The last few weeks in the South Burnett have seen the water temps slowly drop as Winter well and truly moves in. The fish are still active and still hungry but it pays to be smart about the way you approach your days fishing on the dams. The shallow flats bite has really fired up and you should be able to bag yourself some really healthy Bass and Yellowbelly over the coming months. The great thing is this time of year the Bass and Goldens are getting fat and healthy and a whole new array of lures can be used to target the natives in our local dams.
Recently, the best areas to hit are the shallow edges early with lipless cranks and spinnerbaits, rocky or weedy edges being the best to target. Early in the morning when it’s quiet and still is the best time for this type of fishing because the water temps are at their lowest and the dam is at its quietest. Some awesome yellowbelly fishing can be had at the start of winter along the edges, so if it’s Yellas you want, this is where I would start. Cast your spinnerbaits up to the weed edge and begin a slow roll back to the boat.
Later in the morning I would be moving off the bank and looking for active fish in 20 to 40 ft of water. When a school is located, position the boat towards the school and cast ¼ or 3/8 ounce Eco gear VX, ZX or Little Max blades, let the blade hit the bottom and use a slow hopping or roll retrieve. Occasionally change it up and use a slow roll and kill technique as the fish will hit the lure when it’s close to the bottom, as it’s falling or just after it’s rolled off the bottom.
Later in the day (after lunch) when the water heats up, I’ve found that the bigger bass can be caught well using Nories tail spinners, 12 gram being the best. Cast the tails spinner out with a long cast and let it sink to the bottom, wind up the slack and slowly lift the rod tip then drop it back to the bottom keeping contact with the lure at all times. The fish this time of year love a bait that is falling in their face and the tail spinner suits the bite perfectly. The fish will hit the tail spinner generally as its falling after the lift so be on your toes for the bite. Ice jigs are also a great way of catching the schooled fish as its constantly in their face, keep an eye on the sounder with this technique though as you’ll get more bites when the fish rise off the bottom. This generally means they are flared up and ready to eat.
Trollers are getting some good Yellow belly in the arms of the dam trolling spinnerbaits. Troll in close to the timber near the rocks in the Boyne arm but make sure that you have a lure retriever handy because you will get snagged occasionally, but your hard work will be rewarded.
Bait fisherman your best chance is to fish the trees in the arms of the dam in 20 feet of water with live shrimp. You can catch the shrimp using opera house pots with a bit of steak just below the Kiosk, or around the lakes edges, so it pays to get live bait, even better when you can get it from the dam your fishing in.
Some great reports of good numbers of big red claw coming in, dog biscuits and soft vegetables proving to be great bait for their opera house pots. Rocky ledges and points are the best spots to drop your pots but make sure your pots are clearly marked with your name and address.
The fish have been up on the edge early when the waters cool and I’ve been catching some good Bass and Yellow belly using ½ ounce rigged grub tail plastics. Target rocky ledges with a bit of timber or rocks.
As the sun gets higher I always move to the deeper flats and target areas around points and flats, spots around the outside of lightening ridge, bass point and the Quarry are likely places to find fish sitting out deeper. If the regular deeper areas don’t produce it’s a good idea to sound around the outskirts of the dam and find those fish sitting in 10 to 20 feet of water. Once located, target them with the techniques that I mentioned for the Boondooma flats. Blades, tail spinners and ice jigs are the go to lures to use when the fish are sitting out deep. Both dams are reasonably similar but sometimes it does pay to experiment with your lure selection. The bass are getting bigger, models of up to 45 cm have been caught recently off the edges and out on the flats.
Trollers are getting some nice yellow belly up in the timber of an afternoon but be very wary the water is shallow going into the timber You can still troll through the timbered areas up the back of the dam with shallow to medium diving hard bodies. Some bass have also been mixed in with their catches.
Bait fisherman have also been having some success, they’ve been catching mixed bags of Yellow belly, silver perch and bass from the timber. Tie up to a tree and use live shrimp as bait. Drop your bait to the bottom and slowly jig the bait, if your first spot doesn’t produce don’t be afraid to move several times until you know you’re sitting on some active fish.
The red claw are still around but you’ll have to put in the effort for a feed, target rocky edges or spindly timber and use soft vegies for bait.
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.