Wondai Country Running Festival

The Wondai Country Running Festival kicks off again on the weekend of 22/23 June after the great success of previous years.  The festival has over 100 stalls, kids entertainment, dingoes, food outlets and much more to keep you entertained all day. Get on your blue suede shoes and rock the afternoon away with the ‘Las Vegas in Wondai’ Show in the Town Hall. Entry includes afternoon tea and a guarantees rock-in good time with all your old time favourite tunes.

The running events start Saturday and after the resounding success of last years festival we have incorporated two new events- a ‘Dash for Cash’ and ‘All Abilities’ event. These events will form part of the existing family fun run, forest trail and endurance events which include the almighty marathon located on the fully sealed rail trail.

Entries for the running festival are online ( except the family fun run) . This a family friendly festival which is free to everyone – we look forward to seeing you there. For more information contact the Wondai Art Gallery on 4168 5926 or running festival secretary Claire on 0432 180 064

www.wondaicountryfestival.com.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 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 our dams.  The edges and 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 or rocky edge and begin a slow roll back to the boat.

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

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

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.

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.

The boys from a recent charter 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.

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, ZX blades, skirted jigs and Jerkbaits. Look for edges with broken rock or pebbles as these are likely edges that hold bait and fish.

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 and tail spinners 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 skirted jig.

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 of an afternoon but be very wary the water is starting to get shallow. Try to stick to the middle of the dam and create a troll run from the quarry to bass point.

Bait fisherman have also been having some success, they’ve been catching mixed bags of Yellow belly, silver perch and bass from the edge of the dam. 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

Cooler water patterns begin at BP and Boondooma.

It’s been an interesting month of fishing in the two impoundments of the South Burnett. With the cooler weather setting in, there’s been a lack of consistent fishing as the water and season changes. As I write, the fishing has improved somewhat, over the past few days and captures of good fish 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 been biting.

Boondooma

Boondooma has started to pick up, the bigger Bass and Goldens are starting to be caught on a variety of techniques as the fish begin moving up shallow and sitting on the flats. 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 when it’s cool. 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 early, 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.

Lake Boondooma is currently at 32% (Image taken from Sunwaters website)

Mick Johnson with a good bass caught on a skirted jig.

Matty Johnson with a nice Saratoga from the Boyne arm.

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.

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.

Lake Barambah

Fishing on BP has slowly been improving with some nice catches of Bass and Yellow belly coming in, particularly during the warmer afternoons. With the warmer afternoons and the cold morning the fish have generally been staying out deep in the 10 to 15 foot zone.

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

Bp dam is currently at 8% (Image taken from the Sun water website)

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 the Quarry. The best way to target the fish out deep is using 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 bass have still been sitting in that 10 to 15ft zone but will soon move to the bottom or up on the edge as the water cools. (Image taken from a GARMIN sounder)

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.

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.

Fishing Charters

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

Until next month, tight lines and bent rods

Matthew Langford

Celebrating successful women in the South Burnett

March 8 was International Women’s Day, a celebration of women’s achievements and progress. It’s a day for all us to celebrate the things we and our female friends, colleagues and the women who inspire us, have done and will do on behalf of women.

An inspirational story that celebrates successful women in the South Burnett includes that of local lady Tiny Kenyon from Hidden Gold Homestead.  Tina’s story of heartache to happiness featured in f-magazine last week; a magazine celebrating female success.

Tina and her husband Clint own and operate an agri-tourism business in the Moffatdale region. They offer visitors  the chance to experience ‘health, growth and happiness’ on their farm by allowing them to interact with the animals and explore what it means to grow food the way nature intended.  For more information on Hidden Gold Homestead call 4168 4784 or to read the full editorial click here.

South Burnett Unpacked 7

Autumn has arrived and the change in season brings the opportunity to experience the comfort and serenity of the South Burnett country side. With the cooler weather upon us,  explore the region’s best country walks, taste fresh seasonal produce and locally-made wines, and stay in cosy charming accommodation.

The South Burnett is the place to visit this Autumn and we want to show you the best of the region.

Discover South Burnett is  kicking off the Autumn Tourism Season with a party to launch the new look South Burnett Touring Guide in Blackbutt on Saturday the 30th March.  Everyone is invited and we welcome you to join us and celebrate everything that is great about the South Burnett. We want you to spread the word and make this a celebration to be remembered;  with live entertainment, demonstrations, competitions and prizes and local food and wine.

