Corey Goldie with a 50+ cm Bass caught on the troll at Boondooma Dam

January 19, 2017

by Matthew Langford

The silly season has been and gone and the crowds have converged on our two great South Burnett dams.

It’s the best time of year to be on the water as the temps are hot, beers are cold and the fishing is accessible to every angler of any ability!

If you haven’t been out yet, make sure you start planning your next trip because this time of year is the best chance to get yourself onto some trophy size native fish from Lake Barambah and Boondooma.

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Boondooma Dam

Over the past couple of months, the fish have moved into the thermocline and are a real target for our avid trollers.

The 18 to 22 foot zone is where you will find them when you’re out in search of some fish. The most productive areas are the deeper sections of water around the dam wall and the Buoy Line. The most productive bite time is from lunch time through until dark when the day is at its hottest.

The key to finding a good school is using your electronics to slowly sound over likely areas. If you don’t have a sounder, tie on a couple of deep divers or a 5/8 spinnerbait and start trolling. If you get a bite or fish, troll around the area that you had the action.

Remember to be patient when looking for fish, as it may take a while to locate them if you’re not familiar with the dam.

Lately I’ve been catching my best quality fish suspended in deep water. They have been sitting in the thermocline at 20 feet.

I target these fish using a variety of baits, initially starting with a soft bait, a ½ ounce rigged soft plastic. I cast this out and begin counting to seven seconds to let the lure sink into the strike zone.

When the plastic is down to the desired depth I then start a slow roll and add a few twitches every now and then to change the swimming pattern as the plastic glides through the water. Continue this until you get bites, but keep rolling the plastic until you get a solid hook up. If this method doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to change your lure until you are happy.

Matthew Langford and Ken Mills with a mixed bag from Boondooma

The Bass can be fussy when it comes to feeding when they are suspended in the column.

I like to try plastics first and then move to a reaction bait. My preferred reaction baits for summer suspended fish are 5/8 Bassman spinnerbaits or a 3/8 Bassman mumbler/chatterbait.

With these lures, make a long cast and let the lure sink down 5 to 10 seconds. Once the lure is down in the zone, start a fairly rapid retrieve with a few twitches every now and then.

Chatterbaits and spinnerbaits are great baits to get a ‘reaction bite’. This is where the fish are forced to either ignore the lure or react out of instinct to bite as the bait zooms past. It’s a very effective method, with Bass well over the 50cm mark regularly hitting the deck.

Trollers are catching some really nice fish using deep diving hard bodies and 5/8 Bassman spinnerbaits around the same areas as I mentioned earlier. The key is to be patient.

Bait fisherman are catching some good numbers of Bass and Yellowbelly using live shrimp caught from the dam. Try to anchor over prominent points in the dam in 15 to 20 feet and also try the timbered sections.

Redclaw have picked up in numbers. Drop your pots around the rocky banks of the dam and also just wide of the weed beds.

Some nice Redclaw have been coming out of Boondooma Dam recently 

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Lake Barambah

BP Dam has been very consistent over the past two months, producing good numbers of fish of various species.

The fish are in great quantity but it just takes a bit of moving around to put yourself onto some quality.

Areas to target are the deeper water out the front of the dam wall, wide of Bass Point and off any main dam points that hold deeper water of about 20ft. The fish have been sitting in the 15 to 20 ft mark and on the bottom in the same zone.

I’ve been catching the majority of fish using a ½ ounce rigged plastic, with the same method as explained for Boondooma.

Also heavier spinnerbaits and chatterbaits have been working well on the bigger fish when your focussing on the reaction bite.

Matthew with a nice Bass caught slow rolling a green ½ ounce Bassman Spinnerbait

Some big Yellowbelly are being caught, but they have been a bit quiet. The key to catching a few Goldens when it’s quiet, is to focus on fishing the bottom or the many weed banks that encompass the dam.

In this case, tie on a blade and hop it gently off the bottom or out of the weed. Yellowbelly are a real sucker for a hopped blade and it won’t take long to catch a few fish using this technique. The smaller Bass also don’t mind this technique but it won’t be long and you’ll be in contact with some nice fat Golden Perch.

Matthew, Dave and Kiel with a mixed bag from a recent session on BP Dam

Trollers are getting good bags of fish trolling 5/8 Bassman spinnerbaits and deep diving hard bodies. Areas to target are the deep water around in front of the dam wall, Bass Point, around Lightening Ridge and around any prominent points.

Bait fisherman are catching plenty of fish tying off the trees up the back of the dam using live shrimp.

Redclaw are about and are coming from the steeper banks with scattered timber.

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Park News

Make sure you book your camp site for the 2017 Boondooma Dam Yellowbelly fishing competition being held on February 11-12.

It’s a  $20 competition entry for adults and $5 for juniors (16 years and under). There are live and dead weight divisions with prizes for Bass, Yellowbelly, Silver and Spangled Perch.

There are thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes up for grabs, with food and drinks available at the event.

It’s one comp you don’t want to miss. Call Lake Boondooma kiosk to make a camp site booking on (07) 4168-9694.

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 Dams’ Facebook pages.

Until next time, tight lines and bent rods!

[Photos: Matthew Langford]

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