Rains kick start circle of life
  |  First Published: February 2011

This year has been the wettest for Gin Gin since 1992 and we have had the biggest flood for nearly fifty years, but the big question remains: what can this mean to the barramundi fishing.

I wasn’t able to predict the fishing at all in 2010 as the rain kept coming with our La Niña weather pattern. This year hasn’t started much different, except the waters can’t really get any deeper and once the dam settles the water will come back to the height it was previously with good weed beds that formed before the rain.

The dam has had a great flush out, and the amount of bait is incredible. This begins a new cycle of fishing; the bait, the insects, the invertebrates and all other animals do well in these conditions, which produce the perfect habitat for barra.

Don’t listen to those who preach doom and gloom saying all the barra have gone over the wall; this is a new beginning.

Lake Monduran is back to being the top big fish dam with a fish caught recently in the main basin weighing 44.6kg and measuring 135cm. This fish was caught trolling the main basin in a Hobie kayak trolling 130 Slick Rigs.

The waters will settle and the levels will hold for about the next two years. We do need some more barra fingerlings but with a recent release of 80,000 fingerlings, things can only improve.

Just as the dam was going over this year when you could string four days of good warm weather together the fish would bite. Some fish were caught around the basin as fish moved down towards the wall but we were catching them in areas like B and C while the dam was going over.

We were having some spectacular trips working the weed edges, some of which resulted in six fish per session. Lots of the fish are falling victim to the usual Slick Rig 130s and 110s but you should mix it up with some hardbodied lures such as the Rapala suspending lures, Saruna suspending lures and the good old Shimano Stiffy.

These suspending hardbodies work well during the day and night but sometimes they’re just the edge to crack a bite when the going is tough.

The newer pro range of Slick Rigs are great as they swim well as they are a lot more flexible around the body creating a good swim action. The older Slick Rigs are still a favourite amongst most serious anglers, though.

The Storm Bait and Switch is another of my favourites for catching big fish. But all of these plastics need to be tuned to get the most out of them. One of the best ways to do this is to use a heating device, like a soldering iron. This can thin out a tail to entice a lighter floppy tail that will swim better than the original.

Another way to increase your catch is to add stingers. This is best done by connecting a swivel or snaps to the hook and connects the swivel to a split ring with number four hook. The soldering iron is perfect once again to penetrate the soft plastic creating a tear free hole.

Be careful of the gases created with heating the soft plastics though, this is best done outside in an area with plenty of ventilation and a mask to breath through.

Hopefully this year will see the dams return to the great barra fishing areas they were, but with good stocking the future looks great.

Offshore the reef fishing has still been great and outside the shelf there are plenty of marlin reports coming in from game boats coming home from Cairns. It looks like 2011 will be a great year all round.

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