A monster barramundi weighing in at more than 35 kilograms and measuring 129cm has been reeled in at Lake Monduran, almost breaking the world record.
On Thursday, Gin Gin’s Jake Bates snagged the big fella on a rod and reel, with a hardbody lure, and he said as soon as he knew it was hooked, he felt like a big kid in a candy shop.
“It only took three or four minutes to reel him in, but during those moments it felt like a lifetime,” Jake said.
“I’ve been fishing the lake regularly for about 16 months, and I’ve caught about 20 fish over the metre, but nothing like him.”
In those moments as Jake pulled the massive barramundi into his boat, he had a feeling it would come close to the world record.
“I knew personally about the world record, and I had always wanted a fish that big – you always aim to catch a monster,” he said.
Lake Monduran shot to international fishing fame in 2010 when a 135cm world-record barramundi was caught by Denis Harrold.
At the time it tipped the scales at a whopping 44.6kg and had a girth of 107cm.
Lake Monduran Holiday Park lessee Rob Howell said they’d been watching and waiting for another monster barramundi to be caught in the lake.
Rob said the shadows of the big barramundi beneath the water at Lake Monduran had been luring fishermen to return time after time to try to catch the illusive fish.
“It was only a matter of time before one this big was caught again,” he said.
“We knew they were always here, but no one has caught one like this since prior to the 2010 floods.
“So, we haven’t seen a fish like this in 11 years.”
Rob has been at Lake Monduran for the past 17 years and he said it was a thrill to finally see one of the behemoth barramundis reeled in again.
“This sure has set the barramundi scene alight again,” Rob said.
“This one was only 6cm short of the world record and it could have gone close with weight.”
“We are returning to the glory days, which was prior to the 2010 floods which washed all the barramundis out; all these fish here are males as they turn female when they are in saltwater.
“We estimate the fish Jake caught to be between 8-9 years old as they are really quick growers, especially with the abundant food source we have here, and it was easily in excess of 35 kilograms.”
Jake said after a few snaps with the biggest fish he’d ever caught, the barramundi was released.