Mondy barra fun
  |  First Published: December 2012

Lake Monduran is coming back into focus for anglers and with numbers of small fish falling to anglers tackling the lake’s waters, the future looks bright.

We’d heard reports of Mondy fishing okay for fish from 45-75cm with one of the Monduran regulars actually landing a metre-plus barra in early November. This was enough for us to organise a quick trip and see first hand what Mondy was doing.

Research was thick and fast with guides, blogs and web reports all being scoured and the consensus was that suspending minnows were doing the damage. But, and this was an exciting but, some anglers had started catching the better fish on smaller plastics.

So we quickly organised the houseboat from Rob Howell at the campground for a night and headed off mid-November for a 2 day fish.

Our research had suggested an early morning bite and with this in mind we arrived around 6.30am after a big drive from Brissie. Straight onto the water and up to Jacks Bay saw us land 3 barra in the first hour. They were only small fish from 45-52cm, but we were very happy with the start. The fish fell to Jackall Squirrels 79SP in black and Reidy’s Junior B52s in green with sticky weight placed under their nose to make them suspend.

The retrieves were classic suspending minnow retrieves where you cast out, work the lure hard without reeling in line, and only ever wind up the slack line as you sit the lure, hopefully in the fish’s face. The best areas were shallow bays with copious amounts of weed and the fish were sitting in the weed and in the channels between the weed.

It’s exciting and visual fishing that is simply good fun.

We tried plastics to no avail, but a few angry catties found the smaller plastics just the ticket.

By the end of day one we had landed 6 barra, all on suspending lures in the shallow, weed choked bays.

That night on the houseboat, conveniently moored at White Rock, we all talked about the tactics, the hits and the misses and the pending 30 knot southerly that was forecast for the next day.

With a heap of enthusiasm we headed out the next morning at 5.30am and hit the area known as Insane Bay. This failed to produce anything more than a catty and a half-hearted attack on a lime green Jackall Squirrel, so we moved back to Jacks while the other boat stayed around the Insane Bay area.

We found a likely bay, anchored up and began casting and had a very fun session landing a further 5 barra on our boat before midday. These fish all fell to Junior B52s with sticky weight added and the stand out colour was the rainbow trout. This lure took the biggest barra, a very healthy 71cm model that played up big time on the lighter rods we chose to use.

The other boat fared even better, although they only landed 2 barra. The crew of Michael Fox and Evan Zikos had over a dozen hook-ups around Insane Bay and had a ball with barra bouncing around all over the place, throwing hooks and providing some fantastic highlights for the pair of novices.

So what did we learn and what can you expect?

The bite for us was all about suspending minnows that were small. Minnows in the 7-9cm range were ideal and you had to persist in an area that looked good because the fish were there. Working the lures right was a key ingredient. You had to make the lure dance without reeling it in too quickly. It’s a skill that needs practice and what better place than Mondy to do this work? Colour did not seem to matter too much, however when we sat down and worked it out, the rainbow trout colour was a stand out performer, taking the most fish and the biggest.

Should you go? Absolutely. Just don’t go there expecting massive fish, but absolutely go there expecting to catch half a dozen on the boat in a session. We had what are normally average to poor conditions with cold southerly winds, rain squalls and bright sunny periods mixed up randomly over the two days, yet we still landed 13 and had around 30 encounters with barra.

So get up to Mondy, even grab a guide if you’re new to the game because this beautiful lake is slowly coming back to barra life!

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