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Over the 1m mark, Stuart Bridges and a monster 105cm barramundi from Lake Monduran.

Monduran Dam barra

Now that we’re heading into the warmest months of the year, big crowds of people have descended on Lake Monduran.

As with most forms of fishing, any pressure on a system can make the fish tight-lipped and force them to move away from their chosen areas.

It is a well-known fact that sound travels over four times faster in water than air, so even the slightest noise will be heard by fish.

There are numerous theories on how much noise from outboard electric motors, banging on decks and even noise and soundwaves from sounders and other electronics can affect the fish.

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Lynda Stewart was happy with this 93cm barramundi.

 

In my opinion, it’s essential to be as stealthy as possible and this is something I have learnt from having quality sounders.

It’s not uncommon during the cooler months of the year to turn up at a spot with 20 or more fish and watch them spook within one cast from the Humminbird Mega 360 screen.

It’s not this dramatic as the water warms up but is definitely an indication that the fish know you’re there. That’s never a good thing.

Here are a few ways to limit your presence on the water and catch more fish.

Buy an electric motor

It’s possible to fish an impoundment without an electric motor, but it is extremely difficult. Even a basic electric motor will make your life ten times easier, and I would recommend one with GPS and spot lock – such as the range from Minn Kota.

As for all gear, having it is only the first step. Thought needs to go into using it so as to not disturb the fish.

When in areas I’m expecting to find barramundi, I try to run my Minn Kota on no greater than 3.5-4, which is slightly under half speed.

Stopping the momentum of the boat completely before spot locking will also ensure the motor doesn’t have to speed back to where you pressed the button.

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Tony Bourne scored a 102cm Lake Monduran barramundi using a Shads 5” plastic.

Stay as far away as possible

When looking for and casting at fish, I try to stay at least 30m away. This ensures that any noises you do make are less likely to attract a negative reaction from the barra. Casting downwind will also allow you to get as far away from the boat as possible, targeting unsuspecting fish.

 

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Lindy Clothier with a 101cm barramundi taken from Lake Monduran on a Shads 5” plastic.

Drifting

When you become proficient at finding fish in Lake Monduran, drifting can be a very effective technique. When I’m confident of a bay holding fish, I will turn off the electric motor and begin using the wind to drift towards the back of the bay.

Most of the time, I find it’s the driving around looking for fish that is the main reason they spook.

Drifting allows you to get a cast at them before they know you’re there.

 

Nick Fitzpatrick caught an 84cm barraumndi using a Shads 5” plastic.

Anchoring and tying to trees

Both techniques have been used by many successful anglers. Tying off and anchoring allows you to fish a spot with no motor noise.

This is particularly important on windy days when the electric motor would otherwise be working hard to maintain its position. Tying to trees is my preferred method, but this is not possible in some of the more open bays.

If dropping anchor, ensure you do it as quietly as possible.

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