Metre Plus Monduran Barra Still Out of Reach
  |  First Published: February 2012

Lake Monduran is still one of the hardest lakes to successfully catch barramundi but offers your best opportunity to catch a barra within four hours of Brisbane. Barra fishing is tough at the best of times, please be aware these dams are still in recovery from the recent rains from 2010 and 2011.

The reality is you might not catch that big fish that you have been chasing but you will have the opportunity to catch plenty of smaller type barra. The fish are in nest like areas among lilies and lantana or areas with black wattle trees with weed coming up around the base of the tree. This isn’t to say that you won’t catch them any where else, as I have seen plenty of fish on my side scan sounder in other areas but the smaller fish are the ones that seem to want to bite.

The best lures to use are the smaller 100mm variety such as the Rapala Shad Rap and X-Rap and also the Jackall Squirrel. These lures are best suspending or slow sinking with the best results coming from consistent casting to encourage the fish to come out from there cover. The biggest fish caught this year that I have heard of is a 98cm fish, however the size range that we have been catching this year have been from 45-88cm.

The lake is one of the most spectacular lakes to fish for barra as it has many nooks and crannies to disappear for the day and hunt fish.

So what does this mean for the future for anglers at Monduran? In my opinion we are still a fair way off from catching metre plus barra. There are some big fish still there but they won’t bite. I think a lot of the readers are sick of hearing this and are starting to believe that a lot of these fish went over the wall with the floods. I have some great side scans that have showed plenty of larger fish swimming past my boat in huge numbers –it has been frustrating the hell out of me and some of my clients.

On the ABT BARRA tour this year we also scanned plenty of fish at Lake Awoonga and big fish too but none were caught. I can come up with all the ideas like there is too much bait but I don’t think any body really knows why they won’t bite but I feel it will change very soon.

All we can do is keep buying our SIPS permits and help support the Adopt-a-Barra program by buying fish for release in the near future. I hope people will get involved with this as so many people use the facility and don’t want to support the cause. Be aware it doesn’t just happen - these fish just don’t appear - if you fish this place we need your support.

We have been fishing the rivers and creeks around Bundaberg and have been smashing plenty of jacks and barra. The lure of choice for fishing the snags is the Rapala Shad Rap or try any other suspending deep diver lure that goes down to 1.5m.

The barra have been on the rock bars in the creeks and are often caught on lipless crank baits. Be aware of relevant closures in relation to barra in creeks and estuaries. This doesn’t stop you catching them but you must not target them. You would be aware of the plenty of other species that could be caught using the same techniques. I usually fish for threadies as these are one of the most fun fish to catch.

I have been fishing the rock bars with my son Tommy who has been banging barra on the Slick Rigs. His favourite colour is the black gold with the chartreuse dipped tail. The secret to his success has been the Area 51 jigheads that he has been putting inside the slick rigs removing the original hook weight. These jig heads are a great idea in the sense that they are a fully integrated weight hook system with a swinging stinger hook attachment point. We haven’t missed hook ups on these rigs they have been great.

Offshore fishing has been great and I can’t wait to go chasing billfish off Fraser and plenty of reef fish in close.

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