Bjelke-Petersen Dam

    Bjelke-Petersen Dam, also known as Lake Barambah or BP Dam, is just 15 kilometres from Murgon, at Moffatdale in the South Burnett. It is a popular and well-equipped area for recreational freshwater fishing, birdwatching, boating, picnicking and camping / caravanning. Picnic areas, barbecues, a general store, a caravan and recreation park and a boat ramp with a large car park make this the ideal place to relax for a day or extended stay.

    Bjelke-Petersen Dam covers 2,500 hectares, and holds 1,450,000 megalitres of water, which is used for irrigation and water supply to the towns of Murgon and Cherbourg.

    Koalas, wallabies and kangaroos can be seen around the lake while the birdlife includes black swans, ducks, pelicans and cormorants.

    Bjelke-Petersen Dam is a popular fesh water fishing spot. A permit (obtainable from the kiosk) is required. The dam is routinely stocked with Golden Perch (or Yellowbelly), Australian Bass and Silver Perch and you can also catch red claw (no permit required). Yallakool Camping and Recreation Park offers a number of accommodation options from powered and unpowered camp sites to cabins and villas.

    LOCATION:

    Lake Barambah, Murgon
    4605, QLD

    Storm build ups make the fishing in the South Burnett fun!

    Storm build ups make the fishing in the South Burnett fun!

    The hot weather and afternoon storm buildups bring on some awesome oportunities for big bass and yellowbelly. With the onset of summer, this weather pattern is quite common and it really brings the native fish on the bite. If you’re an avid troller, from now through to February is the best time to dust off the deep divers and head to the South Burnetts dams to get amongst some great native trolling action.

    Boondooma

    When the warmer months arrive and its hot, the yellowbelly and bass like to position themselves in a zone called the Thermocline, or comfortable water, which is generally a depth of 18 to 25 feet. This zone or column of water is the water that the fish find the most comfortable, where the temperature is just right to sit in while its hot upstairs and is full of the little critters that they love to gorge themselves on. With the majority of the fish sitting in this zone thoughout the dam, it opens up the doors for some fanstatic fishing opportunities.

    If I want to target bass, the first places I’ll look are the deep water off any prominent points. I’ll use my sounder to sound the fish sitting in that optimal depth. When I’m happy that I’ve found a good concentration of fish, I will pull up and begin casting 3” to 4” soft plastics rigged with a ½ ounce or 5/8 ounce head. With a big long cast over the areas that I found the fish, I will let the jig head sink 7 to 10 seconds and begin a slow retrieve back to the boat with a couple of twitches mixed in. The same can be done with a 12 or 18 gram Norries spoon. Continue this technique untill you start to feel a few taps on the plastic or spoon, when you feel a tap its important to keep that slow wind going unitll you feel weight on the line, slowly lift the rod tip until you feel the weight of the fish. At this point the fish will know its hooked and make some great runs back down into the deeper water. Keep your drag fairly loose so that the hook doesn’t pull on the way back to the boat. Using this method over the holiday period will account for some big bass on Boondooma.

    Craig and Rob had a cracking day on charter, throwing spoons to bass positioned in 20 feet.

     

    The timbered arms are holding good numbers of bass and yellow belly as well. In the arms they are holding very close to structure and you’ll need to get your lures in as close as you can to get a bite. Look for spindly timber, or big trees out in the middle of the arms. Lures of choice for this scenario are, 5/8 or 3/8 Bassman Spinner baits, ½ ounce jig head rigged with a 3” soft plastic and any sinking lipless Crank bait. Give your lure up to 5 seconds to sink down and start a slow wind. It’s important to make sure that you have a lure retriever with you as you WILL get snagged on the trees occasionally but if you’re getting snagged you know you’re in the thick of it.

    Fishing close to structure, I use 14 to 20 pound leaders so I have a chance if a fish rubs the line through trees. Otherwise, if I’m in open water I’ll decrease my leader size to 6 to 10 pound as I’m less concerned about a fish dragging me through trees or any structure.

    The sunsets on Boondooma are sensational, there’s not many ways better to finish a day, then like this.

    Trollers are picking up some great bass and yellow belly trolling around the deeper sections of the dam, targeting those suspended fish. Make sure to have plenty of deep divers handy, and some 5/8 Bassman Spinnerbaits or any lures that dive 15 to 20 feet will be the ones that get you onto consistent fish.

    Bait fisherman are consistently getting amongst a mixed bag of fish up in the timbered arms of the dam using worms and fresh shrimp. It may even pay to move to the main basin and let your bait suspend under the boat in that 15 to 25 foot range. Drifting with the wind is a great way to cover water with your bait under the boat. Eventually it will cross paths with a hungry fish or two.

    Red claw numbers are also starting to pick up with the hot weather, so make sure your pack the opera houses if you’re coming out for a day or two.

    Lake Barambah

    With a similar pattern to that of Boondooma, Lake Barambah is producing some great fishing as well. The fish are sitting in that 15 to 20 foot range and are very willing to take anything that is placed in front of them. Because Barambah is a shallower dam you can target more areas and use a bigger variety of lures to catch a few natives. The Bass are responding well to 3” soft plastics, ¼ blades and 3/8 and 5/8 spinnerbaits. Some likely areas to target is the large flat area in front of the main dam wall, the Quarry and wide off Bass point.