This will be a great family day out with jumping castles and face painting for the little ones. Join us on Saturday 30th March  at Blackbutt Hall from 9am to 1pm. For more information call Sarah or Stacey on 4189 9100

Become a tourist in your own town.

Summer heat brings our freshwater fish on the bite!

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

Boondooma

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

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

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

Sometimes this fishing is that hot they come aboard 2 at a time. Reardo catching his bag in 1 cast.

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

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

Chantel with a cracking bass from some suspended fish at Lake Boondooma.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stocking News

The fish stocking for both dams is still very much alive and well with another massive stock of bass put into Bjelke-Petersen dam this weekend. 46 000 Australian bass were released into BP dam. Boondooma Stocking Association also released 80 000 bass into Boondooma a couple weeks ago, so it’s a great boost for fishing in the South Burnett.  It’s great to see our stocking associations working hard to make this happen because without them we don’t get to catch the fish that we really love chasing.

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

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 suspended fish with soft plastics. Boondooma has been producing a great mixed bag of species, so if you’d like to learn more about targeting a particular species, all you have to do is ask and make a booking.

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

Until next time, tight line and bent rods.

Matthew Langford

 

Future of the Visitor Information Centre Study

The South Burnett Visitor Information Centre network consists of five (5) accredited information centres which are fully funded by the South Burnett Regional Council.  The Visitor Information Centres (VICs) rely heavily on volunteers who are supported by Council staff.  Council is committed to the future of the VICs. Council will be undertaking the Future of the VICs study to develop a clear plan ahead for tourism services in the South Burnett. The study will focus on a range of investigation/research topics and will use case study examples from other locations or local history to inform a Discussion Paper. Open consultation with volunteers, industry and Council will be undertaken on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and gaps, developing an information direction for the VICs. South Burnett VICs play a valuable role in local tourism. In recent years, VICs have been under the spotlight as the tourism sector sees shifts in consumer purchase behaviour.  The wider tourism industry has witnessed the closure and/or redevelopment of VICs or implementation of alternative methods for provision of information to visitors. South Burnett is not immune to these changes, with a decrease in visitors through the VIC network in comparison to 10 years ago. Influencing the consumer behaviour shift is the use of digital platforms (internet) for searching, selecting and booking travel. This activity is increasing and is potentially educating tourists about accommodation options, places to visit and things to do. In this changing environment, South Burnett’s network of VICs still has a vital role to play, providing local information, local products and local knowledge. Cr Danita Potter said, “The study aims to ascertain how VICs can evolve during changing consumer and digital landscapes to foster regional tourism and economic growth.” South Burnett Regional Council will continue to work with all stakeholders and volunteers to continue to promote the VICs.

Please click below to read the Future of VIC’s Discussion Paper along with the Tourism Operator and Volunteer Survey Reports.

Future of VIC’s Discussion Paper             Tourism Operator Survey Report            Volunteer Survey Report

Thank you
Craig Tunley
Senior Economic Development Officer
South Burnett Regional Council

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

Two Bakeries Bike Ride

Earlier this month the team from Eat Well Travel Often took to the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail to visit 2 bakeries in the South Burnett (Blackbutt and Yarraman).

It’s a long way to go for a pie but the team enjoyed themselves and took some of the sights of the South Burnett.

Click on the LINK to read about their adventure and the yummy goodies that enjoyed during their travel.

Brisbane Kids visit the South Burnett

Recently the South Burnett played host to Brisbane Kids.

Brisbane Kids is a website that shares information on every day parenting in Brisbane. The team decided to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for the great outdoors of the South Burnett.

Check out their adventures by clicking on this link https://www.brisbanekids.com.au/escape-to-the-country-with-the-kids-and-discover-south-burnett/

Winter fishing patterns begin in the South Burnett.

It’s been an interesting month of fishing in the two impoundments of the South Burnett, with the slight influx of water and the cooler weather setting in, there’s been a lack of consistent fishing as the water and season 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, the bigger Bass and Goldens are starting to be caught on a variety of techniques as the fish begin moving up shallow. 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 when it’s cool. 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 early, 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.

Annette Langford with a nice bass she caught casting to the weed edge.

Billy Schloss with a cracker of a bass caught shallow at Boondooma on a spoon

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.

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.

Lake Barambah

Fishing on BP has slowly been improving with some nice catches of Bass and Yellow belly coming in, particularly during the warmer afternoons. With the warmer afternoons and the cold morning 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 colourful yellow belly caught on a spinnerbait off the edge.

