Fresh and salt reap rainy rewards
  |  First Published: April 2011

The recent rains may have made fishing tough initially, but we are now starting to reap the rewards of the thorough cleansing of the local estuaries.

Fishing offshore reefs has been brilliant with good catches of reef fish from Hervey Bay right through to 1770.

Recent trips to the shoals of Fraser have shown good healthy supplies of coral trout, scarlet sea perch, sweeties, gold spot wrasse and parrot.

On the deep edges and the flat country to the south of Lady Elliot Island good catches have been caught of red emperor, parrot and Maori wrasse.

The rivers and creeks are still flowing well and some good catches of mangrove jacks can be caught around the rock bars and snags.

Offshore marlin fishing has been ideal; on a recent trip we tagged two blue marlin from seven bites. These fish seem to be caught readily in the 200-800m contour east of the 13 mile crossing. I have recently uploaded a video of us fighting a blue marlin, which can be found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2omI2rBPng.

Barra Action

The barra scene is slowing coming back in Lake Monduran with catches showing up in the northern arm of B. As it’s one of the toughest dams to fish, I can only see a slow return to some of the better fishing we have experienced in the past. Regardless Monduran is one of the most private and picturesque impoundments to fish.

The question I’m asked the most is: what lures do I need to bring? The two distinct types of lures that I use are hardbodied and soft plastic style lures. I use my hardbodies suspending in the shallows and the trees. The Rapala X-Rap in glass ghost is my go to hardbody, but I also like B52s, Sebile lures, and Saruna suspending lures.

In the soft plastic range I use the Slick Rig 130s and 110s, Storm Bait and Switch and the Sebile soft plastics. To achieve the best results from soft plastics modify your lures by heating them in boiling water to make them swim the most aggressively at the slowest speed. Test how well they swim in a tank or a swimming pool before heading out on the water. Stinger hooks are also often used to promote hook-ups.

The months ahead will turn cold and the fishing will be tough but achievable. Winter fishing is very rewarding and catching a 1m+ barra after 10 hours of casting feels like winning an Olympic gold medal. Be prepared to work hard for your fish, put the time in and be vigilant.

If you’re not catching barra, then you’re probably not fishing hard enough. I often come across this doing charters as most people are exhausted at the end of the day and for the first time realise the amount of casting needed to catch a fish.

Don’t be put off by this as most of the time you will catch a barra if you put in the work. By my calculations, if you spend eight hours on the water you will do over 1200 casts per day or 150 per hour. This is the minimum you need to do. So stay focused and reap the rewards.

Monduran Accomodation

One of the best ways to enjoy the dam through the coming months is on the houseboat. This is a great way to mesh a great family experience with some good solid fishing. On the houseboat you can put in some good solid hours on the water and cover a lot more water than just with day trips.

The opportunities are endless with the boat parked half way up the dam you can fish all night and all day. The house boat is great with the mates as it sleeps up to ten people, I find it’s one trip that I can slip in as a holiday/fishing trip with the family, keeping the points on my side of the board for a change.

If you are looking to enjoy the experience of fishing Lake Monduran motels, cabins, a Caravan Park and hotels are available in Gin Gin. There is also a caravan park at the dam, which will save you the 20km travel each day.

If you would like to stay with us at the Gin Gin Hotel you can enjoy a cold beer a great meal and an air-conditioned room. Our budget style accommodation has been recently upgraded with new amenities, carpet and TVs in each room. We also offer updated reports on the local fishing and can help you catch that 1m+ fish.

Fish stocking Funds

The future of barra fishing in Lake Monduran is looking great with fingerlings being released by MASA each year spending all of their SIPS money on barramundi fingerlings.

We do need to raise more money to increase the total amount of fingerlings released each year. We have decided to fundraise to increase the amount of fingerlings by 200,000 a year. This will cost about $100,000 per year. Donations can be made through Rob Howell at the Caravan Park and me at the hotel.

We are just beginning to put a marketing campaign together to help raise funds for stocked fish. If you can help or would like to make a donation please call me on 0427590995.

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