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

Boondooma Homestead Caravan and Camping

8262 Mundubbera Durong Road

Ph: (07) 41680159

www.boondoomahomestead.org.au

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

 

South Burnett dams boasts hot edge 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 BP and Boondooma. It’s a great month to be out on the water as the temps are comfortable 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 Author with a cracking bass casting and burning spoons off the edge

The Author with a cracking Toga from the edge

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 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 Author and Mick Johnson with a couple of big bass from the deeper flats of Boondooma using Norries Wasabi Spoons, winding them slow along the bottom.

The best techniques on the flats and ledges have been slow wound Spoons, ½ ounce rigged plastics in darker green or florescent colours, 5/8 ounce spinner baits rolled slowly along the bottom 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.

Dean Thompson with a beautiful yellow belly from the edge on a spinnerbait,

Dean Thompson with a beautiful yellow belly from the edge on a spinnerbait.

Young Harry Goldie with a thumping Bass from BP

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.

Dam news

Last weekend saw the opening of the Rail Trail from Murgon to Kingaroy, so if you’ve had enough fishing at the dams or looking to do something different, I would highly recommend riding the trail. It takes you through some of the best locations in the South Burnett and you can do it all at your own pace. Accommodation is available at BP and Boondooma, so if you’re staying overnight, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll have you resting comfortably.

Until next time, tight lines and bent rods

Matthew Langford

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

 

 

 

 

Water levels low but fishing remains on a high!

The Christmas and new year holiday crowds have come and gone but the fishing has remained the same. Both dams in the South Burnett are fishing the best they ever have despite the low water levels. Boondooma is producing some big quality bass and golden perch. While BP is producing big numbers of fish of varying species. If you’re thinking of coming for a fish, you can’t go wrong with either dam. The South Burnett is the place to be for some fantastic freshwater fishing.
Boondooma

The dam at this time of year is beautiful early of a morning and there’s plenty of wildlife to watch and enjoy throughout the day. With the summer bite patterns continuing, it makes for some exciting fishing on Lake Boondooma, particularly later in the afternoons. Lately the trend has been to fish the timbers of the Boyne or Stuart arm early with 5/8 Bassman spinnerbaits or lipless cranks in the morning. During the afternoon target the deeper sections of the dam up near the dam wall and rocky edges with ½ ounce rigged Eco gear power shads or curl tail grubs.
If I’m fishing Boondooma during the summer months, I’ll first start in the timber early of a morning as the fish are in amongst the trees looking for an easy meal. In the arms the fish 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, trust me there’s a lot of it. Lures of choice for this scenario are, 5/8 or 3/8 Bassman Spinner baits 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. Keep moving from tree to tree or structure to structure and persist as your lure WILL be eaten eventually by a hungry fish.

Lachlan Wheeler with a Monster 65cm Yellow belly from Boondooma

Lachlan Wheeler with a Monster 65cm Yellow belly from Boondooma

fishing report _ 2.10.2.17

The fish in the afternoon tend to bite better in the open water when the water heats up. I’ve found that the fish move deeper into the timber as the day progresses and find the fish in the deeper water are easier to target. To find fish in the deep water I’ll use my sounder to sound the fish sitting in that optimal depth of 15 to 25 feet. 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 head. With a big long cast over the areas that I’ve 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. Continue this technique untill you start to feel a few taps on the plastic, when you feel a tap its important to keep that slow wind going (without striking) 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 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, 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 some real big ones amongst them, so make sure your pack the opera houses if you’re coming out for a day or two.

Lake Barambah
Bait fisherman if you want a good feed of fish then the timber is the place to be. Tie off any trees close to the old creek line and you’re in with a great shot of getting a good feed. Shrimps, worms and saltwater yabbies are the pick of the bait.

The red claw are moving and there are reports of a few good catches coming in. Most are being caught near any rocky walls or ledges and soft vegetables are the key to getting some big red claw in the pots.

If your keen on trolling then I can suggest trolling heavy 5/8 spinnerbaits, 3/8 blades or any deep diving hard body in front of the main dam wall, around the island at lightening ridge or around bass point. If you’re not familiar with these areas drop into the kiosk and ask the team, there always happy to help out.

If you’re a lure fisherman like me, I’ve been finding a lot of fish hanging off the deeper edges and steep drop-offs in the main basin early of a morning and late of an afternoon. If the steep edge has timber on it also then you’re doubling your chances at a good fish. Casting ½ ounce spinnerbaits into these areas seems to be the most productive method. Cast your spinnerbait up tight against the bank and begin a slow retrieve, also target the areas either side or in between any spindly trees. I’ve caught some good bass using this method.

