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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.