The first golden barramundi from the Bundaberg Toyota Golden Barra competition at Lake Monduran has finally been reeled in.
It was early morning when fisherman Lindley Davies was trying his luck and flicking for barramundi near the dam wall when his fortune was granted, and he recalls reeling in the catch like the back of his hand.
“I haven’t done much barra fishing and only caught five or six, so I remember most of them,” Lindley said.
“I actually caught him back in January and at the time I didn’t think much about it being the golden barra.
“It was 6 am in the morning, it was deep water when I was just luring with a Zerek live mullet, dark ale colour lure.
“At first, he put up a bit of a fight then he come in pretty steady, but it’d engulfed the lure so when I tried to release him I couldn’t get him to go anywhere.
“I grew up on creek fish, so I don’t mind the flavour.
“All the others that we caught went off alright, but he didn’t so we took him home and that’s when we found the tag.”
Laidley said as a keen fisherman from the Toowoomba region he would often travel with members of his local fishing club up to Lake Monduran to catch elusive barramundi.
“I’m part of the Cooyar Fishing Club and we’ve been up a few times now to try our chances at something other than bass and yellow belly.
“I actually went up for this comp and I had registered, but with no luck at the time.
“So, to be honest I’m over the moon about finding out now that I’d actually caught him some years later.
“It’s funny though, I just threw the tag in the car, and it wasn’t until a few weeks ago I found it and called the tag in.
“Then I got a call from Rob to tell me the news – and I was pretty excited!”
Lake Monduran Holiday Park operator Rob Howell said the tag number showed that Laidley had caught the original golden barramundi that was released for the 2018 Golden Barra fishing competition.
“It’s taken a few years for him to be caught!” Rob said with glee.
“Although there’s no prize money anymore, I think Laidley was pretty excited, like I am, just to know he caught it.
“There’s only ever been two golden barramundi released here and this was the first of the two.”
Rob said when this tagged golden barramundi was originally released its length for the competition it was recorded at 74 cm, and Laidley measured it at 85cm, so a growth of 11 cm which was fantastic to note.
“It’s pure excitement for us, to see a colour fish go in and to now know it can be caught,” Rob said.
“Although it had changed colour to suit its environment you can see from the photo with Laidley its gold tinges.”
Rob said after a few years of hiatus because of Covid-19, he hoped to see the return of the popular Golden Barra competition in the near future.