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Bundaberg’s Hottest Spots
  |  First Published: March 2006



If you’re considering a holiday in Bundaberg, then this report is for you. I’m going to outline some of Bundaberg’s hottest spots to fish.

Monduran Dam

If you really want to catch a barra and don’t want to travel a million miles, then Monduran is the place for you. Big 1m+ barra are often caught here and you don’t need to be a pro to do it. Amateurs often have the best luck catching big barra here.

People who haven’t fished before are hooked for life after an encounter with a big Monduran barra. Like all places Monduran has its off days, but if you put in a concerted effort from October to March you can’t go wrong.

Monduran Dam is situated 73km north from Bundaberg and 19km north of Gin Gin. Gin Gin has some great hotels, motels and camping facilities near the dam.

Head north once you have left Gin Gin and you can’t miss the big blue sign indicating Lake Monduran or the Fred Haigh Dam. Take the first left for the boat ramp or keep going straight ahead for the caravan park and the shop for your fishing permit and some expert information.

Monduran is the third largest dam in Queensland and has a surface area similar to Sydney Harbour. It was constructed in 1978 to supply irrigation and town water for the surrounding area. The dam was created around the Kolan River and you can still see the rivers shape meandering through the northern half of the dam.

This year’s fishing has been exceptional with fish over 1m being caught on the troll in the deeper water. Most lure types have been working well. For the best results use 4m lures; try Tropic Angler Floater, RMG, or B52’s.

I love to cast lures for these fish but haven’t had much success this summer. The best fish have all been caught on the troll. However, Paul McKay has found a new way to catch monster barra by floating lures on the dam. Paul and his mate Bob found a 39kg barra that measured 1.3m using this method.

I don’t know if this is the result changes in water temperature or PH but there has been a definite increase of fish floating on the dam. I recommend using enviro-nets for handling fish or reducing the handling time.

Water temperatures are critical and earlier in the season you will catch fish in the shallows feeding in the warmer areas but when the water is really warm they’ll be feeding everywhere. Barra can be heard feeding at night with some big splashes erupting on the surface.

I’ve just purchased the Gin Gin Hotel, which has given us some great opportunities to fish Monduran for barra and bass. This year we will promote barra fishing in our area and offer guided tours, hire boats, budget accommodation and the best bistro steak in Queensland. If you bring this issue of QFM with you, you’ll get half price accommodation at our hotel ($25.00 per night).

If you want to try one of the simplest types of fishing this is a great cost effective place to take the family for the weekend.

THE COCHRANE ARTIFICIAL REEF

This is one of Bundaberg’s favourite fishing spots and is only 2.5nm from the coast. You can find all the information, including GPS and pictures, you need at www.bardarai.asn.au. If you can’t get find that try searching ‘Cochrane Artificial Reef’ on a search engine.

The reef fishing is good; early morning and late afternoon are the best bite times.

There are some very big fish down there that seem to be very well informed about fishing techniques, which can make the fishing tough.

The GBRMPA have released a scientific report stating that artificial reefs are detrimental to fish stocks. As a result 70% of our reef has been closed off. Visit [url=http://www.reef.crc.org.au/publications/techreport/techrept60.htm] for more information. If you would like to help in the fight to keep fishing our reefs contact your local LMAC group or contact your local and federal members to discuss the effects the closures have on our lifestyle.

REEF FISHING

We have been fishing up around the islands catching some huge red emperor on the 40-60m contours of Fairfax Island. Plenty of fish can still be caught here with big schools of hussar and plenty of parrot to fill the bag. Big trout are always a hit this time of year and can be caught from all the reefs.

On the southern side of Lady Elliot on the 40m contours and down south of the light ship in 60m of water you can always find big reds and snapper.

The gutters have been good on small tides for parrot sweeties occasional reds and trout.

We have a new Kevlar Cat to add to our fleet of sportsfishing vessels and are offering small group multi-day fishing trips exploring reefs and the islands of Bundaberg. You can enjoy reef fishing with all the sportsfishing options available. We offer the latest in equipment and cater to small groups but don’t do day trips.

GAME AND SPORTS FISHING

Gamefishing is at it’s best at the moment with warm water temperatures holding plenty of bait on the spit. Plenty of billfish have been hanging around and on a recent trip we had 14 billfish hook-ups. The by-catch at the moment is great with good-sized wahoo, mackerel and dolphinfish around.

2006 has been a quiet year for the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast so far with plenty of blacks on the mid coast of NSW.

Bundaberg Rivers

David Magna has been enjoying the benefits of fishing the Burnett River catching some great school mackerel and an impressive 10kg queenfish. David has most of his success trolling Reidy’s Big Boss lures around the mouth to catch queenfish and the Halco Laser Pro 120mm with the double deep bib to catch mackerel.

Don’t forget to call in and see us at the Gin Gin Hotel or you can call me on 0427 590 995.

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