Water levels increase in the South Burnett

Our two dam’s water levels have seen a much-needed increase over the past month due to some consistent storm activity through the area.  Boondooma currently sits at 34% and Bjelke-Peterson Dam at 21%.  The rising water levels haven’t seen a huge change in the way the fish are biting, they are still easily catchable and some great hauls have been caught from both dams in recent times.

Boondooma

There’s always a few good fishing options for Boondooma. Early on in the day, your best option would be to hit the trees in either the Stuart or Boyne arms chasing Bass, Yellow Belly or even Saratoga amongst the spindly timber. I usually start here first when the arms are quiet and it usually pays off. I like to cruise amongst the trees with the electric motor and cast 5/8 Bassman Spinnerbaits or soft lipless cranks in tight to the spindly trees, let the lure sink from 3 to 5 seconds and start my retrieve. This usually accounts for a few Bass and Yellow belly. The Goldens particularly like lipless cranks cast tight to the structure and the Bass tend to hit as the lure bounces over the underwater structure. If you’re after a Saratoga, casting surface lures when the water is still is a great way to catch one of these prehistoric fish. These techniques are a great way to fish and it can be nail biting stuff at times, especially when you hook up to a quality fish.

Sam with a nice bass caught from the open water of Boondooma.

Later in the day when the sun is up, I’d be moving out to the main basin and sounding for concentrations of fish in the 15 to 25 foot range. This time of year the fish that sit in this zone called the “thermocline” are a real sucker for slow retrieved or burned 5/8 spinnerbaits, ½ ounce rigged plastics and 18 gram Norries spoons. So give this a try next time you’re out, but make sure you find some good shows of fish on the sounder before you start casting. It pays to put the work in to find them because you can be greatly rewarded.

Soft plastics can be deadly on Lake Boondooma Bass as Ernie shows

Trollers are getting some big Bass in the main basin trolling 5/8 spinnerbaits, mainly around the Barbour’s pole area, the dam wall, Leisegangs ledge and Pelican point. Be patient and the rewards will come.

Bait fisherman are still recording good catches in the timbered sections of the dam, using shrimps and worms. Silver perch, Bass, Yellow belly and Eel tail catfish are all catchable and good eating quality.

Red claw have picked up since the rain. Remember if the pot is empty make sure you keep moving them as you might drop a pot on the honey hole.

Lake Barambah

BP has been the pick of the dams as far as numbers of fish go. Sessions of 20 to 40 plus fish are not uncommon and if you put the work in you can get some quality as well. A few areas that have been fishing well lately are the open water straight out from the park boat ramp, wide of the Quarry and wide of bass point. Soft plastics rigged on a ½ ounce head have been very effective. Soft Vibes and spinnerbaits are also a great go to lure if the fish are sitting up off the bottom with a burn and kill retrieve.

The South Burnett dams have been producing good fish of late

Areas not to forget are the areas around the edges of the dam that hold some rocky structure, because the dam is so shallow, the fish like to move up into these areas to feed most of the year. Coming into autumn the fish with definitely be up in these areas. Baits like spinnerbaits and blades could become a key bait at this time of year.

A nice yellow belly caught on a 5/8 Bassman Spinnerbait

Trollers are catching some nice fish trolling around the main lake points of the dam, and the open water out from the main boat ramps. Deep diving hard bodies are also accounting for some nice yellow belly especially the more fluorescent colours.

Bait fisherman are still getting some nice Golden perch along the rocky walls around the edges of the dam using shrimps and worms as bait.

The red claw have been fairly quiet this year but they are still there to be caught. Set your pots around rocky structure for the best results. After the water influx I’m expecting their numbers to pick up significantly.

Fishing Charters

Don’t forget that you can book a fishing charter with me 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 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

Warm water temps fire up the fish!

The hot weather and potential afternoon storm buildups bring on some great opportunities 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 those deep divers and head to the South Burnett’s 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 throughout the dam, it opens up the doors for some fantastic fishing opportunities.

