, spear fishing and free-diving vessels. Spear fishing a dogtooth
tuna at over 100 pounds was an interesting spectacle. He also loves free diving with nature's specialties; an encounter with whale sharks was an amazing life opportunity.
Running the deck on a game fishing boat on wild Coral Sea reefs was a highlight, and incredibly valuable experience. He also has gained knowledge in the tackle trade as a
tackle store salesman, and familiarity with marine bulk ships and marine ship pilot transfer, as well as another 4 years commercially fishing alone by himself, living on a
remote section of a remarkably wild island. An informative book and DVD series based on Australian adventure is highlighted in the back pages of this website,
another chapter of his life on film. Recent and further interaction with biologists and marine scientists has opened doors for greater learning opportunity.
These fishing and life experiences, matched with his bush sense, along with his truly genuine and friendly nature has seen Johnny acquire the fundamentals required to
continue to offer a proficient fishing charter service to Australian and worldwide visitors. His approach, patience, knowledge and specialised ability will be very
useful for anyone who chooses to fish with him. With the recent introduction of a new 6.4 metre charter vessel, the future will be as exciting as the years prior.