    On a recent fishing charter, we targeted the lakes bass with a ½ jig head rigged with a 3’ soft plastic and caught dozens of bass and yellow belly. We targeted areas that were 15 to 20 feet and had rocky edges or a drop offs adjacent to them. I found that the bigger fish were tight to the drop-offs, and waiting for bait to swim over. Areas like this are prime ambush positions for native fish so don’t forget to give areas like this a go next time you’re out.

    Maddie and Lane with a nice variety of fish on a recent charter to BP dam.

     

    82 year old Bep had a great day on BP catching a few bass on 3 inch plastics rigged on a ½ ounce jig head.

    Trollers are catching some nice bass and yellow belly trolling over the quarry towards the dam wall as well as adjacent to the steep rock wall on the left of the dam just before bass point.

    Bait fisherman are consistently catching good numbers of yellow belly and bass anchoring along the steeper edges of the dam. Best baits have been fresh shrimp and worms.

    Red claw are patchy but I have heard of some good numbers coming from the dam.

    Park News

    The fish stocking for both dams is still very much alive and well with another massive stock of bass put into Bjelke-Petersen dam this weekend. 56 000 Australian bass were released into BP dam. Boondooma Stocking Association also released 82 000 bass into Boondooma a couple weeks ago, so it’s a great boost for fishing in the South Burnett.  It’s great to see our stocking associations working hard to make this happen because without them we don’t get to catch the fish that we really love chasing.

    Members of the BP stocking group and a group of eager young helpers release Australian Bass into BP.

    Don’t forget to book your site for the New Year’s celebrations at Boondooma dam, this year’s fireworks display will be a cracker. And to top it off when you get to enjoy your holiday with great fishing, water sports and beautiful sunsets, I reckon you would be mad not to come out and enjoy your break.

    On a final note, I have just started up my fishing charter business on BP and Boondooma dams. If you’d like a great day out and all the info and knowledge to catch Bass or Yellow belly in our two great dams make sure you give me, Matthew Langford a call on 0408658592 and I’ll be happy to take you out for a great days fishing.

    Until next time, tight lines and bent rods

    Matthew Langford

    Spring heat brings the big fish out!

    It’s a good feeling to know that summer is finally on its way, the water temps in both dams are rising considerably during the day which makes for some pretty intense fishing at times. This time of year is up there with my favourite times to fish for Australian bass and yellow belly in our impoundments because they can be caught thick and fast as the bigger bass and yellow belly become vulnerable. Our natives like to suspend in the deeper water when the water warms and this opens up a variety of techniques including trolling as a great way to catch some big fish during these hotter months.

    Boondooma

    The flavour of the month this month is Bass, and big ones at that, but it does pay to move around a bit in search of the right spot. Productive areas recently have been mainly the dam wall, the drop off from the shallower flats and the Spindly timber in the Stuart and the Boyne arms of the dam. Sound around the flats in search of the schools and cast ½ ounce rigged soft plastics, 12 – 20 gram spoons, Tail spinners and Blades.

    Mick Johnson with a cracker from the deep suspended fish around the dam wall

    The timber is the place I would head to first as the fish hit hard and it’s a real challenge to get them out with your gear still in one piece. For this type of fishing I always use a stiff spin rod with some guts, a 2500 size spin reel for extra torque, spooled with 12 pound braid and 14 to 20 pound leader. This may sound heavy but just imagine a 50cm bass hitting your lure as it’s rolled between two big clumps of spindly timber, it really counts for some exciting fishing. The lure of choice for this type of fishing is definitely a spinnerbait, or a lipless crankbait. I like to throw a Bassman Compact in 3/8 or 5/8 ounce. Once you have a combo similar to the above mentioned, head up the arms of the dam and cast in as close to the spindly trees as you can, let the lure sink for 3 to 5 seconds and start a slow roll. Make sure the drag is done up solid so they can’t get you in the timber without a hard fight. Once the bite comes give him everything you’ve got to get the fish away from any structure otherwise the fight will be short and you’ll be left wondering what happened.

    A big healthy bass from the suspended fish in deep water, keeping the lure in the zone is the key to take fish like this.

    If the timber isn’t producing, the next place I’ll look are the deep water off any prominent points or parallel to any steep rock walls. I’ll use my sounder to sound the fish sitting in that optimal depth, which is generally 20ft in the Thermocline. When I’m happy that ive found a good concentration of fish, I will pull up and begin casting 3” to 4” soft plastics rigged with a ½ ounce or 5/8 ounce head. With a big long cast over the areas that I found the fish, I will let the jig head sink 7 to 10 seconds and begin a slow retrieve back to the boat with a couple of twitches mixed in. The same can be done with a 12 gram Norries spoon. Continue this technique untill you start to feel a few taps on the plastic or spoon, when you feel a tap its important to keep that slow wind going unitll you feel weight on the line, slowly lift the rod tip until you feel the weight of the fish. At this point the fish will know its hooked and make some great runs back down into the deeper water. Keep your drag fairly loose so that the hook doesn’t pull on the way back to the boat.

    Trollers have been starting to pick up some nice Golden Perch and Bass trolling up in the arms of the dam as well as the main lake points and edges using deep diving hard bodies.

    Bait fisherman have been bringing in consistent catches of yellow belly, bass and eel tail catfish fishing in the timbered arms. Best baits have been live shrimps, saltwater yabbies and worms jigged off the bottom.

