Australian Hotel-Motel

The Australian Hotel has a rich history. It was built around 1912 and owned by the Tiernan family for over 80 years before joining the Star Hotels family. It has been renovated and added to over the years, but still keeps that old country pub feel, which our locals love.

Our facilities include two bars, 33 gaming machines, modern TAB, restaurant, drive through bottle shop and accommodation facilities containing 11 rooms. Whether you’re with friends, family or even with colleagues, The Australian Hotel is a great place to visit for all occasions.

Ficks Crossing

Ficks crossing is a great waterhole about 5km south of Murgon. Ficks has a car park and picnic areas for the family to enjoy nestled right on the banks of Barambah Creek.

Take a picnic and enjoy some fresh caught fish or find Barambah Kayak Hire on Facebook to expand your South Burnett experience.

Boat Mountain Conservation Park

Shaped like an upturned boat, the flat-topped ridge called Boat Mountain is a distinctive landmark near Murgon.

Boat Mountain Conservation Park is a haven for wildlife and bird species, so take the time to look around and enjoy mother nature at her beat. You may see Rock Wallabies, Grey Kangaroos, Koalas, Echidnas and Goannas, The park has at least 60 species of birds and the list is growing. For a full bird list visit the Murgon Visitor Information Centre.

The park is also popular with walkers, with tracks ranging for 370 metres to 2.2kms. The walking trail leads you up many stairs, but once a the top, you enjoy a relatively easy walk to Daniel’s lookout, at the peak of Boat Mountain.

Wear protective clothing to avoid being scratched by prickly scrubs and have insect repellent on hand as well as sunscreen and lots of drinking water.

The only facilities available at Boat Mountain is a picnic table.

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

Off and Racing!

Did you know that horse racing in the South Burnett dates back to early 1850.

Pastoral stations of Taabinga, Tarong and Nanango had their own tracks and breeding programs. The first reported race meeting was held at Nanango Station on Boxing Day 1859.

Now we know the Melbourne Cup is a two mile race. Well the Nanango Cup (formally known as the Nanango Plate) was a three mile race. Yes you read right three miles! That’s three times around the current day track. The winner of the first Nanango Cup was Pat McCallum on his horse Pilgram. Unlike the millions of dollars todays’ jockeys and trainers get, pat received a winner’s cheque of £40. Which was worth a year’s pay!

For those wondering, racing began in Wondai around 1907 and were put on hold during WW1 and WW2. In 1958 the South Burnett Race Club was formed in Wondai with the first race meeting held on 4th April 1959. Racing in Wondai continues today with three races held each year.

Sadly Kingaroy’s racing history was a short one – just like the height of a jockey. Races were conducted at the Kingaroy showgrounds for various beneficiaries including the School of Arts. Racing in Kingaroy finishes before the Second World War.

Kumbia Races began in 1922 with intervals during war years and between 1953-1956. Racing began in earnest from 1956 to present day. Would you believe that there used to be eight race meets a year. Now there is only one held on Melbourne Cup day earning Kumbia the title of “The Flemington of the Bush”.

What about Blackbutt? Well there were races held up and down the Brisbane Valley and the Brisbane River Valley Blackbutt “Timbertown” Picnic Race Club Inc. is still an active and registered group, but haven’t held races for many years.

Who can forget about the legendary Burrandowan Picnic races, which have been held since 1922. Back in the day soldier settlers would gather together and the tradition still continues today, with the races held in May of each year.

This SUNDAY 4th December, the Nanango Race Club will be holding it’s last race meet for the year. Will this become a new trend? Some places in Australia have races everyday of the week! Time will tell as racing meanders through the 21st Century. So if you’re looking for a break from Christmas shopping grab some friends, throw on your glad rags and head to the Nanango Racecourse.

The Best of Horses on the Best of Country Courses!

 

Horse Racing at Tarong Phot - D Clapperton

Horse Racing at Tarong
Photo – D Clapperton

Pass the finishing post at Nanango Races

Pass the finishing post at Nanango Races

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

Moffatdale Ridge Winery

Open 7 days

Moffatdale Restaurant  open 11:30– 2pm  (Tuesdays platter available only) RESTAURANT CLOSED WEDNESDAYS

Tuscan Feast Available : Last Sunday of every Month. (Booking essential – Payment required with booking)