If I want to target bass, the first places I’ll look are the deep water off any prominent points in the main basin. 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 until 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 unitl 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 at Boondooma. 

Lake Boondooma is a great place for the younger generation to learn more about freshwater fishing.

The timbered arms are holding good numbers of bass and yellowbelly 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.

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.

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 along the submerged creek bed. These fish 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, wide of the Quarry and the creek bed between the two boat ramps.

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. I found that the bigger fish were tight to the drop-offs along the old creek bed 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.

Lane Ferling with a 48cm bass caught slow rolling a ½ rigged soft plastic.

Trollers are catching some nice bass and yellow belly trolling wide of 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 yellowbelly and bass anchoring along the steeper edges of the dam. Best baits have been fresh shrimp and worms.

Fishing Charters

The fishing of late at BP and Boondooma have been fantastic with most sessions producing numbers of fish and some great quality. Boondooma has been producing a great mixed bag of species, so if you’d like to learn more about targeting a particular species, all you have to do is ask and make a booking.

Don’t forget that you can book a fishing charter with me on BP and Boondooma dams and many other dams in QLD. If you’d like a great day out and all the info and knowledge to catch Bass, Yellowbelly or Saratoga in our great dams make sure you give me a call on 0408658592 and I’ll be happy to take you out for a great days fishing.  You can also check out our website on www.australianfreshwaterfishing.com

Until next time, tight line and bent rods.

Matthew Langford

Fish are Deep but Hungry

Spring is officially 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 on small baitfish, which means for us anglers a great time to be on the water particularly with the warmer afternoons.

Boondooma

The fish in our dams are reasonably deep for this time of year, particularly Australian Bass, but Yellow Belly can still be caught from the edge in the timbered arms of the dam. A few Bass have been up shallower in the morning in about 20 ft but as the day warms they seem to be moving out into the 30 to 60 ft range. The reason for the fish sitting so deep is the bait. The bass are feeding on very small shrimp, red claw and massive schools of bony bream. The large percentage of this forage for the fish is moving along the bottom out in those deeper zones of the dam.

Damien Reardon with a Nice Yellowbelly from the Boyne River at Boondooma

If you want to target Yellow Belly the edges in the Boyne Arm and the Stuart are producing nice fish on lipless crankbaits cast up around the timber and the rocks.

For Bass, Blades and 20 gram spoons in 18 to 25 ft in the morning is the best. Later in the day look in 30 to 60 ft as the bass will be moving out off the edge to forage on the masses of bait getting around.

The afternoon has been the pick of the times to be on the water, as the fish are responding well to the warmer afternoons. Once that water has been getting above 17 degrees, the deeper sections along the Barbour’s Pole area and the main lake points have been fishing very well. Fishing water this deep is still quite easy using ½ ounce blades, spoons, Tail spinners and ½ ounce rigged plastics fished along the bottom or mid column. Leisegangs ledge, Pelican point and the main lake points up the front of the dam near the wall have also been producing some good fish.


The locals have been really enjoying the fishing conditions at lake Boondooma of late

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 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 been getting a few Yellow belly but they have to work hard for them. Make sure you take a tackle retriever with you as you’re bound to get a snag or two whilst trolling.

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

Lake Barambah

Typically, in spring, 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, Skirted Jigs and Jerk baits cast up shallow. Slower moving baits like the ones suggested are dynamite and the key is small hops off the bottom near the edge with the ZX blades and long pauses near the edge with the jerkbaits.


Some cracking bass have been caught at BP Dam of late

The deeper flats have also been producing lots of fish be it bass or yellow belly. Ecogear ZX Blades fished vertical have 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 yellow belly are keen on worms or yabbies as the afternoon heats up.

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, so soft plastics have been another method used to catch some quality 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.

Bait fisherman have been getting a ton of nice fish from BP dam. Most have been fishing along the edge and fishing worms, yabbies and shrimps.

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.