    Red claw have just started to pick up a bit with the consistent warm weather around the rocky edges.

    Lake Barambah

    The fishing at Barambah has been spectacular with lots of fish being caught on everything, casting lures, jigging a bait and trolling. The key however is moving around to find the fish. The fish this month have been moving around considerably, I’ve found that the fish will be on one flat or bank one day then the next day they have moved a few hundred meters. This is not uncommon during the warmer months because the fish are active and purely moving around the dam with the bait they are feeding on.

    Brady Ellis with a nice Yellow Belly from the edge at BP

    I always love fishing BP and I always like to go and start on the banks in the morning, I commonly cast lipless cranks or spinnerbaits to get an early reaction bite. The banks I’ll fish will generally be fairly steep with a bit of rock or structure. Another thing to keep an eye on is the sounder whilst you’re fishing a bank. It pays to make sure that there is bait or fish sporadically coming through. This obviously increases the chances of fish being caught on the bank that you’re targeting. Later in the day when the sun starts to get high I move out to the flats and commonly target areas in the 15 to 20 foot range. The fish seem to really relate well to this depth in BP and it pays to visit multiple areas like this until you find a good school. Another thing to note that in summer time in BP the fish like to sit high in the thermocline (or comfortable water) If you’re on the water and this is the case slow roll any smaller bait like a blade, through these suspended fish. In this situation it’s not uncommon to have a great session when the fish are sitting high in the water column.

     

    Trollers are having the same luck by trolling the edges of the dam and out in the 15 to 20 foot range with deep diving hard bodies, most trollers won’t have to go far before hooking up with a fish or two.

    Those using bait, the fish are coming from most locations close to the bank using, live shrimp, salt water yabbies and worms fished hard on the bottom.

    Red claw are also on the comeback as the water warms considerably.

    Park News                                           

    Make sure you book your camp site for the 2018 Boondooma Dam Yellow belly fishing comp being held on the 10th and 11th of February. $20 entry for adults and $5 for juniors (16 years and under). There are live and dead weight divisions with prizes for Bass, Yellow belly, Silver and Spangled perch. There are thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes up for grabs, with food and drinks available at the event. It’s one comp you don’t want to miss. Call Lake Boondooma kiosk to make a camp site booking on (07) 4168 9694. Finally also don’t forget that this year’s New Year’s eve party at Lake Boondooma is shaping up to be the biggest and best we’ve seen, so write that down in your calendar and book a site for this year’s fireworks spectacular.

    If you’d like to keep in regular contact with what’s happening on the dams don’t forget to like the Yallakool and Boondooma dams Facebook page.

    Until next time, tight lines and bent rods

    Matthew Langford

     

    South Burnett Unpacked

    South Burnett Regional Council presents ‘South Burnett Unpacked’ to be held on Thursday the 23rd November 2017. South Burnett Unpack provides a cooperative platform for public and private sector stakeholders in the tourism industry to engage in discussions about opportunities and challenges in the South Burnett tourism economy.

    Tourism is a major economic activity in the South Burnett with a wide-ranging impact on economic growth, employment, social and cultural integration. The tourism sector currently faces a number of development needs and challenges. South Burnett unpacked will focus on the following topics of particular importance to the tourism sector:

    1. Visitor Economy
    2. South Burnett Rewards
    3. 2 dams 1 destination
    4. Fishing in the South Burnett
    5. Food Tourism
    6. Events
    7. Visitor Information Centres as Welcome Centres.

    South Burnett Unpacked will be held in the meeting rooms at Yallakool Tourist Park on BP Dam (next to the Kiosk), from 9am to 4pm. Lunch is supplied.
    Please RSVP by the 14th November.

    Kay Dove
    4189 9538 (Mon to Wed)
    or email kdove@southburnett.qld.gov.au

    Murgon Music Muster

    Boots and hats are the order of the day as the visitors lined the auditorium for this year’s Murgon Music Muster. One of the biggest events of the year for this little town,as the local residence await the highly anticipated arrival of singing sensation Gina Jeffereys.

    The Murgon showground is bursting at the seams with people camped out to enjoy four days of non-stop music. This year’s program is set to delight music enthusiasts with a multitude of entertainment on offer, from country rock, classic, bush ballads and bush poetry.

    The Murgon Music Muster is currently on at Murgon Showgrounds from Tuesday 31st October to Sunday 5th November.

    Gina Jeffreys will be performing on friday night at 7.30pm

    Freshwater fishing a big hit in the South Burnett.

    Spring is finally here and it’s the time of year that I always look forward to. The water temps are gradually increasing and our native fish in our stoked impoundments really spring into life and start gorging themselves, which means for us anglers a great time to be on the water.

    Boondooma Dam
    In my last report the water temps were down around 16 degrees and the fishing was good, but as I write the water temps have increased slightly and the fish have really started to fire up. The edge bite has somewhat slowed a little but the flats fishing has been insane. Some good Yellow belly and Bass can still be caught from the edges early if you’re casting lures. I’ve found the best areas to target are the steeper rocky edges with some timber, and the remains of the weed beds that outline the dam in 8 to 10 feet.

