Lake Monduran
The author was stoked with this Lake Monduran giant – fish on.

Lake Monduran barramundi fishing guide

Lake Monduran is an iconic fishing destination for targeting one of Australia’s most highly regarded sportfish – the barramundi.

It is situated in the Bundaberg region, about 370km north northwest of Brisbane, with Lake Monduran Holiday Park offering houses and cabins, along with powered and unpowered campsites.

Make sure you book early in the warmer months, particularly around the peak bite times of a full and new moon.

The lake itself is large, consisting of multiple arms and many areas that are heavily timbered, so caution is required when navigating the lake by boat.

A stocked impoundment permit is required to fish Lake Monduran, which can be purchased online prior to your arrival.

The lake is also popular for other activities, including kayaking and water skiing.

Lake Monduran
Geared up for barramundi with a TT Black Adder 8-15kg rod and Okuma Komodo KDS-273 reel, spooled with 30lb Platypus Pulse X8.


Barramundi are more active during warmer weather – from September onwards – and though there are key bite times for targeting them, sometimes you just need to hit the water when you have the time and get a lure in the water.

Traditionally, feeding activity increases in the four days leading up to a full or new moon, and the two to three days following these moon phases can also be productive.

The day of the moon has proven to be a good downtime day for having a break and sorting gear, with the fishing often on the quiet side.

Last light is often referred to as the golden hour, maybe for the colour of the light or the hot bite period.


The hour before and after dawn and dusk are the prime times to be on the water, along with the periods of the moon above, the moon below and tide changes – even though targeting landlocked fish, the moon is the key driver of tidal movement.

Around a full moon, I concentrate most of my fishing efforts for during the night, and the reverse for a new moon, with a lot more action occurring during daylight hours.


Key structure in Lake Monduran includes points, weed beds and timber.

You can utilise the topography to give you an idea of what is below the surface of the water, however a sounder is priceless when fishing impoundments, allowing you to locate structure, bait and fish.

Take the time to care for your catch, they’re too good to catch only once.


I generally fish in about 1-4m of water, along with areas of 4-6m during the day in summer, when it really heats up.

When fishing over weed beds I slow roll/wind soft plastics over the top of the weed, bumping it occasionally so that barramundi ambush the presentation from pockets within the weed.

When fishing timber, I will roll soft plastics in more open areas around the timber or cast jerkbaits in tight timber.

Shadow lines are key fish-holding areas when fishing timber.

It is more difficult to locate fish when they are in weed, so it’s about fishing those key depths and finding areas that are holding bait.

When fishing timber though, it’s easier to locate fish moving around the area and I will use side scan and live sonar, taking the time to observe what the fish are doing.

lake monduran
The author utilised side scan to locate fish holding areas.


Fish will often move through areas in waves and mill around, and it’s important to understand if they are simply transitioning through the area or feeding.

You will also learn to understand the entry and exit points where fish move through timbered areas, allowing you to target the areas where fish are entering the area to feed, rather than where they are exiting.

Stealth is key when targeting barramundi, particularly in shallower water, and I will kill the engine well away from where I intend to fish and creep in on the electric motor.

Keep the fish at a distance of 15-20m and cast up to 40m – casting past the fish so that you are not spooking them – before retrieving the lure back through where the fish are holding.

These are the 1 percent changes that will get you hooked up when the fish are pressured and the bite is tough.

Plenty of fish showed up on live scanning.


Without the influence of tidal flow, wind becomes an important influence on how the lake will fish.

Consistent wind before you arrive can be beneficial because it will mean the fish will have moved and settled into areas where they are comfortably holding and feeding.

Shifting wind can make the fish unsettled and see them moving to find more comfortable conditions and food, rather than fired up in feeding mode.

While a northeasterly or southeasterly wind can fish well, a westerly will often blow in cold and shut the fish down.

Wind creates a current in the lake, so take note of this.

Lake Monduran
This is the reason people travel from around the country to fish Lake Monduran. The author with a solid fish on a Z-Man 5” DieZel MinnowZ.


