August 31, 2016
by Matthew Langford
Spring is finally here and it’s the time of year that I always look forward to.
The water temps are gradually increasing and that’s when the native fish in our stocked impoundments really spring into life and start gorging themselves, which means for anglers that it’s a great time to be on the water.
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In my last report, the water temps were down around 16 degrees and the fishing was good, but now the water temps have increased and the fish have really started to fire up.
The edge bite has somewhat slowed a little but the flats fishing has been insane.
Some good Yellowbelly and Bass can still be caught from the edges early if you’re casting lures.
I’ve found the best areas to target are the steeper rocky edges with some timber, and the remains of the weed beds that outline the dam.
Lately I’ve been casting lipless cranks and spinner baits to great effect along these edges and getting some nice fish. The key is to cast in tight to the edge and let the lure sink to the bottom then retrieve the lure with a slow wind and twitch retrieve.
The weed edges still hold some cracking Bass but I’d be moving to the 20 to 30 foot flats to start looking about mid-morning as the day starts to heat up. Areas I like to look at are the Junction to Pelican point edges out 80 metres from the bank in the above mentioned depths.
There’s a few baits that have really been working well but if you cast anything that imitates a bony bream you’ll be in with a good chance of hooking up with a nice fish; 12 gram Nories Tail spinners and Spoons and ¼ ounce blades have been working really well, but soft plastics have also accounted for a few good sessions.
I like to throw a ½ ounce jig head rigged with a slider grub or 3 inch curl tail.
The key with a plastic retrieve on schooled fish is to let the lure sink to the bottom and slow wind the bait through the fish. If you think you’ve got the lure too high through the fish make sure you drop it back down through them and start the retrieve again.
Eventually you’ll get a bite … persistence is a big key when fishing anywhere.
Bait fisherman have been doing well out on the flats. Use your sounder to locate a good showing of fish in the 20 to 25 foot range. Once you find a good show, anchor up and drop down using live shrimp. The great thing about live shrimp is that you can catch them in the dam itself. It shouldn’t be long until you have some nice fish coming to the boat.
A great tip for bait fishing is making sure that you have some fresh bait and also make sure your knots are tied well – the fish on the flats can be big and can leave you broken hearted if you’re not prepared.
If you’re trolling, the fishing should improve as the waters temps continue to rise but there have been some reports of fish trolled up in the timber of the Boyne and Stuart arms. The key is to use deep diving hard bodies in dark colours.
Red claw have been moving well with the warmer water bringing them back to the pots.
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The same is happening at Lake Barambah. The water temps have risen and the fish are really active.
Fish are responding to most lure techniques but the bigger fish have been coming from the points and edges. The most effective lures have been ¼ blades, spinner baits, lipless cranks and ¼ ounce rigged 3 inch plastics.
You’ll note that most of these baits imitate the bait that fish are feeding on which is masses and masses of small bony bream, gudgeon, sleepy cod, barred grunter and spangled perch.
I’ve been fishing the dam quite regularly and have had some of the best fishing from the edges that I can remember.
Nice Yellowbelly and big Bass have been caught every trip. The key to success, however, is finding the right bank to fish.
If you’re an avid lure angler like me, pick an edge and start moving along it. I like to sit about 30 metres from the bank and fan out casts, trying to cover as much water as possible. Keep moving along the edge and eventually you’ll come across a lure that works for you.
Once you’ve caught a fish, there’s a big chance that there will be more in very close proximity, so make sure you cover that water thoroughly. The big fish have been hanging out together, so if you get one there’s a chance you’ll get a few.
Bait fisherman have been catching good bags of fish up in the timbered sections of the dam, and from the edges using live shrimp, saltwater yabbies and worms.
Trollers are picking up the odd fish trolling over Lightning Ridge and around the edges of the dam.
The trolling will be fantastic in the coming months as the fish move up in the water column and start to suspend with the warmer weather.
The red claw have been really moving with some big numbers being caught, so now’s the time to drop the pots in.
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If you’re looking at coming to the dams to stay, make sure you give the guys at the kiosk a call and they’ll book your site tailored to your needs.
Give Yallakool a ring on (07) 4168-4746 or Boondooma on (07) 4168-9694.
Until next time
Tight lines and bent rods!
[Photos: Matthew Langford]