Cool Waters Big Fish
  |  First Published: June 2010

The waters of Lake Monduran are starting to cool and are currently around 22ºC, which generally makes the fish shut down, but you can usually reel in the odd fish on warmer days.

The water has cleaned up and the lake looks fantastic. The new bays and points have lots of clean, nutrient-rich water over them and the weed is growing back around the edges making for some superb looking edges to fish.

Fishing is always tough in the winter months but it isn’t impossible; the colder southerly winds around the next month are generally the toughest of the year, with August providing an increase in catches.

The fish usually fire up in September and October and this year we are really expecting some horses. Some massive fish are already being caught; we have had two fish caught this week alone measuring 128cm and 131cm.

Catching these two huge fish confirms that there are some big fish growing in Monduran. I expect to see fish caught over the 140cm mark this year. The last two years have seen the average fish size rise from 101cm to 106cm last year, so this year we can expect to see the average to be around 110cm.

The winter is a tough fish on Lake Monduran but reef and game fishing will be great especially with the prevailing offshore winds creating flat seas for safe boating.

Offshore Fishing

This year has seen a massive increases in catches of larger fish such as red emperor and coral trout.

Reef fishers have been bagging out on all species in the last two months off Bundy, with schools of large hussar helping to fill bag limits.

These reef fish are some of the most delicious local specimens. I do believe anglers have the right to catch fish to eat. But common sense should prevail – only take what you need and always adhere to bag and size limits.

On a recent trip to the shelf off Bundaberg we had four strikes from blue marlin. We jumped three off and tagged one at around 130kg, which gave Kai Sannholm his first heavy tackle marlin.

Tournament boating woes and misconceptions

Safety concerns have been raised as American style bass boats have become more prevalent on Queensland waterways.

These boats have a very stable, fishable platform with low sides allowing anglers to impart more action onto lures. Designed to deliver tournament anglers to their fishing spots quickly, these boats are extremely safe, handle better and stop faster than most conventional style aluminium vessels.

They also offer stealth as the fibreglass hull moves silently through the water under electric power. The vessels might be loud at full speed but distribute a smaller wake at speed and aren’t in the area for long, causing minimal disturbance to other anglers and the environment.

Most anglers using these boats do observe the speed limits on Queensland waterways. They are fun boats to drive and to fish out off and I defy anyone not to enjoy the ride.

However there are plenty of anglers out there who love their tinnies and are hell bent on bagging these boats. While these anglers have their reasons, I’d like to invite these people to come and fish with me for a day to observe the benefits of these boats first hand – I think they would be surprised.

These American bass boats have become popular here in Australia as a result of the growing tournament scene, in particular the bass, bream and barra tournaments run by ABT. While you may not be a fan of these boats, there is no doubt our local tournaments have bought a professional, positive approach to fishing.

Not only do the tournaments bring some great anglers to the forefront of our sport, but they promote regional country areas, help boost tourism in Queensland, create camaraderie amongst fellow anglers and promote fishing in a positive, sustainable way with catch and release techniques.

Our local tournaments may well become as popular here as they are in the US, and they certainly have the potential to bring sponsorship, money and prominence to our sport.

I would suggest anglers who wish to learn more about barra fishing in Queensland impoundments try to make time to take part in these tournaments starting in November. All the best guides fish in these tournaments and bring a year of the latest techniques and tackle to the tournaments and are only too keen to pass on some of this hard earned knowledge to newcomers and fellow competitors.

If you would like to tough out the winter barra fishing at Monduran on a guided charter give me a call on 0427 590 995.

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