Schooling fish yet to arrive
  |  First Published: December 2014

In the absence of Rob Howell, John Fox from Foxies Barra Havoc (www.barratackle.com.au ) has stepped in to fill the gap. Anyone heading north to chase barra should drop in at his shop in Gin Gin for all the best advice on what the barra are doing in Monduran Dam and beyond.

John said that this year’s been a little atypical, in that the big barra that usually school around the lower basin areas aren’t behaving as usual. At least at the time of writing, that was the case.

“By December, there’s usually plenty of schooled fish milling around the lower parts of the lake and willing to take a trolled lure,” John said, “but this year, although you can see quite a few on the side image sounders, they’re not that inclined to bite.”

Baits that have been producing the goods when the barra have come out to place include the bananafish coloured Halco Poltergeist trolled around 8m back from the transom.

The positives, though, are that the weed growth is really coming back in the lake and by the end of summer it should really be getting back to healthy levels.

Although the lure of choice for most successful Monduran anglers in the past few months has been any of the medium sized suspending jerkbaits (Rapala, Jackall, Storm etc.), Foxy says that with the recent heat, there’s been a bit of a frog bite going on – especially just each side of dawn and dusk.

Also, with some of the substantial storms around the place, there have been a few of the inflow creeks running, and these have been a prime place to catch a barra or two in the day after the rain.

Like most summertime barra patterns, John says that it’s worth fishing shallow on the weedy points early and late, but to drop back into deeper water as soon as that surface temperature gets too hot.

“I always tell my customers that when that surface temperature gets up around 30°C, that’s when it gets uncomfortable. And if it’s uncomfortable for you, then it’ll be uncomfortable for the fish. That’s why they drop back into cooler, deeper water,” John explained.

For January, John recommends the lower lake and Bird Bay. Standard barra tactics apply – fish the warmer bays where the predominant wind has been blowing into and position yourself on the points and places where barra will travel past they move from ‘holding’ to ‘feeding’ areas. – FMG

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