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Great expectations for winter
  |  First Published: May 2004



THE LOCAL impoundments aren’t producing all that well at the moment, but once things settle down and the water levels drop a little, both Borumba and MacDonald should fire up nicely.

May and the imminent onset of winter can really kick things into gear, particularly for bass. Some winters see the bass school up in massive, dense and hungry schools in the main body of the dam. Trollers really clean up, while those casting sinking lures, such as plastics rigged on leadheads, or rattling bibless lures, can also have a field day. Fingers crossed! During the last week of March and the first week of April the best areas to target the bass in Lake MacDonald were Three Ways, Fry’s Run, Rusty’s Run and Gardens Reach. Bass Bay and Borer Creek are always worth a look, particularly late in the day.

BARRA BEHAVIOUR

On the domestic front, my barra friends Mr Limp and Mr Erect (one has an erect dorsal fin while the other’s was slightly damaged in transit) are travelling very well. Both have retained their stripe, although it is much paler now. Mr Limp is still the most active fish in the tank and he is now boofing tucker out of my hand. When he misses an offering his buddy races in and scoffs the easy meal as it drifts away with the current. I have given the pellets a miss as the uneaten ones rapidly grow fungus and would contaminate the water in the long-term. Frozen prawns are the number one tucker due to ease of storage and availability. Live shrimp, however, are the preferred meal. Three or four shrimp dropped into the tank last a few seconds, at the most. Small live yabbies are occasionally eaten, but the fish seem to prefer the ‘thrill kill’ rather than the meal!

I have also introduced bony bream to the tank. The barra have eaten a few of them, and each time have ejected a cloud of scales shortly after swallowing the fish. On the whole, bony bream seem to be an unattractive proposition.

RECAPTURE

Lastly, a bass caught at Munna Point in the Noosa River in late March was carrying a tag that was put in place in December 1997, near Harry’s Hut. During the journey of some 30km downstream the fish had grown from 34cm to only 36cm. This would seem to be a particularly slow growth rate, although it seems that males of the species grow much more slowly than the henfish.

1) A beetlespin brought this 46cm bass undone in Borer Creek, Lake MacDonald.

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