Open Thur to Sunday 10.30am to 4.30pm
167 Tipperary Rd, Moffatdale
0408 850 595
Open Thur to Sunday 10.30am to 4.30pm
167 Tipperary Rd, Moffatdale
0408 850 595
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.
Our two dam’s water levels are slowly dropping and this has been happening for some time. It’s hard to ignore but it’s a simple fact of life when you’re going through one of the worst droughts we’ve seen for some time. Boondooma currently sits at 35% and Bjelke-Peterson Dam at 8%. Despite the low water levels there’s still plenty of water in both dams to get out and catch some great fish. This past month has been great on the fishing front.
There’s always a few good fishing options for Boondooma. 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.
Dion Handford with a nice bass caught from a Rock Wall at Lake Boondooma
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.
The Norries 18gram Wasabi Spoon is deadly on Lake Boondooma Bass
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.
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. 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.
Vicki Stead with a cracker of a bass caught on a soft plastic near the quarry
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.
Trevor 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.
It was great to see another massive attendance at the Annual Yellow belly comp this year at Lake Boondooma. 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.
Until next time, tight lines and bent rods.
Yallakool Caravan Park on BP Dam is the place where you can stay for a day or longer. you can bring your own tent and pitch it in the camping grounds, park your own caravan on a powered or unpowered site , or book one of the self-contained cabins or villas.
Whether you’re sleeping under the stars or in one of the well-equipped cabins, there is an escape to suit everyone in the South Burnett.
Haager Drive, Moffatdale
The christmas and new year crowds have dispersed but the fishing has remained consistent. Both dams in the South Burnett are fishing well despite the low water levels. Boondooma is producing some big quality bass and golden perch. BP is producing big numbers of fish of varying species. If you’re thinking of coming for a fish it’s hard to go wrong if you follow the below report. The South Burnett is the place to be for some fantastic freshwater fishing.
The dam is beautiful early of a morning and there’s plenty of wildlife to enjoy. With the summer bite patterns continuing, it makes for some exciting fishing on Lake Boondooma, particularly later in the afternoons as the water temps really warm up. Lately the trend has been to fish the timbers of the Boyne or Stuart arm early with 5/8 Bassman spinnerbaits or lipless cranks in the morning. During the afternoon target the deeper sections of the dam up near the dam wall and rocky edges with ½ ounce rigged Eco gear power shads or Norries Wasabi Spoons or Spinnerbaits.
If I’m fishing Boondooma during the summer months, I’ll first start in the timber early of a morning as the fish are in amongst the trees looking for an easy meal from passing Bonies. In the arms the fish are holding very close to structure and you’ll need to get your lures in as close as you can to get a bite. Look for spindly timber, trust me there’s a lot of it. Lures of choice for this scenario are, 5/8 or 3/8 Bassman Spinner baits and any sinking lipless Crank bait. Give your lure up to 5 seconds to sink down to 10 – 15 feet and start a slow wind. It’s important to make sure that you have a lure retriever with you as you will get snagged on the trees occasionally but if you’re getting snagged you know you’re in the thick of it. Keep moving from tree to tree or structure to structure and persist as your lure WILL be eaten eventually by a hungry fish.
Above: – Matthew Langford with a Monster Bass from Boondooma caught on a spoon.
The fish in the afternoon tend to bite better in the open water when the water heats up. I’ve found that the fish move deeper into the timber as the day progresses and find the fish in the deeper water are easier to target. To find fish in the deep water I’ll use my sounder to sound the fish sitting in that optimal depth of 15 to 25 feet. When I’m happy that I’ve found a good concentration of fish, I will pull up and begin casting 3” to 4” soft plastics rigged with a ½ ounce head or 18 Gram Norries Wasabi Spoons. With a big long cast over the areas that I’ve found the fish, I will let the jig head or spoon, sink 7 to 10 seconds and begin a slow retrieve back to the boat with a couple of twitches mixed in. Continue this technique untill you start to feel a few taps on the plastic or spoon, when you feel a tap its important to keep that slow wind going (without striking) unitll you feel weight on the line, slowly lift the rod tip until you feel the weight of the fish. At this point the fish will know its hooked and make some great runs back down into the deeper water. Keep your drag fairly loose so that the hook doesn’t pull on the way back to the boat
Trollers are picking up some great bass and yellow belly trolling around the deeper sections of the dam, targeting those suspended fish. Make sure to have plenty of deep divers handy, lures that dive 15 to 20 feet will be the ones that get you onto consistent fish.
Bait fisherman are consistently getting amongst a mixed bag of fish up in the timbered arms of the dam using worms and fresh shrimp. It may even pay to move to the main basin and let your bait suspend under the boat in that 15 to 25 foot range. Drifting with the wind is a great way to cover water with your bait under the boat. Eventually it will cross paths with a hungry fish or two.
Red claw numbers are also starting to pick up with some real big ones amongst them, so make sure your pack the opera houses if you’re coming out for a day or two.
If your keen on trolling then I can suggest trolling lightly weighted spinnerbaits, 3/8 blades or any deep diving hard body from boat ramp to boat ramp.
Early in the day, I’ve been casting soft plastics with a lot of success out in the open water of the dam. The bait is thick and high in the water column, so the bass are sitting below them and coming up to feed. I’ll use a ½ ounce jig head with a 3” soft plastic and cast over the open water. I’ll let it sink 3 seconds then begin a reasonably fast wind. The bass will tap at the lure so its important to remain patient and not strike until the fish has a firm grasp on the lure. This has been our most successful method of fishing of late.
When the suns higher in the sky I’ve found that the bass move out onto the deeper flats. Long casts, letting the plastic sink to the bottom and using a burn and kill retrieve was the key to getting the fish to hit the lure hard.
The fish stocking for both dams is still very much alive and well with another massive stock of Yellowbelly put into Bjelke-Petersen dam this past weekend. 56 000 Yellowbelly were released into BP dam, 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.
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 month, tight lines and bent rods.
Address: 59 Waterview Drive, Moffatdale Qld
Phone: 07 4168 4784