Lake Monduran has hit its straps early this year with some of the best August fishing I can remember.
Water temperatures rose in mid August from 20ºC to 25ºC in a matter of two weeks. This made for great barra fishing with an average of six bites per day.
There has been some big fish hitting the net already this year. One customer in August caught his first barramundi – a 122cm, 30kg+ fish – and another customer lost another 120cm+ fish beside the boat.
The lure of choice at the moment seems to be the Storm Bait and Twitch. This lure is recently new on the market and the barra love it. It’s probably a fresh face to the underwater scene with things previously getting a bit boring for the barra with the same old hardbodied lures and soft plastics swimming past.
The hooks on these lures have finer gauged steel for maximum penetration on lighter drags. The hooks are very tough and haven’t opened at all on any fish we have caught, including big fish up to 129cm.
The Bait and Twitch lures have a tough plastic exterior. A packet of these lures will last sometimes 2-3 days and it’s the norm to catch more than one fish on a particular lure and not have any damage.
I don’t know whether it’s just because the Bait and Twitch is a new lure swimming through the water, but it has produced more and bigger fish than other lures.
Rob Paxevanos from the Fishing Australia TV show introduced me to these lures. Rob initially gave me a pack to try and I wasn’t too impressed, as they tended to lie on their side at faster speeds and didn’t swim that well at slower speeds.
I used the Bait and Twitch on my charters and I would often mix them up with a HollowBelly and a slick rig, all of which were catching fish, with no particular stand out lure.
I really saw what the Bait and Twitch lures could do about a week before Rob came up to do the show.
It was about 7.30pm and I was on charter with a novice. He had just caught a smaller fish around 95cm and just as I had everything packed up he hooked another fish.
I got everything back out and we followed this fish around in the dark. Then I saw its tail. I went weak at the knees just at the width of the tail.
We followed this big girl around for another 10mins and eventually shoved it into the net – it only just fit. My rubber net stretched out as this fish slid into the bottom and it took three of us to pull the fish out of the water.
Amazingly this fish was one of the fattest I have ever seen. It had masses of small bait fish around 3cm long spewing out its mouth – obviously it couldn’t fit another thing in.
The fish stood about 40cm tall as it lay on the brag mat, and measured 122cm long. It was truly a 35kg+ fish, and looked like it had a basketball in its stomach.
When Rob arrived we went fishing and he showed me a great way of tuning the tails on the Bait and Twitch lures to make them swim better at slower speeds.
After the tune-up they swam as good as anything I’ve seen but I still wasn’t overly convinced these lures were any better than others I use. Despite catching lots of big fish they didn’t really out-weigh the competitors.
The week after Rob left I took some guys out to catch their first barra.
After forgetting the landing net in my ute and backtracking to the boat ramp to retrieve it, we ended up arriving in the northern arm of B around 2pm and we stared casting.
There were a few boats in the area and I heard later that one of them was fishing the same spot just before we arrived. I find this is often a good thing as long as they don’t make too much noise banging around in their tinnies.
We fished for about 20mins and the bloke with the tuned up Storm Bait and Twitch lure hooked up. The fish was off! We chased it more than 200m to the north before I saw the tail of the fish appear from out of the muddy water.
Again I went weak at the knees. We battled this fish up and down in 3m of water trying to drag it to the surface. The fish was like a dead weight, similar to a big blue marlin that would die when it was pulled from deep water and you would have to skull drag the fish to the surface.
We finally netted the fish that also stretched out the landing net – which I was glad we returned to the ramp for. The fish measured a huge 129cm.
After catching this monster fish I started to think the Storm Bait and Twitch lures had a little advantage over their competitors. They definitely out fished all the lure types I have used, but I would still recommend mixing it up.
These lures also work great weedless, so I recommend you give them a try.
I would also like to assure readers I haven’t been sponsored by these lure manufacturers or given free material to promote.
The months ahead can only get better as we move into summer and I suspect we are in for a good year.
Offshore the small billfish have arrived off the coast of Townsville and Mooloolaba so I presume that they will be offshore here as well. I will be returning my game boat to the water in a week or so after maintenance.
I hope to have a great update for next months issue and maybe have a barra even bigger than 129cm too.Reads: 1579