Fishing Charters

Don’t forget that you can book a fishing charter with me on BP and Boondooma dams and many other dams in QLD. If you’d like a great day out and all the info and knowledge to catch Bass or Yellow belly in our great dams make sure you give me a call on 0408658592 and I’ll be happy to take you out for a great days fishing.  You can also check out our website on www.australianfreshwaterfishing.com

Until next time, tight line and bent rods.

Matthew Langford

Fishing still great in the South Burnett despite lowering water levels

Our two dam’s water levels are slowly dropping and this has been happening for some time. It’s hard to ignore but it’s a simple fact of life when you’re going through one of the worst droughts we’ve seen for some time. Boondooma currently sits at 35% and Bjelke-Peterson Dam at 8%.  Despite the low water levels there’s still plenty of water in both dams to get out and catch some great fish. This past month has been great on the fishing front.

Boondooma

There’s always a few good fishing options for Boondooma. Early on in the day, your best option would be to hit the trees in either the Stuart or Boyne arms chasing Bass, Yellow Belly or even Saratoga amongst the spindly timber. I usually start here first when the arms are quiet and it usually pays off. I like to cruise amongst the trees with the electric motor and cast 5/8 Bassman Spinnerbaits or soft lipless cranks in tight to the spindly trees, let the lure sink from 3 to 5 seconds and start my retrieve. This usually accounts for a few Bass and Yellow belly. The Goldens particularly like lipless cranks cast tight to the structure and the Bass tend to hit as the lure bounces over the underwater structure. If you’re after a Saratoga casting surface lures when the water is still is a great way to catch one of these prehistoric fish. These techniques are a great way to fish and it can be nail biting stuff at times, especially when you hook up to a quality fish.

 

Dion Handford with a nice bass caught from a Rock Wall at Lake Boondooma

Later in the day when the sun is up, I’d be moving out to the main basin and sounding for concentrations of fish in the 15 to 25 foot range. This time of year the fish that sit in this zone called the “thermocline” are a real sucker for slow retrieved or burned 5/8 spinnerbaits, ½ ounce rigged plastics and 18 gram Norries spoons. So give this a try next time you’re out, but make sure you find some good shows of fish on the sounder before you start casting. It pays to put the work in to find them because you can be greatly rewarded.

The Norries 18gram Wasabi Spoon is deadly on Lake Boondooma Bass

Trollers are getting some big Bass in the main basin trolling 5/8 spinnerbaits, mainly around the Barbour’s pole area, the dam wall, Leisegangs ledge and Pelican point. Be patient and the rewards will come.

Bait fisherman are still recording good catches in the timbered sections of the dam, using shrimps and worms. Silver perch, Bass, Yellow belly and Eel tail catfish are all catchable and good eating quality.

Red claw are patchy but if you put in the work you will catch some whoppers. Remember if the pot is empty make sure you keep moving them as you might drop a pot on the honey hole.

 

Lake Barambah

BP has been the pick of the dams as far as numbers of fish go. Sessions of 20 to 40 plus fish are not uncommon and if you put the work in you can get some quality as well. A few areas that have been fishing well lately are the open water straight out from the park boat ramp, wide of the Quarry and wide of bass point. Soft plastics rigged on a ½ ounce head have been very effective. Soft Vibes and spinnerbaits are also a great go to lure if the fish are sitting up off the bottom with a burn and kill retrieve.

Vicki Stead with a cracker of a bass caught on a soft plastic near the quarry

Areas not to forget are the areas around the edges of the dam that hold some rocky structure, because the dam is so shallow, the fish like to move up into these areas to feed most of the year. Coming into autumn the fish with definitely be up in these areas. Baits like spinnerbaits and blades could become a key bait at this time of year.

Trevor with a nice bass caught from a shallow 10 ft point near the Quarry

Trollers are catching some nice fish trolling around the main lake points of the dam, and the open water out from the main boat ramps. Deep diving hard bodies are also accounting for some nice yellow belly especially the more fluorescent colours.

Bait fisherman are still getting some nice Golden perch along the rocky walls around the edges of the dam using shrimps and worms as bait.

The red claw have been fairly quiet this year but they are still there to be caught. Set your pots around rocky structure for the best results.

