Over the past couple of months this region has experienced a typical wet season with monsoonal troughs, wild storm cells, and heavy rain and humidity dominating the weather.
These conditions have been some of the most extreme that I have experience over the last nine years, and has seen the lake’s water level rise about 1.5m to now be sitting at about 91%. This has made the fishing tough but the outlook is bright for the coming months. Over the previous few years the lake‘s edges have been fringed by weed beds and lily pads, and have stayed that way until the water dropped, which inturn kills most of the beds and lilies. Thankfully though the rise in water level has seen the aquatic vegetation return, and return in mass, with the spike in growth providing new cover, structure and accompanying fodder for barra.
Typically March, April and May are great months to target barra, with Mondy Barra typically feeding more aggressively as the water temperature decreases nearing winter. They do this to stack on the body fat to ensure their survival through the colder months. The other great thing about this time of year is that you can spend more time on the water without having to escape the heat of the day. Late summer and autumn last year produced some of the best fishing I’ve seen at Monduran, and I’m expecting this year to follow suit.
When casting to the weed edges, timbered areas and laydowns use a combination of soft plastics and hard body lures. In the soft plastic range the weedless 5” Zerek Flat Shads have been working really well along with the ever reliable Squidgy Pro Range 110 Slick Rig. In the hardbody range the suspending Jackall Squirrel, floating Zerek Rippin Minnow 110, and Halco Scorpion 90, have all been working well. With the weed beds and lily pads on the return it is also well worth throwing surface lures such as the weedless 4” Z-Man Hard Leg Frogs, 4” Pop Frogs and Halco Roosta Popper.
Some anglers are somewhat apprehensive when it comes to purchasing these sounders due to their price tag but the benefits of owning a side imaging sounder far outweigh their initial cost. These sounders allow you to cover a lot of ground searching for schooled barra, but enable you to do it in a short amount of time. The best way of doing this is by cruising around bays and points at a distance of about 15m or so out from the shoreline or weed edge and at a speed of about 4-6 knots. Then it is just a matter of scanning until you find barra shapes on the sounder. Once found you can then pass again at a slower speed to determine the number of barra in that area and what size these fish are. The next step is to start casting.
Alternatively I like to look a bit further afield before I start casting, aiming to find any additional barra that may be nearby such as on the next point or in the next bay. It’s always a good idea to find the heaviest concentrations of fish first then alternate between these locations.
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