The magical metre barramundi continues to elude me, but I edged closer to that milestone and enjoyed plenty of other highlights on a spectacular Kimberley cruise last month.

I was extremely fortunate to receive a last-minute invitation to join a bunch of keen anglers on a week-long expedition on the purpose-built Kimberley Quest out of Broome.

At only a few days’ notice I had to get myself to Broome, then fly to Cygnet Bay to board the Kimberley Quest for a week chasing barra through the stunning Buccaneer Archipelago.

It had been a few years since I’d done a trip like this and my previous experience of the Kimberley cruises was of very tough fishing for the most part.

I was joined by my mate Neil Pinner and he was surprised when our first stop after being collected from the hotel was to pick up former West Coast Eagle Peter Wilson for the trip, the pair of them old mates.

It was a good start and we were soon joined by the rest of Peter’s group of eight guys, with Neil and I stepping in for some of their friends who couldn’t get over from Victoria.

Colum Corless with the personal best barra.

What followed was simply an epic fishing adventure, all done in first-class comfort aboard Kimberley Quest.

Fishing at spots like the Glenelg River, Secure Bay, Montgomery Reef and even Horizontal Falls we enjoyed some memorable action that put my previous Kimberley trips to shame.

The undoubted highlight had to be a rock bar at the mouth of an inlet that absolutely fired for barra for about 90 minutes.

In a raging current just after first light our group of 10 anglers pulled around a dozen fish, mainly trolling, and would have hooked at least 15 more. It was during this hot bite that I got a 93cm fish, my best yet, by casting an RMG Scorpion from the bow of our tender while we trolled. The barra smashed the lure almost as soon as I landed it next to a rock and put up a spectacular fight, with plenty of anxiety when it was near the boat and pinned by just one hook on the treble.

One angler, Jason Antunovich, got a 1.01m fish during the session, and every fish boated was over 80cm.

Another highlight was a stellar late-afternoon session on broad-barred Spanish mackerel in the channel at Montgomery Reef.

Fishing on Kimberley Quest was an amazing experience, with all of our guides keen anglers with a good understanding of the areas explored.

Article written by Scott Coghlan.