Mick Johnson with a cracker from the flats at Lake Boondooma

November 2, 2016

by Matthew Langford

It’s great to know that summer is finally on its way – the water temperatures 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 yellowbelly in our impoundments.

They can be caught thick and fast, and the bigger models are more likely to eat, especially on those hot afternoons.

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Boondooma Dam

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 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, tail spinners and blades.

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, and I like to throw a Bassman Compact in 3/8 or 5/8 ounce.

Once you have a combo similar to this, 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.

Matthew Langford and dam manager Corey Goldie with a nice brace of Bass that gave them 4th in a recent team tournament at Boondooma.

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. Make sure you have a lure retriever handy as you’ll be bound to get caught up in the timber eventually, and this device will save you money.

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.

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Bjelke-Petersen Dam

The fishing at Lake Barambah has been spectacular with lots of fish being caught by 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 metres.

This is not uncommon during the warmer months because the fish are active and moving around the dam with the bait they are feeding on.

Lane Ferling with a nice Bass from the edge at Bjelke-Petersen Dam

I always love fishing BP.  I like to go and start on the banks in the morning, and usually 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 while 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 is 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.

Annette Montebello with a nice bass from the edge on a lipless crank

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.

For 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 up.

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Park News

Make sure you book your camp site for the 2017 Boondooma Dam Yellowbelly fishing comp being held on the February 11-12. It’s only $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, and it’s one comp you don’t want to miss.

Call Lake Boondooma kiosk to book a camp site on (07) 4168-9694.

Finally, 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 Dam’s Facebook pages.

Until next time, tight lines and bent rods!

[Photos: Matthew Langford]

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