Expert tips for fishing on the Bass to Barra Trail
I AM fortunate to have a job that enables me to travel and fish all over Australia and I have found the freshwater fishing options in this country are also second-to-none.
My first must-do trip is Bass to Barra Trail which includes a series of impoundments where it is possible to catch bass and the reputed sports fish, the barramundi.
The trail starts to the south at Lake Lenthalls near Maryborough. This is a camp-only place and comes with restrictions on boat power, but it's ideal for smaller craft and kayaks. You can camp on the foreshores and its full of big bass and barramundi that are now pushing the 80cm plus mark.
The next dams on the route include Lake Monduran and Awoonga.
Monduran, near Bundaberg, is well equipped with a caravan park or simply stay in Gin Gin. This a big dam and full of very big barramundi.
Awoonga, near Gladstone, has accommodation at Gateway Lodge.
The barramundi are all in the 50 to 90cm size and are easy to catch at present.
On the way north, if you like your barra fishing, you'd be crazy to by-pass Rockhampton. The Fitzroy River is now a net-free zone and is full of big wild barramundi. There are many guides servicing the river and great places to stay, shop and dine.
I stay at the Southside Village Park. Tell Neville that Nige sent you! This is one place where it is possible to catch a metre sized barramundi in the middle of the town reaches!
Heading north, you'll find Peter Faust, Kinchant and Teemburra Dams. My favourite is Kinchant at Mackay which is a beautiful, smaller impoundment just loaded with really big barramundi. Mackay is really catering for travellers and there are heaps of accommodation places at all levels.
Type of fishing - lure, fly, and bait.
Equipment - boats of any size, but 4 to 6m will cover more water; 4 to 8kg baitcast and spin outfits; 30lb braid lines and 60 to 80lb leaders; lures - 95mm vibes, 4 to 6 inch paddletail softplastics, 4 inch prawn imitation soft plastics, 90 to 120mm hardbody lures that dive 1 to 5 metres (suspending preferable).
When - September to December, and then March to May.
Next month I will take you on a Snowy Mountains fishing trip.
Nige Webster works for AFN Fishing & Outdoors and presents and produces The Fishing Show on Channel 7Mate.