Lake Monduran and the Bundaberg region have just experienced Mother Nature’s fury at its best, or in many cases, her worst!
We were prepared for a busy Australia day weekend, but cyclone Oscar had other plans. The low pressure system slowly made its way down the coast, only to unleash an immense amount of rain that flooded local river systems and set height records that have never been seen before. The lake flooded to a record height of 7m over the spillway and it was extraordinary to see how quick the water came up. By Friday morning the water started spilling over the spillway, once again, and by sat night it was at a new record level.
As many anglers would know, the barra fishing at Lake Monduran pre-flood has been some of the best we've seen in recent years. Now that the lake has stabilised post flood, myself and other anglers have fished with reasonable success. Plenty of barra are still being caught in the bays and points in the north and south arm of B, and areas between I and J on the main river system.
Soft plastics have made a come back with the 4” Z-Man Swimmerz claiming a number of fish. However, lately the lures that have been working exceptionally well have been the Jackall Squirrels and the Jackall Smash Minnow suspending versions, in the pink eye suji, pg shrimp and the boney bream colours.
In most cases you really have to be on the money with your accuracy and if you’re not landing your lure hard up against the structures, you will seldom get a hit. When you get the lure in the strike zone, give it a couple of twitches and let it sit there and suspend for a period of 10-20 seconds before repeating the process on your retrieve back to the boat.
The beauty of these lures are that if you’re not good at twitching your lures a simple wind technique will also do the job as these lures have a tight zinging action and do most of the work themselves.
There is no doubt that we have lost barra and bass of all sizes during these flooding periods, which raises general concerns of where to stock our fingerlings in future years when the dam is 75% or fuller. A certain amount of our precious fish stocks that were released in the southern regions of the dam have had the opportunity to make their way over the spillway and downstream. We will have to learn from this and take this into consideration before releasing future barra fingerlings.
We should stock our fingerlings in the upper reaches of the lake where the shallow bays hold warm water and have a mass of healthy weed beds that are home to an endless source of baitfish, just what our fingerlings need in their adolescent years.
To support this, places we have stocked fingerlings are the places barra have been caught over the past two years.
We are still moving forward with our ‘Sponsor a Barra’ donation scheme, which has been operating for two years and is proving a great success with all anglers. Anyone can donate for as little as $5 towards future fingerlings and Kelly and myself frequently organise raffles and sausage sizzles to further our cause and ensure viable barramundi stocks in the dam for years to come.
The first year we raised $15,000, which bought 35,000 fingerlings and in it’s second year, so far, we have raised funds of around $8,000. Anyone that donates is invited to join us in the release of these new barra stocks and make a weekend of it.
I have changed from using a fine mesh landing net to a silicon rubber net, as fine mesh nets make it harder to get the barra out of the net. Barra 80cm+ are feisty and tend to thrash around and get every exposed treble caught in the little openings of the net making it difficult and dangerous to get them out and onto your brag mat. With the silicon nets there is little or no chance of this happening, making it much safer for the barra and yourself.
If you have thrown your lure into a likely barra zone and get snagged on a log or branch don’t panic. Don’t yank on your lure thinking that you can rip it out because you will only set your lure hooks deeper into the timber. Before you go over to the snag, try the tried and proven ‘bow and arrow’ trick – hold the tip of your rod with one hand and with the other flick your line to bounce the lure off backwards. When your lure is released give it the slightest of twitches and let it suspend.
I have found by shaking the snag it seems to get the barra’s attention and if you are successful in releasing your lure you will often get a strike. This technique has worked countless times when taking my clients out on charter and once learnt, it goes into every fishos guide.
If you have trouble finding lures we always have plenty of stock with a wide range of colours on offer, plus a wide range of other barra tackle and lures at the Lakem office/tackle shop. For any enquiries and info you can contact us by email --e-mail address hidden-- or our free call number 1800 228 754 ph 07 4157 3881.
From the author
I would like to introduce myself, my name is Rob Howell. My wife Kelly and I manage Lake Monduran Holiday Park. We have managed the park for the past 8 years, while also operating Guidelines Fishing Charters, houseboat hire and hire boats. Spending so much time on the water in many capacities, we are able to provide accurate fishing reports for you to make the most of your fishing experience.
Adam Callinan with a 62cm specimen. Plenty of barra are still being caught in the bays and points in the north and south arm of B, and areas between I and J on the main river system.
Brian Patterson from Rob’s fishing charter. Now the lake is stabilising after the floods, the barra have come back on the chew.Reads: 897