Park News

It was great to see another massive attendance at the Annual Yellow belly comp this year at Lake Boondooma. A huge thank you to everyone that attended this year’s event and made the weekend such a huge success. Thanks to the Boondooma stocking group lead by Terry Allwood who made it so enjoyable. These guys will put the money back into fingerlings for the dam to keep flourishing for years to come.

Now that were coming into the Easter break the dams will become quite busy, can I please remind everyone to be weary of the 6 knot zone in front of the camping areas and please make sure you have your SIPs permit and life jackets. Fisheries QLD will be visiting quite often over the Easter break and we’d hate to see you fined.

Don’t forget that you can book a fishing charter with me 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 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

Water inflow a boost for the dams in the South Burnett!

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 intense fishing at times. Along with the temperature rise we’ve had some much-needed inflow into our dams. Boondooma’s water level currently sits at 41% and BP Dam had a small inflow and sits at 17%. 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.

Boondooma

With the water inflow, the water is discoloured up in the Boyne arm, where most of the water has come in. The flavour of the month this month is Variety, but it does pay to move around a bit in search of the right spots. Productive areas recently have been the dam wall, the drop off from the shallower flats and the Spindly timber in the Stuart arm. Sound around the flats in search of the schools and cast ½ ounce rigged soft plastics, 12 – 20 gram spoons, Tail spinners and Blades.

Peter recently caught this beautiful Saratoga from the Stuart Arm

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 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. The added advantage when fishing the timber is the chance to catch a prehistoric Saratoga.

A beautifully coloured yellow belly caught from the timber in the Stuart Arm

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.

Brent with a cracking 51cm bass from BP Dam

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.

Big Silver Perch are being caught on bait at BP Dam at present.

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.

Fishing Charters

The fishing of late at BP and Boondooma have been fantastic with most sessions producing numbers of fish and some great quality. BP dam is fishing well for anyone wanting to learn how to fish reaction baits to edges. Boondooma has been producing a great mixed bag of species, so if you’d like to learn more about targeting a particular species, all you have to do is ask and make a booking.

Reardo and Kris with some monster bass from Boondooma

Don’t forget that you can book a fishing charter with me on BP and Boondooma dams and many other dams in QLD. If you’d like a great day out and all the info and knowledge to catch Bass or Yellow belly in our great dams make sure you give me a call on 0408658592 and I’ll be happy to take you out for a great days fishing.  You can also check out our website on www.australianfreshwaterfishing.com

Until next time, tight line and bent rods.

Matthew Langford

South Burnett dams boasts hot spring bite!

Another cracking month of fishing has gone by since my last report. The lakes edges and deeper flats have really come alive with some cracking fish caught at Bjelke-Petersen and Boondooma dams. It’s a great month to be out on the water as the temps are comfortable and, on the rise, and the fishing is red hot. No matter what type of fisherman you are, the dams in the South Burnett Region have something to offer you.

Boondooma

Boondooma is a well-known big bass fishery and this month has seen it really live up to its name. Good numbers of big bass and yellow belly have been caught all around the dam using a variety of techniques.

If you’re a keen lure fisherman the best place to start is on the edge, look for rocky points or weedy edges with a bit of structure and you’re sure to pick up a fish or two casting lipless cranks, spoons, plastics or spinner baits. I like throwing a Bassman spinner-bait 3/8 in Olive colour tight to the edge, let it sink to the bottom and use a slow wind back to the boat with a couple of rod shakes in between to entice a strike. In the warmer months the fish really respond well to a reaction lure so keep that in mind when casting to a bank. Mix up your casts and retrieve speed and adjust to what you’re getting your bites with. I like to ‘Burn’ or quickly crank a lure back occasionally to really get them to hit aggressively. If you’re doing this hold on to your rod cause the bite is usually hard and fast. Some cracking Golden Perch and Bass have been caught over the last month from the edge, so it will pay to start this way early on your day out.

The Ezzy clan took advantage of a great bite on lake Boondooma.