Not only are the edges producing good fish but later in the day, when the suns higher in the sky I’ve found that the bass move out onto the deeper flats. I’ve recently had a few sessions with Ben Faro on one such flat and we produced some great catches of good quality bass using ½ ounce rigged plastics. Long casts, letting the plastic sink to the bottom and using a burn and kill retrieve was the key to getting the fish to hit the lure hard. Around lightening ridge and bass point have been the most productive areas recently for schooled fish so give it a go if you have the chance.

Ben Faro with a nice brace of bass from BP

Ben Faro with a nice brace of bass from BP

Ben Faro with a cracker of a bass caught on a deep flat

Ben Faro with a cracker of a bass caught on a deep flat

Park News
As I write this report both dams water levels are quite low but there’s still plenty of water at both dams for water activities. There’s still heaps of room for skiing and fishing, so don’t let the water levels deter you from visiting. As far as fishing goes my prediction is that we will start to see more regular catches of 50 + cm bass come from BP dam. BP may just become the big bass capital of the country within a few short years. Some very exciting times ahead.
Until next month, tight lines and bent rods.
Matthew Langford

Fun, Festive Season Fishing

The silly season has been and gone and the crowds have converged on our two great South Burnett dams. It’s the best time of year to be on the water as the temps are hot, beers are cold and the fishing is accessible to every angler of any ability. If you haven’t been out yet, make sure you start planning your next trip because this time of year is the best chance to get yourself onto some trophy size native fish from Lake Barambah and Boondooma.

Boondooma

Over the past couple of months, the fish have moved into the thermocline and are a real target for our avid trollers. The 18 to 22 foot zone is where you will find them when you’re out in search of some fish. The most productive areas on the dam are the deeper sections of water around the dam wall and the Buoy line. The most productive bite time is from lunch time through until dark when the day is at its hottest.

The key to finding a good school is using your electronics to slowly sound over likely areas. If you don’t have a sounder tie on a couple of deep divers or a 5/8 spinnerbait and start trolling. If you get a bite or fish, troll around the area that you had the action. Remember to be patient when looking for fish, as it may take a while to locate them if you’re not familiar with the dam.

corey

Corey with a 50+ cm Bass caught on the Troll

 

Lately i’ve been catching my best quality fish suspended in deep water. They have been sitting in the thermocline at 20 feet. I target these fish using a variety of baits, initially starting with a soft bait, a ½ ounce rigged soft plastic. I cast this out and begin counting to 7 seconds to let the lure sink into the strike zone. When the plastic is down to the desired depth I then start a slow roll and add a few twitches every now and then to change the swimming pattern, as the plastic glides through the water. Continue this until you get bites, but keep rolling the plastic until you get a solid hook up. If this method doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to change your lure until you are happy.

The Author and Ken Mills with a mixed bag from Boondooma.

The Author and Ken Mills with a mixed bag from Boondooma.

The Bass can be fussy when it comes to feeding when they are suspended in the column. I like to try plastics first and then move to a reaction bait. My preferred reaction baits for summer suspended fish are 5/8 Bassman spinnerbaits or a 3/8 Bassman mumbler/chatter bait.

With these lures, make a long cast and let the lure sink down 5 to 10 seconds. Once the lure is down in the zone, start a fairly rapid retrieve with a few twitches every now and then. Chatter baits and spinnerbaits are great baits to get a ‘reaction bite’. This is where the fish are forced to either ignore the lure or react out of instinct to bite as the bait zooms past. It’s a very effective method, with Bass well over the 50 mark regularly hitting the deck.

Trollers are catching some really nice fish using deep diving hard bodies and 5/8 Bassman spinnerbaits around the same areas as I mentioned earlier. The key is to be patient.

Bait fisherman are catching some good numbers of Bass and Yellow belly using live shrimp caught from the dam. Try to anchor over prominent points in the dam in 15 to 20 feet and also try the timbered sections of the dam.

Red claw have picked up in numbers. Drop your pots around the rocky banks of the dam and also just wide of the weed beds.

red-claw

Some nice Red Claw have been coming out of Boondooma of late.

Lake Barambah

BP dam has been very consistent over the last two months, producing good numbers of fish of varying species. The fish are in great quantity but it just takes a bit of moving around to put yourself onto some quality. Areas to target are the deeper water out the front of the dam wall, wide of bass point and off any main dam points that hold deeper water of about 20ft. The fish have been sitting in the 15 to 20 ft mark and on the bottom in the same zone. I’ve been catching the majority of fish using a ½ ounce rigged plastic, with the same method as explained for Boondooma. Also heavier spinnerbait’s and Chatterbaits have been working well on the bigger fish when your focussing on the reaction bite.

