Return of the dam
  |  First Published: November 2012

Lake Monduran may be coming back to its former glory. Plenty of small barra are still around and maybe, just maybe, the big girls will start moving up on to the points in the warming summer waters.

There are still plenty of good barra in the creeks and rivers around Bundaberg but be aware of the closed season for barramundi and coral fin fish in our locality.

It is also definitely worth a look at GBRMPA maps available from most tackle stores, re green zones and fishing exclusions zones. Make your self aware, as ignorance is no defence. A closed season for barramundi starts from midday 1 November to midday 1 February. You may take one barramundi in Lake Monduran during the closure and continue fishing during the day. You may not directly target barra in the creeks due to stress caused during spawning.

Offshore all the reefs are firing and great reef species are being caught in large numbers. It’s very easy to get your bag limits on most species but your main trouble during the early summer months is that the prevailing winds generally pound the coast. The closures for coral fin species in November are 11-15 November inclusive. Check your local guide at fishing tackle stores or on line at www.daff.qld.gov.au/28_3055.htm.

Small black marlin are running all the way down the coast from Townsville to Bundaberg and are in the best numbers we have seen in years. They can be a great distraction during closed seasons as this will be one year that everyone will be able to catch them.

Best way to catch black marlin are on light over head reels, trolling small skirted lures, such as Packulas and Tropic Angler. Garfish baits trolled as a swim bait or as a skip bait also work well as it adds the taste factor. Switch baiting is another successful technique as it provides the best hook ups as bill fish have hard mouths.

Most of these techniques can be viewed on YouTube and you can get some great examples of how to rig baits.

Best tactics for barra are still small hardbodied lures cast right in the trees around Lake Monduran. The fish are moving around a lot so persistence is needed, and the aid of a good side scan sounder will help you pin point your fish.

Plastics rigged with stinger hooks will be great for the points and my favourite is the Slick Rig black gold rigged with an Area51 jighead. Other lures I like to try are the Storm Bait and Switch and smaller bass style plastics. The world is your oyster when it comes to plastics, hooks are the most important thing – you need something strong that will hold a good barramundi.

Fishing should be great throughout the summer months as long as we don’t become inundated with rain, like past years, but the long range forecast looks great.

Lake Monduran is a notoriously hard nut to crack and has a lot of water between fish. Don’t spend your whole holiday looking for fish; the best technique is to use a guide at the start of your holiday to show techniques, tackle and areas to fish. Don’t be too proud to jump in the boat with a guide as it will help you to discover the secrets of Lake Monduran.

There is so much water it is easy to get lost so best to have a GPS unit on your boat to find your way home as every bay can look the same. Fishing at night is a great option during the summer months but make yourself very familiar with where you are fishing. Travelling at night is dangerous and should only be done at low speeds.

As the water is slowly lowering it is great to have a spare propeller and split pin for your motor as it is common to strike underwater objects.

Make the best of your summer holidays, play it safe and take care.

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