Clayton and Keith with the spoils of a great session on the deeper flats of Boondooma.

The best way to keep catching quality is to move deeper as the day starts to heat up. The bigger bass have been caught out on the flats of the dam later in the morning as the wind and warmth starts to pick up, areas such as the junction through to pelican have been productive, as well as Death Valley the Barbour’s pole bank and the main lake points near the dam wall in 30ft of water. Make sure to check with the kiosk if you’re unsure of the names of areas of the dam and they will be sure to help out. I like targeting the areas just wider of the flats as they start to drop off into deeper water. I’ve been finding the fish have been sitting on these ledges and are usually more willing to bite. Ambush points like this are great for our predatory bass, so keep this in mind next time you’re on Boondooma.

The best techniques on the flats and ledges have been slow wound Spoons, ½ ounce rigged plastics in darker green or florescent colours and ¼ and 3/8 ounce blades hopped or slow rolled along the bottom in silver or gold colours.

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.

Trollers have been starting to pick up some good numbers of Golden Perch trolling up in the arms of the dam using deep diving hard bodies. Make sure you have a lure retriever hand as you’ll be bound to get caught up in the timber eventually and this device will save you money.

Red claw have just started to pick up a bit with the consistent warm weather around the rocky edges using rockmelon, pumpkin and dog biscuits.

 

Lake Barambah

BP dam has really been making the customers happy with the Bass coming up from the deeper flats and creek beds to feed heavily on the edges. Most anglers have been reporting some great sessions and some cracking Bass and Yellow belly amongst them. The fish aren’t afraid to hit anything that resembles a bait fish. The consistent warm weather can be thanked for this ‘Reaction Bite’ and it’s only going to get better and better the further we move towards summer.

Soft plastics are a great lure to throw when fishing BP dam

The Author with a thumping yellowbelly

The best methods for getting amongst the action is to look for a good rocky edge, position yourself about 40 to 50 meters from the bank and cast towards the edge, let the lure sink to the bottom and start a slow consistent wind. I’ve found the best techniques have been lipless cranks, spinner baits, tail spinners, ½ ounce rigged plastics, jerk baits and blades cast up near the edge. Realistically, if you throw your favourite lure to the edge long enough it’s bound to get smashed by a hungry bass or yellow belly, the fishing is just that good at the moment. Likely areas to target are all over the dam from the dam right through to the shallows up the back of the dam, just look for a rocky edge, sit out wide and cast towards the bank, it’s truly that simple.

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

Bait fisherman are in much the same boat with fish coming from most locations close to the bank using, live shrimp, salt water yabbies and worms fished closed to the bottom.

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

Fishing Charters

I’ve had the pleasure of taking clients out to a number of dams over the past month and apart from Boondooma and BP there are a couple of dams that require a mention to their fishing potential. Lake Somerset has been producing consistent catches of Big Bass over the 3kg mark, not only are the bass big but the Yellowbelly are Gigantic. Lake Cress Brook near Toowoomba has also been producing big number of quality fish but you really do need to know where to look. Bass of over 2 kilos are a regular and some good numbers are being caught consistently.

One of the Biggest yellow belly I’ve caught in recent years came from Lake Somerset.

Don’t forget that you can book a fishing charter with me on BP and Boondooma dams and many other dams in QLD. If you’d like a great day out and all the info and knowledge to catch Bass or Yellow belly in our great dams make sure you give me a call on 0408658592 and I’ll be happy to take you out for a great days fishing.  You can also check out our website on www.australianfreshwaterfishing.com

Until next time, tight line and bent rods.

Matthew Langford

Fish are Deep but Hungry

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 particularly with the warmer afternoons.

Boondooma

In last month’s article I mentioned that the fish were unseasonably deep for this time of year, it’s still the same now particularly for Australian Bass, but Yellow Belly can still be caught from the edge in the timbered arms of the dam. The Bass have been up a little shallower in the morning in about 20 ft but as the day warms they seem to be moving out into the 30 to 60 ft range. The reason for the fish sitting so deep is the bait. The bass are feeding on very small shrimp, red claw and big schools of bony bream. The large percentage of this forage for the fish is moving along the bottom out in those deeper zones of the dam.