Consistent wind blowing into an area can create a current that brings warm water and bait, while oxygenating water, if it’s creating waves and turbulence.

Fishing these windblown banks, bays and points can often be most productive.

If the wind direction is inconsistent, it can pay to target weed flats and right up in the back of bays, where resident fish will often be found.

Key in this situation can be locating weed flats and bays that are holding bait.


For more open water angling, I fish a combination of spin and baitcast combos, spooled with 20lb Platypus Pulse X8 Braid and 100lb Platypus Hard Armour Tough Leader.

Rod – TT Black Mamba spin rods, 7’, 4-8kg and reel – Okuma ITX Carbon spin reels, ITX-4000.

And rod – TT Black Mamba Baitcast rods, 7’, 4-8kg and reel – Okuma Komodo Baitcast Reels, KDS-273.

This fish could not resist a Z-Man HerculeZ slow rolled over weed.


For fishing tight timber, it’s all about the accuracy and additional stopping power of the baitcast combo, with the ability to thumb the spool and lock things up.

This heavier combo is spooled with 30lb Platypus Pulse X8 Braid and 100lb Platypus Hard Armour Tough Leader.

Rod – TT Black Adder Baitcast Rods, 7’, 8-15kg and reel – Okuma Komodo Baitcast Reels, KDS-273.

Go-to soft plastics

The Z-Man HerculeZ pre-rigged swimbait is an effective presentation straight out of the packet, with the option of adding a stinger treble, assist hooks or a blade to the integrated

stainless-steel belly attachment point for additional hook points or added flash.

The Z-Man HerculeZ is a popular pre-rigged soft plastic option, with a belly attachment point for adding a stinger, assists or a blade.


This plastic is pre-rigged with a strong Mustad hook and is available in a selection of sizes and weights.

I like the 4” when the weather is cooler and the bite tougher, the 5” as an allrounder, with the 6” suited more to targeting larger fish on deeper points.

The Z-Man 5” DieZel MinnowZ and 6” SwimmerZ are both proven barramundi favourites and I like to fish these on a 3/8oz 7/0 TT SwimlockZ jig head, with the larger hook size offering increased hook clearance for a better hook-up rate and more solid hook set.

The TT SwimlockZ jig head is a must-have for chasing barra, with its upgraded brutally strong Mustad hook and integrated stainless-steel belly attachment point.

The larger 7” DieZel MinnowZ is perfect for when the weather is warmer, with water temperature in the high 20-30C range making the fish more active.

This larger profile is ideal as a reaction bait for targeting larger fish on big points, rigged on a 1/2oz 9/0 TT SwimlockZ jig head, fitted with a 1/0 treble as a stinger.

Stealth is an important element, particularly when fishing shallow. The author crept into the area on the electric motor.


When fishing plastics, I generally fish with a slow roll/wind and, if you think you’re winding slow, wind slower.

If the bites aren’t happening, you can mix this retrieve up by adding a pause or giving the lure a ‘pop’ a couple of times by punching the rod tip up or down.

When fishing timber and more open water, it’s about swimming the lure at a depth that sees it passing within the strike zone of the fish.

When fishing over weed, you want the plastic running slightly above the weed and bumping the weed tops occasionally to draw the fish out of their ambush points.

Don’t forget your plonker

What is a plonker?

A plonker is a weight on a rope that you can lower into the water to hold position and fish an area effectively.

You can use your electric motor to hold position, however this can be noisy, particularly if the electric is making continual adjustments and you’re fishing in shallow water.

You can make a plonker out of a brick or gym weight or mould something specific for the job, as I have.

I hope this quick overview of fishing Lake Monduran gives you a bit of a head start and a few tips that assist you with gear selection and locating and targeting fish on your next adventure.

Remember, time on the water and persistence will allow you to build a better understanding of the lake and its fish, allowing you to crack their feeding patterns and experience those hot sessions and big bites that Lake Monduran has become famous for.

Josh Dow

About Bush 'n Beach Fishing mag

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