I often get asked how I work out where to fish our beautiful lake. My answer is usually the same – it depends on which way the wind is blowing. To know this you can only wait until you get on the water.
A southeasterly wind, which is common at this time of year, leads me to White Rock. I go where the wind pushes onto the point and have the sounder on side scan, to watch for barra moving through. A good sounder is a must to find fish, and once you work out how to read your sounder, you can see which way they’re coming from.
I also find that you can pick which fish are in feeding mode. They will be either high in the water column, or in the middle of the water column.
Once you know that they’re in the area and moving through, you should start to throw your offering. Most of the barra we’ve boated in the last month have been caught on Happy Rock Softies. These plastics come in three sizes, but most of my barra have come on the medium size.
The other barra have been caught on hardbodies, which work a treat. I’ve played around with some of them and added heavier hooks so they suspend or rise very slowly, and I find the best retrieve is a slow roll with a twitch every so often.
I have hooked barra very early in the morning using poppers. I like to give it a ‘bloop’ and leave it to sit for a few seconds, before blooping it again. The strikes on surface lures are heart-stopping.
Other great places to find barra in a southeasterly wind are Insane Bay, the island out the front of the bay, Heart Bay, the Two Mile and Jacks.
In the event of a north or northeasterly wind, head to Bird Bay, the Rainforest and Cow Bay.
Colour is a personal choice, but I find pearl white in the soft plastic is fantastic. I have some new gold ones that have been getting a bit of use too. As for hardbodies, sliver sides, white, brown and even black under fading light are good options.
I have found over the years that the vibration of the lure moving in the water gets the barra to follow, and then colour takes over, and entices the fish to eat. The action you put into working the lure is another important factor.
When I find barra in numbers I tie up to a tree and work the area. The other thing to remember is if you find that you have barra moving through on both sides of the boat, you should try to move your boat so you have most of the barra moving down one side of the boat, as this will increase your chance of hooking one.
The only time I leave barra is when we have hooked and boated some or have hooked and lost them. This often spooks them and they may slow down or even stop coming through all together. Usually I’ll move along in the bay or to another point that the wind is blowing onto (if you’re fishing points).
Over the past few months the barra have not really fed in the way I anticipated, there are two reasons for this. One is that the water temperature is getting too high – over 29°C and they start to move to deeper water and are harder to find. To overcome this issue troll with deep diving lures in more open water to land you some barra.
The other reason, and the most important, is unstable weather. This turns the barra off, and makes them scatter rather than gather in one area. The longer we have stable weather, the better the fishing gets. I think the next few months will produce a few metre barra in our lake and as the really hot days pass and the weather moves into a more stable conditions, these big fish will be caught.
The best times will be three or four days either side of the new moon. Fishing the full moon is good, but I like some cloud cover, as the full moon is so bright that it can almost be like daylight.
I’m not one to fish an area if there are lots of boats, as this can make them harder to catch. Be as quiet as you can, and try to avoid banging on the side of your boat or jumping on the floor, as this will only spook fish.
This can be a tough time of year to land barra in our lake, but I hope these tips will put more in your boat.Reads: 714