Some big Yellow belly are being caught, but they have been a bit quiet. The key to catching a few Goldens when its quiet, is to focus on fishing the bottom or the many weed banks that encompass the dam. In this case, tie on a blade and hop it gently off the bottom or out of the weed. The Yellow belly are a real sucker for a hopped blade and it won’t take long to catch a few fish using this technique. The smaller Bass also don’t mind this technique but it won’t be long and you’ll be in contact with some nice fat Golden Perch.

The Author, Dave and Kiel with a mixed bag from a recent session on BP.

The Author, Dave and Kiel with a mixed bag from a recent session on BP.

Trollers are getting good bags of fish trolling 5/8 Bassman spinnerbaits and deep diving hard bodies. Areas to target are the deep water around in front of the dam wall, Bass point, around Lightening ridge and around any prominent points.

Bait fisherman are catching plenty of fish tying off the trees up the back of the dam using live shrimp.

Redclaw are about and are coming from the steeper banks with scattered timber.

Make sure you book your camp site for the 2017 Boondooma Dam, Yellowbelly fishing comp being held on the 11th and 12th 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.

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 pages.

Until next month, tight lines and bend rods

Matthew Langford.

 

Wake Up in Wine Country

There’s no better feeling than escaping the city on a Friday afternoon for a weekend away discovering the cellar doors, restaurants and cool natural places of Southern Queensland Country’s wine trails. Here is a weekend intinary taking in the South Burnett Wine Trail.

It’s so easy to wake up in wine country!

Friday

Take an early mark and hit the highway out of town. En route stop in at Blackbutt’s famous Wood-fired Bakery for some crusty bread and a sweet treat and Taste South Burnett in Kingaroy to stock up on  local goodies – olives, olive oil, caperberries and their hand-made fudge.

Check in at Crane Wines B&B overlooking the cool Booie Range. Do a cellar door tasting with winemaker Bernie and select a bottle to enjoy with dinner.

Settle in and cook your own barbecue (Crane’s BBQ packs include beef, chicken or Barkers Creek Pork, salad, potato bake and dessert).

Retire to your verandah to enjoy the twilight views over the vines. Star gazers may like to book a night sky tour with Kingaroy Observatory

Saturday

Head into Kingaroy for a hearty country breakfast at  local favourite Utopia Café.

After breakfast, pop into Kingaroy Art Gallery to catch an exhibition by local artists and don’t miss their gallery shop, a hub for artisan jewellery, ceramics, textiles and woodwork.

En route to lunch, drop into local icon The Peanut Van for a range of delicious locally grown flavoured peanuts.

Lunch is 10 minutes out of town at Kingsley Grove Estate, which offers cellar door wine tastings with winemaker Simon,  delicious house-made wood-fired pizzas and delectable wine ice cream handmade by Pat – the perfect finish!

For the afternoon head back to Cranes to relax on your verandah with a good book or put on your walking shoes and head for the trails of Yarraman State Forest.

For dinner take a lead from the locals who rave about the views and food at Cassis at Booie, just a few minutes’ drive or 10 minutes walk from your cottage (take a torch if you plan to walk!)

Sunday

Relax on your verandah overlooking the vineyards while you cook your own breakfast;  Crane’s breakfast pack includes country cured bacon, local sausages, eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms.

Mid-morning check out and make your way home via the northern South Burnett Wine Trail visiting the cellar doors at Clovely Estate, Moffatdale Ridge, Bridgeman Downs and Dusty Hill Wines.

On the way home:

  • Nature lovers may like to visit Wooroolin Wetland – a brilliant walking and birdwatching spot. Photographers will love the eerie stands of trees in the tea tree-stained water.
  • Ask Cranes Winery to pack you their famous Lazy Lunch Picnic Basket brimming with local gourmet goodies and a bottle of house bubbles, then make for Lake Barambah which offers peaceful waterside picnic spots and great freshwater fishing.
  • Other lunch options include a top counter meal at The Wondai Hotel, lunch overlooking  the vines at Dusty Hill’s Pendergast’s Tavern.

Take your time and savour the South Burnett.

Enjoy!

WORDS: Jane Hodges

February 2017 Boondooma Dam Fishing Competition

Boondooma Dam Yellowbelly Fishing Competition spokesman Terry Allwood says that with the lake fishing extremely well the 2017 event should set new records in both the long standing gilled and gutted section, as well as in the catch and release component. Cash and other prizes will be presented at the end of each of the three sessions as well as overall competition winners at the conclusion of the event.