Dan Callison with a nice Yellowbelly from the edge of the Boyne River at Boondooma Dam.

 

If you want to target Yellow Belly the edges in the Boyne Arm and the Stuart are producing nice fish on lipless crankbaits cast up around the timber and the rocks.

For Bass, Blades and 20 gram spoons in 18 to 25 ft in the morning is the best. Later in the day look in 30 to 60 ft as the bass will be moving out off the edge to forage on the masses of bait getting around.

The afternoon has been the pick of the times to be on the water, as the fish are responding well to the warmer afternoons. Once that water has been getting above 17 degrees, the deeper sections along the Barbour’s Pole area has been fishing very well. Fishing water this deep is still quite easy using ½ ounce blades, spoons, Tail spinners and ½ ounce rigged plastics fished along the bottom. Leisegangs ledge, Pelican point and the main lake points up the front of the dam near the wall have also been producing some good fish.

Toby Gibson with a cracking bass from the Barbour’s Pole area.

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 been getting a few Yellow belly but they have to work hard for them. 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, Skirted Jigs 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. Ecogear ZX Blades fished vertical have 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 Bass are keen on skirted jigs or yabbies as the afternoon heats up.

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, so soft plastics have been another method used to catch some quality 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.

Bait fisherman have been getting a ton of nice fish from BP dam. Most have been fishing along the edge and fishing saltwater yabbies and shrimps.

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.

Fishing Charters

It was a great thrill recently to be onboard with Daniel McCoy recently who caught and landed a potential world record bass from Lake Somerset. We were fishing a tournament together and he landed a 4.45 kg, 59cm beast.

Don’t forget that you can book a fishing charter with me on BP and Boondooma dams and many other dams in QLD. If you’d like a great day out and all the info and knowledge to catch Bass or Yellow belly in our great dams make sure you give me a call on 0408658592 and I’ll be happy to take you out for a great days fishing.  You can also check out our website on www.australianfreshwaterfishing.com

Until next time, tight line and bent rods.

Matthew Langford

Fish moving with changing water levels

Since the onset of winter, the fishing has changed considerably in the South Burnett Region. With a little bit of patience and some searching you can find some cracking catches of our native fish. No matter what type of angler you are, there’s always some great options when targeting fish in Boondooma and BP dams.

Boondooma

Over the past few months the fish have been sitting unseasonably deep in Boondooma. Generally, this time of year, you’ll see the fish up along the rocky edges or feeding up shallow in amongst the weed. This season its totally different, the fish have been up a little shallower in the morning in 20 ft but as the day warms they seem to be moving out into the 30 to 60 ft range. I can’t remember the last time I caught bass this deep in QLD let alone Lake Boondooma. The reason for the fish sitting so deep though is the bait. The bass are feeding on very small shrimp, red claw and bony bream. The large percentage of this forage for the fish is moving along the bottom out in those deeper zones of the dam.

Matt Langford and Lennie with a brace of big bass from the depths of Boondooma using Blades

Areas to target are the Boyne river up in the timber, early in the morning when it’s cold. Small ¼ blades and Ice Jigs seem to be the best way to catch a few Yellow belly and Bass in 18 to 25 ft. Fish these lures vertically with small sharp hops off the bottom in amongst the timber pockets.

The afternoon has been the pick of the times to be on the water, as the fish are responding well to the warmer afternoons. Once that water has been getting above 16 degrees, the deeper sections along the Barbour’s Pole area has been fishing very well in 30 to 60 ft. Fishing water this deep is still quite easy using ½ ounce blades, 20 gram spoons, Tail spinners and ½ ounce rigged plastics fished along the bottom.

Lennie with his PB bass of 51cm caught on a 1/2 blade along the Barbours pole area.

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 been getting a few Yellow belly but they have to work hard for them. 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, Skirted Jigs 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 Bass are keen on skirted jigs or yabbies as the afternoon heats up.