    Some great techniques for targeting the fish on the edge is using suspending jerk-baits and 12 gram spoons burnt over the top of the submerged weed. Both presentations entice the fish to come out of the weed and smash a paused jerk-bait or chase a moving spoon as it zips past overhead. The jerk-bait presentation is a slow retrieve with a lot of pauses and the spoon presentation is all about long casts and a steady fast retrieve to keep the lure above the weed, I find dropping the spoon back to the weed occasionally is a good way to keep that lure in the zone.
    The old submerged weed edges still hold some cracking Bass but I’d be moving to the 20 to 30 foot flats to start looking about mid-morning as the day starts to heat up. Areas I like to start looking are the Junction to Pelican point edges out 80 meters from the bank in 20 to 30 feet of water. There’s a few baits that have really been working well but if you cast anything that imitates a bony bream you’ll be in with a good chance of hooking up with a good fish. 12 gram Nories Tail spinners and Spoons and ¼ ounce blades have been working really well, but soft plastics have also accounted for a few good sessions.

    A pair of Nice bass caught from the edge, burning spoons over the submerged weed beds.


    The local yellow belly are in great condition and are willing to take a well presented lure.

    The key to using a spoon on schooled fish is to let the lure sink to the bottom and slow wind the bait through the fish. If you think you’ve got the lure too high through the fish make sure you drop it back down through them and start the retrieve again. Eventually you will get a bite, persistence is a big key when fishing anywhere.
    Bait fisherman have been doing well out on the flats. Use your sounder to locate a good showing of fish in the 20 to 30 foot range. Once you find a good show, anchor up and drop down using live shrimp. The great thing about live shrimp is that you can catch them in the dam itself. It shouldn’t be long until you have some nice fish coming to the boat.

    A great tip for bait fishing is making sure that you have some fresh bait and also make sure your knots are tied well as the fish on the flats can be big and can leave you broken hearted if you’re not prepared.
    If you’re trolling, the fishing should improve as the waters temps continue to rise but there have been some reports of fish trolled up in the timber of the Boyne and Stuart arms. The key is to use deep diving hard bodies in dark colours.

    Red claw have been moving well with the warmer water bringing them back to the pots.

    Barambah Dam
    The same is happening at Lake Barambah, the water temps have risen and the fish are really active. Fish are responding to most lure techniques but the bigger fish have been coming from the points and edges. The most effective lures have been ¼ blades, spinner baits, lipless cranks and ¼ ounce rigged 3 inch plastics. You’ll note that most of these baits imitate the bait that fish are feeding on which is masses and masses of small bony bream, gudgeon, sleepy cod, barred grunter and spangled perch.


    A cracking bass from the edge at BP


    The Yellow belly at BP are very willing to take a spinnerbait cast at the edge in spring.

    I’ve been fishing the dam quite regularly and have had some of the best fishing from the edges that I can remember. Nice Yellow belly and big Bass have been caught every trip. The key to success however is finding the right bank to fish. If you’re an avid lure angler like me, pick an edge and start moving along it. I like to sit about 30 meters from the bank and fan out casts, trying to cover as much water as possible. Keep moving along the edge and eventually you’ll come across a lure that works for you. Once you’ve caught a fish, there’s a big chance that there will be more in very close proximity so make sure you cover that water thoroughly. The big fish have been hanging out together, so if you get one there’s a chance you’ll get a few.
    Bait fisherman have been catching good bags of fish around the edges of the dam, and from the shore using live shrimp, saltwater yabbies and worms.

    Trollers are picking up the odd fish trolling around Lightening ridge and around the edges of the dam. The trolling will be fantastic in the coming months as the fish move up in the water column and start to suspend with the warmer weather.

    The red claw have been really moving with some big numbers being caught so now’s the time to drop the pots in.

    Park News
    If you’re an avid troller or hard bodied lure enthusiast, the Golden Lure comp is on at Boondooma dam on October the 20, 21, 22, so if you’re looking at coming to the dams to stay make sure you give the guys at the kiosk a call and they’ll book your site tailored to your needs. Give Yallakool a call on 07 4168 4746 or Boondooma on 07 4168 9694.

    Until next time
    Tight lines and bent rods
    Matthew Langford

    Red Hot bite in the South Burnett!

    Since the onset of winter the fishing hasn’t changed considerably in the South Burnett Region, with some cracking catches of our native fish being recorded. No matter what type of angler you are, you’re sure to hook up with a few fish at Boondooma and Barambah over the coming weeks.

    Boondooma

    Over the past few months the fish have moved up somewhat shallow and if you find yourself on an edge that has some scattered weed, you could find an opportunity for a fantastic edge bite.  If you’re an avid lure fisherman like me, this is where I would start and end the day. The secret has been throwing 3/8 spinnerbaits up as tight as you can to the weed edge and rolling it back with a slow wind retrieve. I like to use the 3/8 Carls compact Bassman spinnerbait with one small Colorado blade, as this stops any weed becoming entangled in the blade assembly and stopping the spinnerbait from working. If you throw up tight to the weed edge and roll out you will get stuck in the weed occasionally, the best trick is to give the rod tip a quick rip to free the spinnerbait and continue the retrieve. Remember early morning and late afternoon is the best time to target the weed as the fish are up in there ready to ambush any offering that is thrown their way. I’ve caught some cracking 50cm+ fish using this method so stick with it, as it could result in a trophy bass being landed. The other option that has been working is using suspending jerk baits to the weed, use the same method as I described above and make sure you add plenty of pauses to your retrieve. Jerk baiting the weed is a cool way to fish as suddenly your drag could be peeling of that reel, before you even realise you’ve had a hit.