Profits from the event are used to supplement fishing permit funds from the Queensland Government and to date approximately 5 million fingerlings have been stocked into Lake Boondooma.

The catch and release category targeting Australian Bass and Yellowbelly is open to all anglers who nominate. This category has been made possible by the generous sponsorship of Stanwell and Swickers bacon factory.

The annual competition will be held on 11 and 12 February 2017. Entry costs for the February event will be $20 for adults and $5 for juniors aged 16 years and under.

The ongoing support of our many generous sponsors will ensure that a wide range of prizes and lucky draws are available for all competitors including a Boat ,Motor, Trailer package. Lucky draws are held at the end of each fishing session and at the Friday night briefing. All presentations and lucky draws are conducted at the event headquarters at the stocking association clubhouse.

Food and drinks stalls will be provided by local community groups over the weekend and the great camping facilities provided by the South Burnett Regional Council will be available for campers staying at the lake.

The cost of camping fees and details of accommodation options at the lake can be found at website www.lakeboondooma.com.au or by ringing the Lake Boondooma Kiosk on (07) 4168 9694.

Additional information on the local area and past fishing competitions can be found on the Proston Online website, www.prostononline.info

Please join us at Lake Boondooma for a family weekend of fishing and camping. For additional information please contact Terry Allwood on mobile 0400 860122.

SOUTH BURNETT BOASTS HOT EDGE BITE!

Another sensational month of fishing has gone by since my last report and the edges have really come alive with some cracking fish caught at BP and Boondooma dams. It’s a great month to be out on the water as the temps are comfortable 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 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 Author with a beautiful coloured golden from the edge at Boondooma.

The Author with a beautiful coloured golden from the edge at Boondooma.

Daniel Brooks with a couple of nice bass from the edge using Bassman Spinnerbaits

Daniel Brooks with a couple of nice bass from the edge using Bassman Spinnerbaits

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 starts to pick up, areas such as the junction through to pelican have been productive, as well as Death Valley the Barbour’s pole and Leisagangs ledge. 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.

Patrick Conduit with a couple of big bass from the deeper flats of Boondooma using Tail Spinners

Patrick Conduit with a couple of big bass from the deeper flats of Boondooma using Tail Spinners

The best techniques on the flats and ledges have been Nories tail spinners in 12gram in Gold colour, ½ ounce rigged plastics in darker green or florescent colours, 5/8 ounce spinner baits rolled slowly along the bottom 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.

The Author with a good golden from the Flats of BP

The Author with a good golden from the Flats of BP

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 wall all the way to the timber right up the back, 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.

Dam news

Next time you’re out at one of our dams in the South Burnett, keep in mind the brand new luxury cabins. I recently had the privilege of staying in one of the cabins and they were just fantastic. They were comfortable and a great way to relax after a hard session of fishing. They are fully furnished, have two bedrooms and can comfortably sleep up to 6 people and cost $150 per night. Also don’t forget that the festive season is coming upon us so don’t forget to book your site at YallaKool or Boondooma.

Until next time, tight lines and bent rods

Two nice bass caught by the author and Corey from the edge

Two nice bass caught by the author and Corey from the edge

Matthew Langford

WINTER CHILL BRINGS THE BIG BITE

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 has really fired up and you should be able to bag yourself some really healthy bass over the coming months. The great thing is this time of year they 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 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 dams 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 or Little Max blades, let the blade hit the bottom and use a slow 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.

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Terry Allwood with a giant bass from the edge 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.

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A nice Golden taken on a free falling tail spinner on the flats of Boondooma

Bill Schloss, the Author and Terry Allwood hold up a nice brace of bass caught in shallow water on lake Boondooma.
If you’re a keen fly fisherman deep fly is a deadly technique on those schooled fish, fast sink line with a sinking fly in dark colours have been working very well. Try this when the wind is quiet because it can be difficult to cast a fly when the winds blowing over the open water later in the day.
Trollers are getting some good yellow belly in the arms of the dam using deep diving hard bodies. Troll in close to the timber of 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 to 30 feet of water with live shrimp. I witnessed a couple of bait fisherman catch two cracking bass using shrimp in the Stuart arm, they told me they had caught the shrimp using opera house pots with a bit of steak just below the Kiosk, 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.

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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 like lightening ridge, bass point and Treasure Island 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 15 to 30 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.

 

Trollers are getting some nice yellow belly up in the timber of an afternoon, troll through the timbered areas up the back of the dam with deep 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
There have been some exciting developments within the shop at Yallakool and Boondooma, keep a close eye out on the tackle range at both parks as the range grows and become more specific to the fish in both dams. Stay tuned, more to come.
Also 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