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, wide of Treasure Island and wide of the Quarry. The best way to target the fish out deep is using 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.

Ecogear ZX blades are a real standout when the weather starts to cool.

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

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.

On a final note, it is with great sadness that we must say farewell to Corey and Nikki Goldie who have been managing the two parks for the last few years. They have done an amazing job and have always been a welcoming face to the many thousands of visitors who have come to the South Burnett.

We wish you all the best with your future endeavours and you will be greatly missed when you move forward.

Until next month, tight lines and bent rods

Matthew Langford

The South Burnett sees some much-needed water flow!

Our two dams have seen some much-needed water flow into the dams, whilst it wasn’t a huge amount, it’s still enough to lift the level and keep the fish active. Both dams haven’t changed much as far as the fishing goes and there are huge amounts of opportunity to get amongst some great fishing for natives on Boondooma and BP.

Boondooma

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

The views of Boondooma from the Bunk House are spectacular

Noel Gothman with a nice bass caught from a suspended school in 20 ft on a spoon

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

Kaleb Baker and Matt Hart with some nice bass caught from a suspended school along the rock wall near the dam wall.

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

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

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

Lake Barambah

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

The Author and Corey with some nice bass caught recently on soft plastics fished near the surface with a fast retrieve

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

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

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

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

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

Park News

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

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

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

That’s it for this month’s report.

Until next time, tight lines and bent rods.

Matthew Langford

 

Freshwater Festive Fishing in the South Burnett

The festive season is a great time of year to be outdoors with family and friends and It’s also 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 15 to 25 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.

Sam and Ernie Bushell with a couple cracking bass caught casting near the wall at Boondooma.

Lately i’ve been catching my best quality fish suspended in deep water. They have been sitting in the thermocline at 15 to 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.

Shaun Ezzy with a nice bass caught on a spoon

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 12 to 20 gram spoons, spoons like the Norries Wasabi, Halco Twistie or Palms slow blatt are all great spoons for catching suspended fish in Boondooma.

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. 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 been a little slow but drop your pots around the rocky banks of the dam and also just wide of the weed beds.

Lake Barambah

BP dam has been very consistent over the last two months, producing good numbers of fish of varying species and sizes. 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.

A nice bass caught slow rolling a Green ½ ounce Bassman Spinnerbait

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.

If you don’t have a boat, try walking the edges of the dam throwing hard bodies. Can be a very effective way of catching some nice natives.

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 just wide of the steeper rocky banks. Don’t try and head up the back of the dam as the water levels are low and you will get stuck in the mud.

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

Make sure you book your camp site for the 2018 Boondooma Dam, Yellowbelly fishing comp being held on the 10th and 11th of February. $20 entry for adults and $5 for juniors (16 years and under). There are live and dead weight divisions with prizes for Bass, Yellow belly, Silver and Spangled perch. There are thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes up for grabs, with food and drinks available at the event. It’s one comp you don’t want to miss. Call Lake Boondooma kiosk to make a camp site booking on (07) 4168 9694.

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.

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

Until next month, tight lines and bend rods

Matthew Langford.

 

 

 

South Burnett Unpacked

The first of the South Burnett Unpacked industry networking events delivered at Yallakool Park on BP dam in November was deemed a success. This is due to industry involvement, information sharing and those connections made on the day.

The South Burnett Unpacked series will roll out quarterly events in 2018 and South Burnett Regional Council would love YOU to be involved.

The next event is the 20 February at the Bunya Mountains, details to be confirmed in the New Year.

Thank you to those that were able to attend and encourage more attendees with an open invitation to the 2018 South Burnett Unpacked events.

Hope you enjoy this snapshot of the first South Burnett Unpacked – checkout the video https://youtu.be/SZM83ahS2BE

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

 

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

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

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

Boondooma

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lake Barambah

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Park News

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

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

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

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

Until next time, tight lines and bent rods

Matthew Langford

Spring heat brings the big fish out!

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

Boondooma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lake Barambah

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Park News                                           

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

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

Until next time, tight lines and bent rods

Matthew Langford

 

Murgon Music Muster

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

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

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

Gina Jeffreys will be performing on friday night at 7.30pm

South Burnett wine destined for Asian tables

Back in August the South Burnett Wineries played host to Hong Kong’s Wine Luxe magazine write Nelson Siu.

To read the full story click on the link https://www.tiq.qld.gov.au/south-burnett-wine-destined-asian-tables/

 

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