    Bill Schloss with a pair of Cracking bass from Boondooma.

    Later in the day when the sun is high and the breeze picks up, I like to move out deeper around the flats and target schooling fish with, Nories tail spinners, soft vibes and VX blades. Pelican point, Barbour’s pole and Death Valley are good spots to start looking for schools. Please check in with the kiosk if you’re unsure of the names of places around the dam. The secret is using your sounder to slowly move around until you’ve located the fish sitting close to the bottom, once located, start to throw your baits with long casts and keep the lure as close to the bottom as you can. I like to use a very slow retrieve or a hooping retrieve to induce a strike. It’s also a good idea to move around a bit as the fish work out very quickly that you’re there, native fish don’t respond well to pressure or noise.

    Bill Schloss and Lloyd Brown with some great fish from the flats at Boondooma

    Bait fisherman have been getting good catches of yellow belly in the Boyne arm of the dam fishing close to trees and the Boyne rocks. Most have been using saltwater yabbies, shrimps and worms. It’s a good idea to use smaller sinkers as the bite is hard to detect if you’re using huge ball sinkers. Simply tie up to a tree drop your bait to the bottom and slowly move the bait up and down off the bottom. It won’t be long until you get a bite.

    Trollers have also been doing quite well on the yellow belly in the Boyne and Stuart arms in the timber with smaller deep diving hard bodies. Make sure you take a tackle retriever with you as you’re bound to get a snag or two whilst trolling.

    Redclaw are still coming in pretty good numbers around the shallow rocky edges, soft fruits and vegetables have been the best bait during the winter months.

    Lake Barambah

    Typically, in winter, BP dam’s fish move in closer to the edge and can be caught using a few methods. Lately the best edge fishing methods have been Eco gear ZX blades and Jerk baits cast up shallow. Slower moving baits like the ones suggested are dynamite in winter the key is small hops off the bottom near the edge with the ZX blades and long pauses near the edge with the jerkbaits.

    The deeper flats have also been producing lots of fish be it bass or yellow belly. Jigging blades has been the best method. Most anglers have been sounding fish in about 20ft and sitting on top of them, Eco gear ZX blades have been the real standout as they have two small stinger hooks attached. Drop them down to the bottom and hop them with small sharp hops, a fish only needs to touch them and the stinger hooks will grab them very quickly. Best spots have been the big flat out from the main dam wall.

    The Author and Nick Anderson with some nice bass from the edge at BP.

    It’s Valuable to remember that most fish in the dam are gorging themselves on small bony bream so it’s a great idea to throw anything that looks like a small bait fish. Look for steeper banks that hold some timber or rocks as this is a likely place that fish will be looking for bait up shallow. Out deeper try to find flats that are close to significant drop offs or the main submerged creek line.

    Dylan Fryer with a beautiful yellow belly from the edge on a jerk bait.

    Bait fisherman have been getting a ton of nice fish from BP dam. Most have been tying off to trees and fishing saltwater yabbies and shrimps vertical with small hops. I witnessed a couple catch their bag limit in under an hour just recently, I was very impressed and almost switched to bait. Big quality yellow belly and good numbers of bass have been coming on bait.

    Trollers are catching the odd fish trolling around the main lake points, small deep diving hard bodies are the best. Redclaw have gone very quiet and should start popping back up as the water gets warmer.

    Dam news

    If you’d like to become a member of the local fish stocking associations please don’t hesitate in contacting Terry Allwood, Secretary/Treasurer of the Boondooma fish stocking association on 0400860122 or Matthew Langford president of the BP fish stocking association on 0408658592. New members are always welcome.

    Until next time, tight line and bent rods.

    Matthew Langford

    Cold mornings and Big Bass in the South Burnett.

    With the unseasonably warm weather hanging around for quite some time the warm weather gear hasn’t had to make much of an appearance of late. The last few weeks however have seen the water temps slowly drop but the fish are still active and still hungry. With the cold moving in fast now, the edge bite and shallow flats bite has really fired up and you should be able to bag yourself some really healthy Bass and Yellowbelly over the coming months. The great thing is this time of year the Bass and Goldens are fat and healthy and a whole new array of lures can be used to target the natives in our local dams.

    Lake Boondooma

    Recently the best techniques have been to hit the edges early with lipless cranks and spinnerbaits, rocky or weedy edges being the best to target. Another good way of finding good fish is sounding over the main lake points and large shallow flats in the main basin in search of the large schools that generally congregate at this time of year. In the morning when it’s quiet and still is the best time for this type of fishing because the water temps are at their lowest and the dam is at its quietest. Having a good quality sounder is important when trying to locate the schools as you’ll pick up the fish close to the bottom when you’re searching. Once a school is located position the boat towards the school and cast ¼ or 3/8 ounce Eco gear VX, ZX or Little Max blades, let the blade hit the bottom and use a slow hopping or roll retrieve.  Occasionally change it up and use a slow roll and kill technique as the fish will hit the lure when it’s close to the bottom, as it’s falling or just after it’s rolled off the bottom.


