Boondooma Homestead Caravan and Camping

8262 Mundubbera Durong Road

Ph: (07) 41680159

www.boondoomahomestead.org.au

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

 

Cold mornings and Big Bass in the South Burnett.

With the unseasonably warm weather hanging around for quite some time the warm weather gear hasn’t had to make much of an appearance of late. The last few weeks however have seen the water temps slowly drop but the fish are still active and still hungry. With the cold moving in fast now, the edge bite and shallow flats bite has really fired up and you should be able to bag yourself some really healthy Bass and Yellowbelly over the coming months. The great thing is this time of year the Bass and Goldens are fat and healthy and a whole new array of lures can be used to target the natives in our local dams.

Lake Boondooma

Recently the best techniques have been to hit the edges early with lipless cranks and spinnerbaits, rocky or weedy edges being the best to target. Another good way of finding good fish is sounding over the main lake points and large shallow flats in the main basin in search of the large schools that generally congregate at this time of year. In the morning when it’s quiet and still is the best time for this type of fishing because the water temps are at their lowest and the dam is at its quietest. Having a good quality sounder is important when trying to locate the schools as you’ll pick up the fish close to the bottom when you’re searching. Once a school is located position the boat towards the school and cast ¼ or 3/8 ounce Eco gear VX, ZX or Little Max blades, let the blade hit the bottom and use a slow hopping or roll retrieve.  Occasionally change it up and use a slow roll and kill technique as the fish will hit the lure when it’s close to the bottom, as it’s falling or just after it’s rolled off the bottom.


Ecogear ZX blades are great for targeting bass on the flats at Boondooma

 

Later in the day when the water heats up I’ve found that the fish can be caught well using Nories tail spinners, 12 gram being the best. Cast the tails spinner out with a long cast and let it sink to the bottom, wind up the slack and slowly lift the rod tip then drop it back to the bottom keeping contact with the lure at all times. The fish this time of year love a bait that is falling in their face and the tail spinner suits the bite perfectly. The fish will hit the tail spinner generally as its falling after the lift so be on your toes for the bite. Ice jigs are also a great way of catching the schooled fish as its constantly in their face, keep an eye on the sounder with this technique though as you’ll get more bites when the fish rise off the bottom. This generally means they are flared up and ready to eat.

The Author with a healthy bass from the shallow flats at Boondooma

Trollers are getting some good yellow belly in the arms of the dam using deep diving hard bodies. Troll in close to the timber near the rocks in the Boyne arm but make sure that you have a lure retriever handy because you will get snagged occasionally, but your hard work will be rewarded.

Bait fisherman your best chance is to fish the trees in the arms of the dam in 20 feet of water with live shrimp. You can catch the shrimp using opera house pots with a bit of steak just below the Kiosk, or around the lakes edges, so it pays to get live bait, even better when you can get it from the dam your fishing in.

Some great reports of good numbers of big red claw coming in, dog biscuits and soft vegetables proving to be great bait for their opera house pots. Rocky ledges and points are the best spots to drop your pots but make sure your pots are clearly marked with your name and address.

 

 

 

Lake Barambah

The fishing over the past month has slowed down a little but you can still catch some very decent fish if you’re up early and fish patiently.  The fish have been up on the edge early when the waters cool and I’ve been catching some good Bass and Yellow belly using ½ ounce rigged grub tail plastics. Target rocky ledges with a bit of timber or rocks. As the sun gets higher I always move to the deeper flats and target areas around points and flats, spots around lightening ridge, bass point and the Quarry are likely spots to find fish sitting out deeper. If you’re not familiar with the places I mentioned, call into the Kiosk, they are always willing to explain where they are. If the regular deeper areas don’t produce it’s a good idea to sound around the outskirts of the dam and find those fish sitting in 10 to 20 feet of water. Once located, target them with the techniques that I mentioned for the Boondooma flats. Blades, tail spinners and ice jigs are the go to lures to use when the fish are sitting out deep. Both dams are reasonably similar but sometimes it does pay to experiment with your lure selection. The bass are getting bigger, models of up to 45 cm have been caught recently off the edges and out on the flats. If your chasing yellow belly, fish tight in around any timber on the dam with lipless cranks or spinner baits, persist long enough and you’re sure to get a couple. Yellow belly over 50cm have been caught recently using this technique, afternoon when the waters warmer proves to be the best time.

Corey Goldie with a big fat Bass taken wide of Bass point on a plastic.

A nice fat yellowbelly taken on a 12 gram Nories tailspinner

Trollers are getting some nice yellow belly up in the timber of an afternoon but be wary the water is shallow going into the timber You can still troll through the timbered areas up the back of the dam with shallow to medium diving hard bodies. Some bass have also been mixed in with their catches.

Bait fisherman have also been having some success, they’ve been catching mixed bags of Yellow belly, silver perch and bass from the timber. Tie up to a tree and use live shrimp as bait. Drop your bait to the bottom and slowly jig the bait, if your first spot doesn’t produce don’t be afraid to move several times until you know you’re sitting on some active fish.

The red claw are still around but you’ll have to put in the effort for a feed, target rocky edges or spindly timber and use soft vegies for bait.

Park News

If you’re looking at coming out our way and wanting to stay at either park give us a call and we’ll book your site tailored to your needs. Give Yallakool a call on 07 4168 4746 or Boondooma on 07 4168 9694.

That’s this month’s wrap up of the two dams.

Until next time, tight lines and bent rods.

Matthew Langford