Rock Prawning the Full Moon!

By John Mondora


Ever since time began the full moon has had an enormous influence on mankind, and many strange and terrible rituals have been played out under its silvery light. Werewolves were invented to terrorise the population, and it’s common knowledge that the full moon sends a lot of people loco.

Women reputedly get more “romantic” during the week of the full moon, although my research with Jennifer is still being played out, so I can’t vouch for that yet. While a full moon has an enormous effect on we humans, it has far more influence on nature, as virtually everything is governed by the moon phases. That the tides for instance.

You can buy an argument anytime you like on whether the fishing is better on a full or dark moon, but where the full moon reigns supreme is in places like Tinaroo (and probably every other impoundment in Australia). Big barra will bite all night a few days before and after the full moon. If there’s a more exciting way of lure fishing than trolling or casting the big moon at Tinaroo, I’ve never found it yet.

Take the last full moon for example. Jennifer and I were staying at the “Hampton Lodge” for a couple of nights with the express idea of trolling till late at night. We started trolling just on dark and all I did was drive the boat trying to work out where to put their lures.

Let me digress for a minute now and quote my old friend Vic McCristal who famously wrote “A lure is a lie told to a fish by a fisherman”. And that’s so very true. If you think trolling is for tired old farts who are too lazy to cast, then I have some bad news for you old mate.

The very successful trollers drive the lure, not the boat. In other words, they work the controls so the lure is at the right depth and in the right place where a fish should be holding. The boys in the NT are the trollers and most of us learnt their techniques by fishing the Barra Nationals or the Barra Classic tournaments. Digression over!!

It was just after dark when I recognised Luke Fallon (skipper of the game fishing cruiser Kekoa) anchored up and casting, so I went over for a quick chat. He and his mate had had one bite, but they were expecting big things as the night progressed, and so it proved.

They fished all night (I used to do that once) and wound up catching 20 barra, with one “horse” of a thing that measured 134. The old full moon is right at the top of Luke’s list, I can tell you.

I wandered away from Lukey and headed to a long deep bank that has always worked for me. Jennifer had on her beloved Reidy’s white Judge, and I’m not sure what Brian was trolling. She got two bites then caught a 90, but it was a little quiet which surprised me a little. It was only about 9pm when Brian casually remarked, “A gin and tonic sounds good to me”, and that was all it needed for me to order, “Wind them up children.”

Jennifer was pissed right off, as this bloody woman will not give in and will fish all night, but for once she never said much. The next night Brian said, “Have you got another bloody white lure there John? I’m sick of Jennifer and that white Judge getting all the bites, and what’s worse is we only have one of them.”

Now I had received a parcel of lures a couple of days before, but hadn’t yet studied what was in the bag, but I replied, “Here, see what you can find in here.” Sure enough, there were a couple of white models and Brian thoughtfully said, “These are called Cutting Edge Lures. Who makes these things?”

“They are designed by Rob Gaden, but I’m not sure where they are made,” was my reply. Brian clipped on a 90mm white Cutting Edge Lure called the Rock Prawn and he remarked “These hooks are light for these big fish, so if I get a bite I’ll have to take it easy, but let’s go Rock Prawning!” So Rock Prawning we did go.

mond 1 3 models of the rock prawn 2

Would you believe that white Rock Prawn got three bites for three fish – a 97, a 103 and a 107 while Jennifer’s Judge was fishless. Coincidence? More than bloody likely, but the secret to all barra fishing is if you put the lure in front of his nose, he might eat it, and I guess I managed to put Brian’s lure in the right place at the right time.

But that takes nothing away from the Rock Prawn I can tell you. It has a brilliant action with models that go down to 15 feet, so what more can you ask for? You might need to upgrade the hooks on the smaller models if you’re chasing the real big stuff, but for everyday use they are probably okay. Brian took the three barra real easy, as he was worried about the hooks, but we put all three in the boat.

3 models of the rock prawn

That full moon night was a top night and we actually fished till around 11pm before we needed a G&T to calm our nerves. Should we have fished all night? Of course we should have fished all night, and it’s a sign of old age when you leave barra up to 30-plus kilos (maybe) because you’re tired.

But remember all you young buggers out there: “Old age and treachery will always defeat youth and innocence”.

Tinaroo on a full moon night has to be one of the most beautiful places on Planet Earth, and it’s a place where you don’t care if you don’t get a bite – it’s just a joy to be there, so guess where I’ll be next full moon??

mond 3 Brians first 97 caught on the Rock Prawn Note the plastic coated SIP attached to the Boga Grips 2
Brians first caught on the Rock Prawn.  Note the plastic coated SIP attached to the Boga Grips

Bugger the werewolves, I’m going Tinaroo trolling.

Till next time you be kind to each other now.