You won't get many live makeral but if you have a chat with the local guys throwing cast nets they can sort you out with live mullet - which are a better bait anyhow.
Scott (worldfisher) hooked and lost a big (Big enough to pull me off my feet when I tried to handline it) ray up in the river but most of the hookups with unstopable fish on baits have happened on the beach by the sweetwater lake. Lots of catfish and morays and then a "thing" comes along and does you. No idea what they are 'cause we've not landed one or even stopped one yet. Best place seems to be between the rocks in the middle and the cliff at the far end.
Do take lures though, you'll kick yourself if you don't. For lure fishing for the barra, I go with 14lb Fireline (distance is vital) and a 30lb flouro leeder onto a Breakaway fastlink clip.
I've posted up a fair bit of info about how to catch the barra on here, on WSF and on anglersnet but if you need to know specifics, drop me a line.
Oh, and good luck.