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Barra’s blowing up a gale
  |  First Published: December 2016



Lighter winds through December have slowed the fishing a little, but when that northerly kicks in, the bigger barra still bite.

We have had a variance in wind from the southeast to the northeast, making these barra a little harder target. When these conditions occur, it’s still best to follow the given wind direction. For example, there have been plenty of occasions this month where the wind has started off from the southeast in the morning and finished up coming in from the north in the afternoon – and both wind affected areas have produced good bites.

Areas that have been firing in the northerlies are, Rainforest, Bird Bay, SDA Bay and the Main Basin area in front of the dam wall. If you’re in the main basin, be sure not to venture into the exclusion zone marked by yellow buoys as this area is off limits. When the south or southeast winds are upon us, areas like Insane Bay, Heart Bay, White Rock and Jacks will fish their best.

Over the last month we have seen numerous amounts of little barra being boated, all around the 50cm mark. These smaller fish were stocked last December and were released all over the lake amongst our healthy weed beds; I have never seen such a successful stocking result one year on. While some of these smaller barra still live amongst the weed, the majority are out on the move, schooling up on points and bays, looking for a morning and afternoon feed. These little barra are great fun, especially when they bite in multiples – just remember, care should be taken in netting, removing the hooks and releasing. This size group can be one of the trickiest to handle, being so feisty, they can thrash around leaving you open to a hook in the hand or somewhere worse. When picking them up, they can also cut you up with their sharp gill rakers if you don’t have a good grip.

Big Barra release methods

There is no doubt that the pinnacle of barra fishing is to boat a fish over that 1m mark. Now Lake Monduran is starting to produce fish of this size again, anglers need to be aware of proper catch a release methods to ensure these barra live to fight another day.

The average barra over the metre mark can weigh in excess of 20kg; therefore fish of this size can be hard to lift into position for that memorable photo. When lifting your prized barra, be sure to have a firm grip with your thumb and fingers clamped onto the bottom lip, then by lifting the head slightly, support the belly and lift the barra without putting stress on the neck area and without stretching the gill area. Then take your photo as quick as possible, and then get your barra back to the water ASAP.

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