Smaller fish provide spoils
  |  First Published: May 2012

Rain has come again and the level of Monduran has yoyo-ed back and forward. This effect of water levels changing doesn’t sit well with the barramundi, as it seems to unsettle the smaller fish.

Fish between 60-90cm are being caught in good numbers with the norm around the 60-70cm, they’re still barramundi and still bite well – catching up to 10 a day is great whatever the size.

If you’re stuck for options just remember: the world is your oyster! You can go and fish some of the more northern dams or maybe Callide is worth a try; I hear that it’s fishing well. Or you can wait until the creeks clean up and bust up some big barra and jacks in the last of the warm weather.

I have been fishing everywhere again this year and I have to say I have some great images of barra on my Hummminbird 1198 side-scan unit. These units really give some awesome pictures that are perfect for finding fish in over filled dams and rivers.

At the moment in Lake Monduran you can hang with the crowd in D and other usual haunts but it’s great to get out and explore the dam. There is nothing better than finding and catching your own barramundi on the previously pastured areas that were home to grazing cattle not so long ago.

Large numbers of catfish and baitfish fill the sounder wherever I go; these fish have really benefited from the extra water. The barra that didn’t hear the call of the saltwater estuaries are obviously doing well and enjoying the anonymity of being hard to find and the ability to feed ravenously on the copious amount of feed available.

If you’re planning a trip up here soon I suggest you put a far bit of thought into it. A weekend might not be enough to find some fish and I would suggest you use a guide. But if you’re up here for a week give it a go yourself and see how you go trying to find some fish very rewarding if you can. Technique is half the battle and if you discover a technique that works, run with that.

I find the best lures for this area at the moment are the suspending hardbodies like the Jackall hardbodies, Rapala X-Raps and Shad Raps worked in tight around the black wattle trees seems to be the best. In the rivers I like the shad raps, Jackall Squirrels, Transams and vibes. If you haven’t updated your barra gear in the last two years I suggest you drop your leader size to 30lb or 20lb and possibly use a smaller rod more like the bass size rods.

We have some great rivers up here to explore and it is worth jumping on Google earth and checking out such rivers as the Burrum, Gregory, Isis, Burnett, Baffle Creek, Litabella Creek, Theodolite Creek, Pancake Creek, Middle Creek and the Kolan River. If you do your research you can find some great jack and barra fishing in all these creeks.

Plus bait fishers can also catch plenty of bream, whiting and flathead, which will also all respond to lures. We have seen some great king salmon caught this year and I hear they have been even catching them in the Brisbane River. This species has really revelled in the current wet conditions and is another great sports fish that’s not bad on the plate either. Don’t forget this is also a great place to catch mud crabs and sand crabs.

Offshore is great but with current weather conditions I have only done two offshore trips this year so far. The options are there thought, with some excellent sport and game fish plus some of the best table fish from the very start of the barrier reef.

Great places to stay are Woodgate, Elliot Heads, Bargara, 1770, Miara, Moore Park and the Lake Monduran Tourist Park.

Most of these places have caravan parks or units and houses for rent. If you like camping there are some great places to camp too. The Internet offers you the ability to tailor your trip before you go or book on line by the seat of your pants as you travel via your phone. If you need some help with your trip you can call me for advice or email me at the --e-mail address hidden-- or maybe you may be interested in a charter to help show you the area and find the species of fish you are after.

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