    Ecogear ZX blades are great for targeting bass on the flats at Boondooma

     

    Later in the day when the water heats up I’ve found that the fish can be caught well using Nories tail spinners, 12 gram being the best. Cast the tails spinner out with a long cast and let it sink to the bottom, wind up the slack and slowly lift the rod tip then drop it back to the bottom keeping contact with the lure at all times. The fish this time of year love a bait that is falling in their face and the tail spinner suits the bite perfectly. The fish will hit the tail spinner generally as its falling after the lift so be on your toes for the bite. Ice jigs are also a great way of catching the schooled fish as its constantly in their face, keep an eye on the sounder with this technique though as you’ll get more bites when the fish rise off the bottom. This generally means they are flared up and ready to eat.

    The Author with a healthy bass from the shallow flats at Boondooma

    Trollers are getting some good yellow belly in the arms of the dam using deep diving hard bodies. Troll in close to the timber near the rocks in the Boyne arm but make sure that you have a lure retriever handy because you will get snagged occasionally, but your hard work will be rewarded.

    Bait fisherman your best chance is to fish the trees in the arms of the dam in 20 feet of water with live shrimp. You can catch the shrimp using opera house pots with a bit of steak just below the Kiosk, or around the lakes edges, so it pays to get live bait, even better when you can get it from the dam your fishing in.

    Some great reports of good numbers of big red claw coming in, dog biscuits and soft vegetables proving to be great bait for their opera house pots. Rocky ledges and points are the best spots to drop your pots but make sure your pots are clearly marked with your name and address.

     

     

     

    Lake Barambah

    The fishing over the past month has slowed down a little but you can still catch some very decent fish if you’re up early and fish patiently.  The fish have been up on the edge early when the waters cool and I’ve been catching some good Bass and Yellow belly using ½ ounce rigged grub tail plastics. Target rocky ledges with a bit of timber or rocks. As the sun gets higher I always move to the deeper flats and target areas around points and flats, spots around lightening ridge, bass point and the Quarry are likely spots to find fish sitting out deeper. If you’re not familiar with the places I mentioned, call into the Kiosk, they are always willing to explain where they are. If the regular deeper areas don’t produce it’s a good idea to sound around the outskirts of the dam and find those fish sitting in 10 to 20 feet of water. Once located, target them with the techniques that I mentioned for the Boondooma flats. Blades, tail spinners and ice jigs are the go to lures to use when the fish are sitting out deep. Both dams are reasonably similar but sometimes it does pay to experiment with your lure selection. The bass are getting bigger, models of up to 45 cm have been caught recently off the edges and out on the flats. If your chasing yellow belly, fish tight in around any timber on the dam with lipless cranks or spinner baits, persist long enough and you’re sure to get a couple. Yellow belly over 50cm have been caught recently using this technique, afternoon when the waters warmer proves to be the best time.

    Corey Goldie with a big fat Bass taken wide of Bass point on a plastic.

    A nice fat yellowbelly taken on a 12 gram Nories tailspinner

    Trollers are getting some nice yellow belly up in the timber of an afternoon but be wary the water is shallow going into the timber You can still troll through the timbered areas up the back of the dam with shallow to medium diving hard bodies. Some bass have also been mixed in with their catches.

    Bait fisherman have also been having some success, they’ve been catching mixed bags of Yellow belly, silver perch and bass from the timber. Tie up to a tree and use live shrimp as bait. Drop your bait to the bottom and slowly jig the bait, if your first spot doesn’t produce don’t be afraid to move several times until you know you’re sitting on some active fish.

    The red claw are still around but you’ll have to put in the effort for a feed, target rocky edges or spindly timber and use soft vegies for bait.

    Park News

    If you’re looking at coming out our way and wanting to stay at either park give us a call and we’ll book your site tailored to your needs. Give Yallakool a call on 07 4168 4746 or Boondooma on 07 4168 9694.

    That’s this month’s wrap up of the two dams.

    Until next time, tight lines and bent rods.

    Matthew Langford

    Big Natives start to play in the South Burnett.

    It’s been an interesting month of fishing in the impoundments of the South Burnett, with the recent influx of water, there’s been a lack of consistent fishing as the water settles. As I write, the fishing has improved over the past few days and captures of big Natives in both BP and Boondooma dams are being reported. The water temps are slowly starting to lower but constant warmer afternoons have started to make the fish bite well. It’s been a very warm month with only a few mornings cold enough to pull on the jumpers. The fish seem to be somewhat quiet in the mornings but as the day warms, the fish have really been firing.

    Boondooma

    Boondooma has started to pick up as the water clears, the bigger Bass and Goldens are starting to be caught on a variety of techniques. The last month has seen some inconsistency but some good fish are starting to be caught. The great thing about Boondooma is that you can catch fish, fishing many different areas, covering a variety of techniques.

    In the mornings, when its cooler, I like to head up the arms of the dam and fish the edges as this seems to be the best option for those feeding fish early in the morning. I’ll cast a 3/8 Bassman spinnerbait or a lipless crank to the edge, let it hit the bottom and slow wind it out. The fish tend to move up on the edge during the night and will generally feed until the sun hits the water and starts to warm. This can be a great way of catching some big fish, especially if you’re up in the timbered arms and there’s a lot of structure near the edge that you’re fishing.

