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The Rise of the Monduran Barra
  |  First Published: November 2011



Lake Monduran is slowly coming back to its former glory. We still have a lot of water between the fish and the numbers of fish aren’t great but we are catching them, things are looking on the up.

The fish seem to be hanging in the backs of creeks and the southern bays in 5-10ft of water where there is nice weed with small spinderly trees. When you first drive up around the lake you think every part of water looks good but the fish seem to be in isolated pockets around the dam. The best way to find them is to monitor your side scan while working banks.

The Barra Trophy was just on at the lake but only six fish were caught by two teams. Most teams didn’t catch fish because they didn’t have enough time to locate fish during the pre-fish. The teams that had the most time on the water seemed to do best. The fish once again were put down quickly by cold weather and lots of boats on the water - Lake Monduran doesn’t handle the pressure well. The lures that worked best were the suspending hard bodies like the Rapala X-raps in the hot steel colour and we did well on the Damiki Vibes.

The months ahead look great, plenty of anglers have said that they have seen plenty of fish on side scan or have been busted off by big fish but none yet have hit the brag mats so I have nothing credible. I can only presume that the big fish are still there and they might become more active soon.

The creeks are still full of fish with your bread and butter species like bream, flathead and whiting making up the majority of catches. There are still plenty of barra around in the rivers and some real horses are being pulled out of the Burnett River and the Baffle Creek. Big threadfin salmon, mangrove jack and fingermark are still around.

The offshore fishing has been awesome with weather being the only problem this time of year. The recent rains have cleaned out the rivers and pushed plenty of food out into the ocean, which has boosted the inshore reefs. The best fishing is still out some 50km plus with a number of big reds being caught. Leaving from 1770 is a great way to access the islands and good numbers of coral trout are generally caught around safe anchorages like Lady Musgrave and Fitzroy Islands.

Fraser Island has some of the best fishing to offer, however the remoteness of the area protects it from being targeted at times. Reef fish are caught right along the eastern side of the island and on the western side, but bigger species are caught on the eastern side.

Access can be gained to the east of the island at Waddy Point. This is the only beach with a ramp and I would only suggest this area for experienced beach ramp users with extended draw bars on their cars. Alternative access is around the northern side of Fraser island crossing the bar leaving from Hervey bay or Bundaberg. The distance to cross the bar from either area is 40nm; you generally need a boat 7m plus to take on this journey and local knowledge is a must crossing the bar.

This month provides some of the best game fishing of the year plus all the reef species in XXL sizes. The game fishing is awesome with sailfish and small black marlin in the bar and heavy tackle fish like black marlin, blue marlin and striped marlin in the deeper waters. Sailfish, mahi mahi, wahoo and small blacks are already here so looks like it could be a great year.

We are still trying to raise funds for the Sponsor a Barra program to put more barramundi into Lake Monduran over and above the SIPS funding. For more information on this you can contact me or Rob and Kelly Howell at the caravan park at Lake Monduran. We have had some great support from a lot of businesses but not as much support as we thought from the every day anglers so dig deep for next year’s brood stocks; every dollar donates two fish. Don’t forget to maintain your stock impoundment licence; this keeps our stocks up also.

If you need some guidance with planning your trips to fish this area or Lake Monduran you can contact me through my website at www.bundabergfishing.com or at the Gin Gin hotel.

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