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Camping and fishing at Monduran
  |  First Published: December 2003



WANT to catch a bass or barra on a lure or fly this summer? Want to take your pet along with you on a camping holiday? Want to stay in a place so quiet at night the only sound is that of owls or bush curlews? Read on! Lake Monduran's camping and holiday facilities might be just the ticket for you.

Lake Monduran is situated just north of the town of Gin Gin on the Bruce Highway. It's a mere 20km north of Gin Gin, and from the highway turn off it's a short 4km into the camping area and lakeside accommodation. It’s bitumen all the way, too.

CAMPING AREA

The recreation area at Lake Monduran is huge! Serviced by the Recreation Area office, which has a small kiosk attached to it and is open for business from 10am to 5pm, the well-shaded camping area is mostly level with both powered and un-powered sites available. I'd rate its size as around 300m by 300m, and that sure does give you a lot of room to stretch out.

A central road leads to spotless toilet facilities and a free-to-use camp kitchen which is one of the best I've seen anywhere. With four tables under the large roof, the kitchen features two electric barbecue-style plates, two hot water wash-up sinks, a two burner electric stove and even a quite large refrigerator.

CABINS

Much as I like camping – and it was a pleasure to camp at Lake Monduran with no flies, no mossies and no noise at night – the roomy cabins and holiday house to rent are also very attractive options for visitors who want to enjoy a holiday without taking all the camping gear along with them. The view from the cabins and rental house is just fabulous, with Lake Monduran stretching to the distance to the north west.

The 4-5 person cabins are fully self-contained, air-conditioned, have a very attractive layout, and even have TV for those addicts who can’t be weaned off uncle Rex or the adventurous ET. All cabins also feature an enclosed veranda with a lake view that’s extremely attractive. The table and chairs on the veranda would be a great place to have breakfast if it was raining too much to go fishing!

The three-bedroom house to rent is next to the cabins in an even more elevated situation, and it also has a fabulous view of the lake. A large lock-up garage is part of the package.

Both the house and the cabins are under the care of the Recreation Area staff and bookings can be made on (07) 4157 3881.

BASS AND BARRA

Lake Monduran has made a miraculous recovery this year. Reduced to less than 3% capacity in early 2003, the catchment received a dump of over 400mm of rain in late summer. The lake is now close to filled and maintaining a high level quite nicely, and the fishing has recovered remarkably. There are hectares and hectares of attractive bays, deep inlets, and plenty of drowned timber.

Australian bass and barramundi are the main target species although I’m told that sooty grunter are there in small numbers as well, along with some fat spangled perch and some of the strongest fighting, loudest croaking, fork-tailed catfish to be found anywhere. Eel-tailed catties are there as well.

The bass school up in this lake in late winter in their accustomed manner, and once you’ve found them on a sounder they’ll take the same flies and lures you’re used to catching them on in other places. Soft plastics, hard-bodied lures, flies and of course live shrimp – all take bass in Monduran when the fish are in the mood.

The barramundi are doing just fine. Stocked in 1997 and topped up continually since then, barra up to 12.5kg are now being taken from time to time, along with many smaller ones. The many sheltered bays and timbered flats in Lake Monduran are perfect for barra fishing and many anglers ease into the timber and cast to a drowned lantana bush or tree or perhaps to a shoreline feature. The fish seem to be taken from shallower water, from 1-4m deep. Given that Monduran is a very deep dam (deeper than 30m in places) it's likely that the shallow flats suit the fish better.

There are two main boat ramps open for use, and the one closest to the camping area is only about 600m away and is very user friendly.

Barra from the bank

Another successful way to take a barra in this lake is to fish from the bank – you simply pull the boat up in a timbered bay and walk along more open sections, casting to timber from the shore. Fishing the section of bank in front of the dam's spillway is also very popular with non-boating campers and visitors. While I was visiting Lake Monduran a 12.5kg fish was caught and released by a shore-based angler – but naturally, I was out in the boat and missed the photo opportunity!

Popular lures for the lake's barra include the Bomber, the B52, Sand Viper and others. Your favourite barra lure will most likely work here just as well as anywhere, so long as the fish are in the mood. Gold is a hot colour but purple lures also seem to work as well at times. The Recreation Area kiosk does stock tackle and the staff make sure they keep up a supply of lures that are working well on the fish. The next visitor who catches a big fat barra from the spillway area, on a lure just purchased from the office, certainly won’t be the last!

In all, Lake Monduran has a lot to offer visitors. Yes, the fishing is a great attraction but non-fishing family members will enjoy the peace and tranquillity plus the excellent bush walking in the area.

To book holiday accommodation or secure a camp site ring Jacky or John on (07) 4157 3881, fax (07) 4157 3882 or email address is --e-mail address hidden--

1) Two of Lake Monduran's cabins. The fully self contained cabin's interior is attractive and designed for easy, comfortable, living.

2) A view of the massive camping area at Lake Monduran.

3) The boat based angler won't have trouble with the ramps at this lake.

4) Barra on the fly are on the agenda at Lake Monduran.

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