It’s that time of year when water temperatures are rising and impoundment barra are becoming more active. It’s also closed season in the saltwater, so if you want a barra fix, fishing for impoundment barra is a great option.
A recent trip to Lake Monduran reminded me of how tough these fish can be at times... although at other times, with a hot bite in open waters, it can be comparatively easy.
As with any fishing, finding these fish is the first step to having a successful session. Once question will confront you when you arrive: where do I start? Most of these impoundments are massive, which can make finding barra like the proverbial needle in a haystack.
Having a good quality sounder is the most important factor in finding these fish. When you do find them, they stand out very clearly, there is no mistaking them.
Where to Start
These big impoundment barra are much the same as their saltwater cousins, or any other fish for that matter, they will usually be where the food is.
I like to target barra in shallow water, so the first place to start looking is the banks and points that the wind is blowing onto, as this is where the food will be. Many anglers will fish the lee side, trying to get out of the wind and finding somewhere with a bit of protection. Most of the time you won’t find much life in these areas.
The wind blows everything on top of the water- including insects, bugs etc - to the shore. This rich source of food will attract bait fish like boney bream to the smorgasboard, and these in turn attract larger predators like barra.
Wind swell and chop will oxygenate the water which invigorates the fish, and the wave action often creates murky water or a colour change that barra will use to hide in and ambush their prey.
So the first step is to work out which direction the wind is blowing from. The stronger it blows the better, start sounding along that shore and around the points the wind is hitting. Your best impoundment barra fishing is usually on windy days. If by chance there is no wind, you will have to rely completely on your sounder to find them.
Once you find the fish, the next step is to get them to bite. I’ll talk at length about this in Part 2 of: Coming to Grips with Impoundment Barra.
In the meantime, dust off that Impoundment Barra gear, there are plenty of metre + fish cruising around the impoundments right now! Good luck and tight lines!
John Haenke, Australia