Cyclone Debbie - a big turn on for big barra
  |  First Published: May 2017

As Cyclone Debbie tracked down the coast and over our catchment area, all we could do was sit and wait anxiously in the hope we didn’t get too much rainfall. Unfortunately, as the rain depression passed through, she off-loaded a massive amount of water into our system, taking our lake level from 83% to 110% over a 24hr period.

The lake flowed over the spillway by about 1m and that was just enough to allow barra of all sizes to make their way downstream and into the lower Kolan river. Now the question that is on everyone’s mind - how many barra did we lose? Myself, and a few other people, spent a considerable amount of time counting barra as they went over the wall. By our calculations, give or take a few hundred, we estimate we lost a couple of thousand barra. Given that we restock around 100k barra fingerlings per year, the couple of thousand that we lost is a drop in the ocean compared to the numbers that remain in the lake.

Feeding barra

The inflow of water from the recent rain event has pushed a large number of barra down into the main basin area. This is where most of the action has been over the last month with barra of all sizes and plenty of 1-1.1m specimens boated through a combination of trolling and casting this deeper water.In these large, deeper bodies of water the barra will feed around the thermocline where huge numbers of baitfish are schooled up. This is where the cooler water at thebottom of the lake meets the warmer water at the top and it’s normally situated 3-4m belowthe surface.

Winter Bite

The grassy banks that had been covered in the water-rise have now been through their rotting process and are getting back to normal. Through the forthcoming cooler month’s we can get back to fishing the shallow points and bays where we will find barra schooled up as usual. It’s not uncommon through winter to have southwesterly winds most mornings. These winds are cold and blustery but don’t deter our barra from biting so be sure to rug up on these early morning missions. The points, bays and islands off to the side of the main river arm from ‘J’ through to Two Mile Creek and the point opposite White Rock are just a couple of the areas that produce bites through the winter period.

Lake Monduran has, over the course of history, been subject to many sayings and comments due to tough fishing. One well known saying is “The Lake of a Thousand Casts”. One reason this has come about is that anglers will find areas that look like prime barra habitat and cast without knowing if there are barra there or not, which obviously increases your cast rate.

It is essential to find where the barra are before you throw a lure and this can be achieved through the use of side imaging technology. By using these sounders you will automatically eliminate any down time by not fishing until you see barra on the screen. By sticking to this method your catch rates will go up and the amount of casting between hooking barra will go down.

• Please contact Lake Monduran Holiday Park for any furthers enquiries into houseboats, accommodation and camping options, call us on 1800 228 754 or email --e-mail address hidden-- For fishing info and charters you can contact me through my FB page Lake Monduran Guidelines Fishing Charters.

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