Fish Report 4th May 2010 from Rob Wood

My last article might have sounded a bit doom and gloom but the fishing at Monduran is still tough getting better everyday. We must consider that a lot has happened; the Fred Haigh Dam had risen from 24% to 77% in 2 months.
This has been great news for everyone, especially farmers but the poor old barramundi is struggling in its new environment. This might seem ironic to most people but with good rains leading up to the major down fall of our near miss with a cyclone the ground was very fertile with long grass nearly 1 metre long around the edges of the dam. When even more rain had come, the long grass and new trees and saplings had gone underwater and these in turn had broken down under the water, de-oxygenating the water. This has sent the water in more wind protected areas of the dam sour and gives off a sulpher smell and fish kills have been noticeable in these areas. Most of the barra have gone to deeper areas of the dam to hang out in deeper water, and are usually seen on the sounder in up to12 metres of water. These fish are hard to target at this depth as witnessed in recent barra tournament run by Matt Fraser the results all though better than expected, the fish were extremely small, average size was 61.6cm for the 37 barra caught on the weekend.
The Winning team was Daniel Gretch and Belinda Watson with 8 fish with a total length of 686cm. Daniel and Belinda are Rapala sponsored team and use hard bodied lures as there main arsenal and won $1000 cash and one of the best barra trophies I have scene. Belinda also went on to become the champion woman entrantent of the barra tournament. The barra trophy was a fiberglass moulded barra mounted on a timber stained block with the fish mounted in the jumping position. Coming second was team Halco with Jason Ehrlich and local wiper snapper Tommy Wood.
Jason cracked a pattern early in his pre fish using a Transam style lure but on the first day of the tournament Tommy throwing a Rapala X-Rap suspending hard body caught the first fish of the tournament twelve minutes after the start. These pair not only had the place to catch the fish but the right lure and technique to do so. Tommy went on to catch three fish the first day and Jason two fish the next day and Tommy dropped one on the second day to come second paired with Jason. Jason took out the biggest barra of the tournament 105 cm barra Tommy took out the junior angler , first fish caught barra paired with Jason won $600 cash with other goodies for their trouble.
Glenn Smith and Michail Weick also cracked the pattern early in the piece failing to put fish on the board in the tournament but caught plenty during the prefish. Local Tackleworld identities Split pin Leather and Tim Mulhall also had a good tournament boating three fish.
The fishing has been ordinary to say the least with 36 anglers catching 37 fish over the weekend. Lake Monduran is going to take some months to get back to its old self but when it does it will be a much larger arena with some of the best barra fishing on the east coast of Australia. If you persist at the moment the best technique is using the rapala suspending lures throwing close to the bank in shallow water and suspending the lure for up to 30 seconds you can also try bouncing the Transam lure across the bottom with the fish hitting the lure on the flutter down. Tommy’s favorite colour in the Rapala X- Rap suspending lures is the hot steel and mine is the glass ghost, only good tackles stores will carry these lures. I was reminded by Jason Urlich about a previous article that I wrote about the hard bodied lure being dead, I have to say I stand corrected thanks Jason but I will continually open my mouth with disregard to most so to those people I appologise repeatedly. The fact that I have an opinion is not always tied to fact but is loosely derived as and assumption in my own head I’m only human.
Another fact that was pointed out to me by Simon Goldsmith on the ABT tour last year is that angling skips a generation as my son Tommy repeatedly shows me.
I must say a special thanks to Jason Urlich who fished with my son Tommy on the tournament weekend, this was very brave of him as he wouldn’t have know what he would be in for with Tommy only being eleven. Jason managed to produce a good result with Tom and taught Tommy lots of new techniques and Tom has a new found respect for Jason as a great fisherman and friend.
What’s a head for the hard core winter fisherman;
Changes to the dam occur daily, fishing around some of the shallow bays as the winter moves upon us will see fish caught in the shallow warmer water.
Some fish are moving up into the wind blown bays but things are still very slow. We have caught some fish on the 130 slick rigs once again. The smaller fish seem to love the smaller suspending hard bodies but you can still nail good fish on the soft plastics.
With barra fishing being tough at the moment I was happy to pick up my new offshore game fishing boat. We fished all the way back from the Gold Coast for nothing heavy tackle but managed to christen the boat with its first blue marlin on a recent trip to the canyons off Fraser Island. We had four strikes from for Blues missed every one except for the final fish which would have weighed around the 130kg mark. After tagging and the compulsory photo session we managed to revive this fish for satisfactory release.
It was a great result for Kai Sannholm who managed to get in the chair finally for his first blue marlin. The blue marlin this time of year can be in numbers around our waters off Fraser Island and also down around Moreton Island.
Fishing through the winter months ahead is tough and you can do some big days at Lake Monduran and offshore game fishing to find the fish I recommend it only for fanatics who love to torture themselves.
Rob Wood