by Matthew Langford
Since the onset of winter there have been some cracking catches of our native fish being recorded in the South Burnett.
No matter what type of angler you are, you’re sure to hook up with a few fish at Boondooma and Barambah over the coming weeks.
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Over the past few months we have seen a water level change that has killed off a majority of the weed in Boondooma.
This doesn’t mean the weed has entirely disappeared. If you find yourself on an edge that has some remaining scattered weed, you should find an opportunity for a fantastic edge bite.
If you’re an avid lure fisherman, this is where I would start and end the day. The secret has been throwing 3/8 spinnerbaits up as tight as you can to the weed edge and rolling it back with a slow wind retrieve. I like to use the 3/8 Carls compact Bassman spinnerbait with one small Colorado blade, as this stops any weed becoming entangled in the blade assembly and stopping the spinnerbait from working.
If you throw up tight to the weed edge and roll out you will get stuck in the weed occasionally, the best trick is to give the rod tip a quick rip to free the spinnerbait and continue the retrieve.
Remember early morning and late afternoon is the best time to target the weed as the fish are up in there ready to ambush any offering that is thrown their way.
I’ve caught some cracking 50cm+ fish using this method so stick with it, as it could result in a trophy bass being landed.
The other option that has been working is using suspending jerk baits to the weed, use the same method as I described above and make sure you add plenty of pauses to your retrieve.
Jerk baiting the weed is a cool way to fish. Suddenly your drag could be peeling off that reel before you even realise you’ve had a hit.
So have a look around the mid sections of the dam or up in the Stuart arm if you want to target any remaining productive weed edges.
Later in the day when the wind starts to pick up, I like to move out deeper around the flats and target schooling fish with Nories tail spinners, soft vibes and VX blades.
Pelican Point, Barber’s Pole and Death Valley are good spots to start looking for schools. Please check in with the kiosk if you’re unsure of the names of places around the dam.
The secret is using your sounder to slowly move around until you’ve located the fish sitting close to the bottom, once located, start to throw your baits with long casts and keep the lure as close to the bottom as you can.
I like to use a very slow retrieve or a hooping retrieve to induce a strike. It’s also a good idea to move around a bit as the fish work out very quickly that you’re there, native fish don’t respond well to pressure or noise.
Bait fisherman have been getting good catches of yellowbelly 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 also been doing quite well on the yellowbelly in the Boyne and Stuart arms in the timber with smaller, deep-diving hard bodies. 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.
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Typically in winter BP Dam doesn’t fish that well but over the past few weeks the fish haven’t been following that trend.
Some great catches have come from numerous sources.
Basstasstic fishing tournaments held an event there recently and most anglers weighed in full bags using a number of techniques.
The deeper flats have been producing lots of fish, be it bass or yellowbelly. Jigging blades has been the best method.
Most anglers have been sounding fish in about 30ft 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.
The best spot has been the big flat out from the main dam wall.
The edges are also another likely spot to look, you won’t catch a lot of fish but you will get the bigger ones from the edge.
Recently I caught some really nice 40+ cm bass fishing blades to the edges. VX blades and little max blades were the most effective. Also try ¼ ounce rigged plastics cast to the edge.
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. 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.
Bait fisherman have been getting a ton of nice fish from BP Dam.
Most have been tying off to trees and fishing saltwater yabbies and shrimps vertical with small hops. I witnessed a couple catch their bag limit in under an hour just recently, I was very impressed and almost switched to bait.
Big quality yellow belly and good numbers of bass have been coming on bait. Best places to fish are the steep banks of bass point and the timber up the back of the dam.
Trollers are catching the odd fish trolling up the back in the timber or 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.
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Don’t forget that if you have any tackle needs, both dam kiosks have a great range of lures and tackle to keep you on the water catching fish.
They also cook some of the best wood-fired pizzas that you will ever eat on Friday and Saturday nights.
If you don’t believe me then you’ll have to come and try it for yourself, and to top it off you’ll be looked after and have some great fishing!
Until next time, tight line and bent rods.