by Matthew Langford
Boondooma Dam and Lake Barambah have been a massive hit with holidaymakers over the Easter long weekend with record numbers converging on the two dams.
The fishermen weren’t disappointed as both dams fired and saw plenty of freshwater fish hitting the decks and some onto the dinner table.
It’s great to see so many people coming to our dams as the fishing has been the best it has been in years and will continue to get better and better.
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Boondooma has been at its best, and the size and consistent quality of fish has been outstanding.
There are a few very good options when you are fishing during this time of year, although it does pay to be patient.
The deeper water around the dam is holding big Bass and Yellowbelly suspended in the thermocline (comfortable water) and these fish are very willing to eat most offerings presented to them. The trick is to locate these suspended fish before casting. It really pays to have good electronics on your boat as sounders are the best way to locate concentrations of fish.
The fish in the basin have been the bigger ones. Bass over 50cm have been a regular sight.
It pays to spend time sounding to find the fish to cast at. Sound around areas like the rock walls near the dam wall, the Junction, Barber’s pole and Pelican Point.
When a school has been located, start by casting 5/8 spinnerbaits and count from 5 to 7 seconds depending on how deep the fish are sitting. Consistent fast retrieves have been working best and it pays to put in multiple casts before you get a bite or a fish.
Half ounce rigged plastics have been a popular choice amongst anglers as the bait is a smaller profile and can be burnt fast as well to initiate a strike from any hungry fish.
The timber is another great option as the fish are still holding around the trees in both arms.
If you don’t have a sounder to work on the fish in the basin, this would be the smartest option.
The water is still quite warm so the fish should stick around in the trees until it starts to cool down.
Cast heavy spinnerbaits and lipless cranks amongst the trees and you’ll eventually catch some nice fish.
Make sure your lines up to scratch, though, as these fish can get you into trouble in the heavy structure.
Trollers are still catching some nice Bass and Goldens in the main basin trolling 5/8 spinnerbaits and deep-diving hard bodies.
Red claw have been coming in pretty thick of late, and some big lobster-sized ones as well.
Set your pots close to any rock structure or thick timber and you’re in with a good chance of a feed.
Soft fruit and vegetables have been the best bait, as well as dog biscuits.
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Bjelke-Petersen Dam has been producing great numbers of fish for the past five months and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all.
Bass and Goldens in some areas have been thick and sessions in the double digits aren’t uncommon.
Best areas lately have been the Lightning Ridge area and Treasure Island, fishing down the drop-offs. Best baits have been ½ ounce rigged plastics, Nories spoons, spinnerbaits and chatter-baits.
Because BP is a fairly shallow dam, most fish generally congregate around areas where drop offs are.
The best way to find these drop offs is to use your sounder or look for points or banks that drop away quickly.
Cast your lure shallow and slowly wind it down the slope and try to keep it close to the bottom.
I always try to imagine where my lure is sitting close to the bottom to keep in contact with the fish or the “strike zone”. I consistently let the lure touch the bottom so that I know I’m always close as I wind my lure back to the boat.
Using this method usually puts you onto fish eventually.
Trollers are getting some nice Bass and Goldens trolling over Lightning Ridge and over the prominent points of the dam using spinnerbaits and blades.
Bait fisherman are getting heaps of table fish, fishing just about anywhere on the dam that is over 10 feet deep and near any structure. Best baits have been shrimps and worms.
There are some red claw about as well, so make sure you pack the pots.
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It was great to see so many people come out for the Easter break.
Book in advance to make sure you have your cabin or site booked for any future visits.
The facilities are always improving and it’s great to hear your feedback on the two parks.
Don’t forget the Austackle Country Fishing Classic grand final will be held at BP Dam on May 7-8.
Make sure you have fished one of the qualifying rounds to be in the final and make sure you book now for your site for the weekend.
Some massive prizes are up for grabs. If you win the major prize, you’ll be towing home a brand new Blue Fin boat.
On a final note, if you’re needing to know any information about fishing spots on the dam, or want any tackle for your weekend’s fishing, both kiosks have a great amount of information and all the latest tackle that will help you on your way to some great fishing.
Hope to see you on the water soon … tight lines and bent rods!
[Photos: Matthew Langford]