There are hundreds of barra lures on the market these days, most of which are advertised to be ‘must haves’ on the impoundment scene.
What makes a good lure though and what should you be throwing to land that trophy Monduran barra?
I’ll break these up into a few categories that I generally use on my charters.
All of these lures have their place but there are many factors that will affect when and how you use them.
Suspending jerk baits
Suspending jerk baits are hard-bodied lures designed to be twitched and paused, imitating a wounded baitfish. Suspending jerk baits have become a real favourite at Lake Monduran because they can be twitched almost on the spot for long periods – often triggering a bite from lazy fish.
It is important to get these lures suspending perfectly. This can be achieved through changing hooks, split rings or adding weights. They can work very well all year round on the lake and are particularly effective when the fish are held up on structure. Sizes I generally use are 70-115mm.
Don’t be afraid to allow your lure to sit still for 30 seconds or more. This technique has caught many Monduran barra during a tough bite.
Soft plastics and swim baits
Soft plastics are a very versatile lure but are particularly effective on the lake when the water is warm. Paddle tails are my go-to and it’s a good idea to have a mix of sizes between 4-7”.
The smaller sizes will generally be what I throw in the afternoon, during winter and early spring. These smaller plastics will be very lightly weighted and worked slowly to tempt lethargic fish.
As the water heats up in October through to late autumn, I start having great results on the bigger plastics. These can also be lightly weighted but are often quite heavy lures moving faster to trigger a response. When I’m using plastics, I like to visualise how the fish are positioned on the spot I’m fishing.
Generally, the best way to trigger a bite from a barra is to move the lure as close to it as possible – you can do this by letting the soft plastic sink, slowing or speeding up your retrieve.
To me, colour comes down to presentations that look natural in the water you’re fishing. As much as I prefer to avoid clear water, when I do fish it, I will look for dull natural colours that don’t give off much shine.
Barramundi have particularly good eyesight and, in my experience, bright lures often spook them in clear water. In dirty water though, bright colours can work very effectively.
To me, the best lure is one you are confident using.
If you are new to Monduran, use one that you know people have been catching fish on and stick with it until the conditions tell you otherwise.
Being confident in what you are using is the most important thing because it allows you to focus on other aspects of technique that are more important for triggering a bite than the type of lure tied on to the end of your line.