THE world's fishing spotlight is set to shine on Lake Monduran, with possibly the biggest ever barramundi caught on rod and reel claimed there on Tuesday night.
Fishing from a kayak, Denis Harrold landed the monster fish, which tipped the scales at 44.6kg. It measured in at 135cm with a whopping girth of 107cm.
The Monduran fish broke the old world mark of 37.85kg - held since 1999 from Lake Tinaroo, in far north Queensland - by almost 7kg.
The big barra fell to a slow-trolled 130 Squidgy slick rig soft plastic in black/gold colouration.
As well as the challenges of fighting such a big fish from a kayak, Mr Harrold, from Mackay, hooked it on a "really light" 4-6kg combo, because he "likes to accentuate the fight".
Once it realised it was hooked, the giant fish peeled 80m of 30lb braid from the reel before crashing across the lake's surface.
"When I heard it crash, I knew it was a big fish," Mr Harrold said.
"I didn't realise it was a world record barra, but I knew it was a snodger."
Mr Harrold, who specialises in targeting big impoundment barra from a kayak, and his fishing partner Mick Self had landed about 15 barra during the four nights they had been at the dam.
Their haul had included five fish from 123-127cm long.
With the water rushing over the spillway for the first time since 1992, Mr Harrold attributed the hot fishing to the creatures' desire to reach salt water to spawn.
"When we came here, right at the start, we said if ever we were going to catch a big fish it's now," Mr Harrold said.
Bundaberg Sportfishing Club weighmaster/recorder Elle Hodge confirmed the catch on official scales yesterday.
Mr Harrold's joy was tempered after he was told he could not claim the record because he did not belong to a relevant sportfishing organisation.
But Bundaberg Sportfishing Club secretary Geoff Hodge confirmed an International Gamefishing Association (IGFA) all-tackle record application could be submitted with the appropriate payment.
"I was happy when I saw 135cm. When I saw 44.6kg on the scales I was ecstatic, but when I found out it was eligible for a world record, I was absolutely delighted," Mr Harrold said.
Lake Monduran Holiday Park manager Rob Howell said the pending world record catch gave the impoundment ultimate bragging rights.
"It's awesome," he said.
"It shows people just how good we are as a fishery.
"You can definitely say we're the premier big barra dam in Queensland."
But Mr Howell reckons there are even bigger monsters lurking in the lake.
"There are bigger ones out there all right," he said.
"You just can't hold them."
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