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.

Nick Anderson with a beautiful Yellow belly from the edge on a small soft plastic.

Bait fisherman have been getting a ton of nice fish from BP dam. Most have been fishing along the edge and fishing saltwater yabbies and shrimps.

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.

Fishing Charters

Don’t forget that you can book a fishing charter with me 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 a call on 0408658592 and I’ll be happy to take you out for a great days fishing.  You can also check out our website on www.australianfreshwaterfishing.com

Until next time, tight line and bent rods.

Matthew Langford

Cold mornings and Big Natives in the South Burnett

The last few weeks in the South Burnett have seen the water temps slowly drop as Winter well and truly moves in. The fish are still active and still hungry but it pays to be smart about the way you approach your days fishing on the dams.  The 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 getting 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 areas to hit are the shallow edges early with lipless cranks and spinnerbaits, rocky or weedy edges being the best to target. Early 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. Some awesome yellowbelly fishing can be had at the start of winter along the edges, so if it’s Yellas you want, this is where I would start. Cast your spinnerbaits up to the weed edge and begin a slow roll back to the boat.

Later in the morning I would be moving off the bank and looking for active fish in 20 to 40 ft of water. When 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.

Anthony Melchior with a Cracking Yellowbelly from the edge of the Stuart Arm on a 3/8 Bassman Spinnerbait.

Later in the day (after lunch) when the water heats up, I’ve found that the bigger bass 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.

Adrian Melchior with a couple of cracking Winter bass from the shallow flats of Boondooma using 3/8 blades.

Trollers are getting some good Yellow belly in the arms of the dam trolling spinnerbaits. 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 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 the outside of lightening ridge, bass point and the Quarry are likely places to find fish sitting out deeper. 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.

The Author with a big fat Bass taken wide of Bass point on a plastic.

The Ecogear ZX 40 is a real standout when the water is cold and the fish are close to the bottom

Trollers are getting some nice yellow belly up in the timber of an afternoon but be very 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.

Fishing Charters

Don’t forget that you can book a fishing charter with me 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 a call on 0408658592 and I’ll be happy to take you out for a great days fishing.  You can also check out our website on www.australianfreshwaterfishing.com

Until next time, tight lines and bent rods.

Matthew Langford

Nothing beats the Great Outdoors!

What better way to experience the great outdoors by visiting or staying at either Bjelke Petersen Dam or Boondooma Dam.

Only 3 hours from Brisbane, located in the South Burnett region, these two dams have so much to offer for any outdoor adventurist.

The dams surrounding areas are home to a wide variety of wildlife and are a birdwatchers haven, with an abundance of birdlife.

If water sports are more your thing than hold on to your swimmers, cause you can enjoy stand-up paddling boarding (will need to bring your board and equipment), swimming, water skiing (will need your own boat and equipment) or you can contact Barambah Kayak Hire 0427 814 437 or check out their Facebook page for details and updates. If you don’t have the gear for fishing then, Matthew Langford from Australian Fresh Water Fishing Charters. Offering half and full day freshwater fishing charters. For more information or to book call Matthew on 0408 658 592.

Now, if you want to be the next Rex Hunt, then both Bjelke Petersen Dam and Boondooma Dam are for you! Both are the home to great fishing spots where you can catch Golden Perch (or as the locals call it “Yellow Belly”) and Australian Bass. You can also fish for Red Claw (seasonal).

At the end of the day you have a number of accommodation options. Self-contained cabins and villas are available at both dams. There are plenty of powered and unpowered sites for caravans, motorhomes and tents. Oh and did I mention… you can even bring along “Man’s best friend”.

Both dams are fitted out with camp kitchens (a great spot for swapping yarns with other travellers). There’s kiosks, public amenities, picnic areas with BBQ’s and so much more.

So what are you waiting for?  Start your South Burnett adventure today!

Checkout these videos

Bjelke Petersen Dam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9cAhtRjMGw&t=5s

Boondooma Dam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Vx5Rri4mZg

 

Boats heading out on Boondooma Dam