    Another option is fishing the many weed beds that line the edge of the dam, Jerk Baits are a great option here. Cast the Jerk Bait up to the weed edge and crank it down a couple of winds, pause it and then begin a series of twitches as you wind. Remember that fishing close to the weed, you will come in contact with the weed regularly, so just give the rod tip a quick flick to get the Jerk bait free. Be patient with this technique as the Bass sitting in the weed pockets will eventually come out and hit the Jerk Bait hard. This is also a great option for catching some big Yellow Belly, particularly in the afternoon when the water is warm.

    John Francis with a nice Yellow belly from the edge on a spinnerbait.

    After the sun has been up for a while and the day starts to warm, I always move out to the deeper sections of the dam and target the schooled fish sitting out on the flats. Sound around until you’ve located a good showing of fish, generally this time of year I’ll be searching around the 15 to 25 foot mark. When a school is located you have a few options to cast at the fish to entice a bite. ½ rigged plastics, tail spinners, blades, spinnerbaits and soft vibes all have their place out on the flats and it’s just a matter of trying a few baits until you have one that you’re consistently catching fish with. Recently soft plastics have really been the standout lure fished along the bottom. A key to getting a good flats bite though is having an afternoon where it’s quite hot and you have a slight breeze on the water. This combination of warmth and current tends to get the fish biting.

    Above – The recent influx of water has made the big red claw move in BP and Boondooma.

    Bait fisherman are still catching good numbers of fish up in the timbered arms tying off trees and fishing with live shrimps and worms as bait. Bait can be purchased at the kiosk and if you want the best bait, you can catch shrimp in the weed around the dam edges with opera house pots.

    Trollers are picking up some good fish trolling around the weed edges and along the rock walls up near the dam wall and in the timbered arms with spinnerbaits and deep diving hard bodies.

    Red claw are really on the move since the influx of water make sure you pack the opera house pots.

    Lake Barambah

    Fishing on BP has fired up again with some nice catches of Bass and Yellow belly coming in, particularly during the warmer afternoons. With the warmer days the fish have generally been staying out deep in the 15 to 25 foot zone.

    Depending on the day, if it’s cool in the morning, I will target the weed edges with spinnerbaits, blades and tail spinners. It helps if the edges have spindly timber mixed in with the weed, as the fish tend to move up and feed around this structure early in the morning.

    The Author with a nice Yella on a tail spinner from BP.

    Later in the day, especially if it’s warm, I will move out deeper and target those fish sitting in the deeper flats of about 20 feet. The fish have been spread out over the flats next to Lightening Ridge, Bass Point, and wide of Treasure Island. The best way to target the fish out deep is using plastics, blades, tail spinners and soft vibes. Sound around these areas until you have a good show of fish on the sounder, then go through the above mentioned lures until you find one that gets you onto a couple of fish and stick with it. Make long casts and make sure the lure stays in contact with the bottom regularly. Use either a hopping retrieve, or a dead slow roll along the bottom. Persist with this long enough and you will eventually get a bite.

    The author and Corey with the goods after a successful session in the depths of BP.

    Trollers are picking up some nice bass trolling deep divers and spinnerbaits along the bottom in 12 to 14 feet over the above mentioned areas.

    Bait fisherman are picking up some nice catches of Bass and Goldens in the timber on shrimps, worms and yabbies but be wary the water is shallow before the timber.

    Red claw are still coming in with some nice catches being taken from the rocky areas of the dam as well as some nice catches in the bays with weed coming out from the edge.

    Park News

    The tackle shops at both dams are fully stocked, and the Yallakool kiosks lure range has also had a major facelift with a great new range of lures in stock. All lures on the wall are just what you’ll need to target Bass and Yellow belly in BP and Boondooma dams. The staff at both dams are very helpful when it comes to locations on the dam for the best fishing and what lures to use. So please don’t hesitate to ask.

    On a final note, if you’re not just staying in the parks for the great fishing, make sure you check out the tourist information centres at both of our dams. There’s maps and brochures of all the great attractions around the South Burnett region all within a short distance of the parks for you to enjoy.

    Until next month, tight lines and bent rods

    Matthew Langford

    South Burnett Dams see water levels rise

    Boondooma and Lake Barambah have seen a recent influx of water from Tropical Cyclone Debbie. With the rain, came the run off, and we’ve seen some welcome water flow into our two dams. Currently Boondooma is sitting at 53% and BP 24%. The fisherman haven’t been disappointed as both dams have been fishing well but have been a little slow due to the weather and the recent rain. It’s great to see so many people coming to our dams as the water levels rise, the next few weeks should see the fishing improve considerably.

    Boondooma

    Boondooma has been fishing reasonably well in the main basin of the dam. There are a few very good options when your fishing during this time of year, though it does pay to be patient. The deeper water around the dam is holding big Bass and Yellow belly suspended in the Thermocline (comfortable water) and these fish are very willing to eat most offerings presented to them, given time. The trick is to locate these suspended fish before casting. It really pays to have good electronics on your boat as sounders are the best way to locate concentrations of fish.  The fish in the basin have been the bigger ones, Bass over 50cm have been caught, so it pays to spend the time sounding to find the fish to cast at. Sound around areas like the rock walls near the dam wall and the major rocky points around the front of the dam. Here, the water is at its clearest due to the recent inflow. When a school has been located start by casting 5/8 spinnerbaits, 20 gram spoons and ½ rigged soft plastic and count from 5 to 7 seconds depending on how deep the fish are sitting. Consistent fast retrieves have been working best and it pays to put in multiple casts before you get a bite or a fish. ½ ounce rigged plastics have been a popular choice amongst anglers as the bait is a smaller profile and can be burnt fast as well to initiate a strike from any hungry fish.

    The Yellow Belly in Boondooma are fat and ready for winter.

    Anglers young and old are still enjoying the fishing at BP, this bass was caught casting a ½ bassman spinnerbait.

    The timber is another great option, especially if you’re a bait fisherman as the fish are still holding around the trees in both arms. If you don’t have a sounder to work on the fish in the basin, this would be the smartest option, although the water is quite dirty due to both arms receiving water so lures in the arms aren’t a great option at the moment. The water is still quite warm so the fish should stick around in the trees until it starts to cool down.

    Bait fishing in the Timber is another great option for Boondooma with some influx of dirty water. Live shrimps and worms are the best option.

    Trollers are catching some nice bass and goldens in the main basin trolling 5/8 spinnerbaits and deep diving hard bodies.

    Red claw have been coming in pretty thick of late and some big lobster size ones as well. Set your pots close to any rock structure or thick timber and you’re in with a good chance of a feed. Soft fruit and vegetables have been the best bait as well as dog biscuits.

    Lake Barambah

    BP has been a little tough of late for the lure casters due to the weather but fish are still getting caught if you’re willing to put in the time. Bass and goldens in some areas have been thick and sessions in the double digits still aren’t uncommon, so keep working on them if you’ve found a good show of fish. Best areas of late have been around the lightening ridge area and the quarry, fishing down the drop offs. The deeper water from Bass point right down the middle to the public boat ramp is also worth of a drift or two.  Best baits have been ½ ounce rigged plastics, ¼ ounce blades spinnerbaits and chatter-baits.

    Anglers young and old are still enjoying the fishing at BP, this bass was caught casting a ½ bassman spinnerbait.

    Because BP is a shallow dam most fish generally congregate around areas in the dam where drop offs are. The best way to find these drop off is to use your sounder and find them or look for points or banks that drop away quickly. Cast your lure up shallow and slowly wind it down the slope and try to keep it close to the bottom. I always try to imagine where my lure is sitting close to the bottom to keep in contact with the fish or the “strike zone”. I consistently let the lure touch the bottom so that I know I’m always close as I wind my lure back to the boat. Using this method usually puts you onto fish eventually.

    ½ ounce rigged plastics are the stand out bait at BP recently.

    Be wary from Bass point onwards towards the timber as the water is still quite shallow.

    Trollers are getting some nice bass and goldens trolling over the drop offs out from Bass point and down the middle of the dam between bass point and the caravan park boar ramp also try trolling over the prominent points of the dam using spinnerbaits and blades.

    Bait fisherman are getting heaps of table fish, fishing just about anywhere on the dam that is over 10 feet deep and near any structure. Best baits have been shrimps and worms.

    There is some red claw still about as well so make sure you pack the pots.

    Park News

    On a final note, if your needing to know any information about fishing spots on the dam or want any tackle for your weekends fishing, both Kiosks have a great amount of information and all the latest tackle that will help you on your way to some great fishing.

    Hope to see you on the water soon

    Tight Lines and Bent Rods

    Matthew Langford

     

     

     

     

    South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival

    The South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival is on again this Saturday 11th March at Memorial Park, Kingaroy.

    This is the festival’s 18th year and is a great way of showcases the best of South Burnett wine and food. The event starts at 12 noon and runs till 8:30pm and will have eight hours of live entertainment including street performers and top music acts.

    Kevin Liepins a freelance writer has wrote a great article for Weekend Notes on the festival. CLICK HERE to read.

    Entertainment at South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival - image from the South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival website

    Entertainment at South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival – image from the South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival website

    Enjoy wine tastings at the South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival - image from the South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival website

    Enjoy wine tastings at the South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival – image from the South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival website

    Yallakool Tourist Park

    Yallakool Toursit Park nestled on the banks of the Bjelke-Peterson Dam is one of the South Burnett’s best camping and fishing destinations.  With over 60 powered sites, 9 self-contained cabins, 3 Delux Cabins and 2 self-contained villas this tourist parks has accommodation to suit any budget.

    Barambah Bush Caravan Park

    Barambah Road, cnr Borcherts Hill Road, Murgon

    Phone: (07) 4168 1977

    www.barambahbush.com.au

    QLD Dairy and Heritage Museum

    The Queensland Dairy and Heritage museum is a popular tourist attraction at Murgon in the South Burnett.

    The museum recognizes the importance of the dairy industry in the early development of Queensland.  Separators, milk and cream cans, milking machines, butter churns….are all on display in the former Bank of New South Wales building (circa 1920) which was relocated to this location.

    The museum is open daily from 9.30am to 12.30noon.(Closed some public holidays). Other times for groups can be booked by prior arrangement.

    PH. (07) 4169 5001

    Tipperary Estate Winery

    OPEN FOR GROUP BOOKINGS ONLY.
    Nestled in the picturesque South Burnett wine region, less than 2 hours from the Sunshine and Fraser Coasts and less than 3 hours from Brisbane, we offer outstanding Queensland produced wine, comfortable Country B&B accommodation  and a great ‘Grape to Glass’ tour.  Tipperary Estate Winery is open to groups bookings only.