March 7, 2017
by Matthew Langford
Levels are getting quite low in our two dams but that’s not stopping the fish from biting and the anglers leaving with smiles on their faces.
Both dams haven’t changed much as far as the fishing goes and there are huge amounts of opportunity to get amongst some great fishing for native fish in Boondooma and BP.
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There’s a couple of good fishing options for Boondooma this month.
Early in the day, your best option would be to hit the trees in either the Stuart or Boyne arms chasing Bass, Yellowbelly or even Saratoga amongst the spindly timber.
With low water levels, it means the local Saratoga can be targeted and caught quite often.
I usually start here first when the arms are quiet, and it usually pays off. I like to cruise amongst the trees with the electric motor and cast 5/8 Bassman Spinnerbaits or soft lipless cranks in tight to the spindly trees.
I’ll let the lure sink from three to five seconds and start my retrieve. This usually accounts for a few Bass and Yellowbelly. The Goldens particularly like lipless cranks cast tight to the structure and the Bass tend to hit as the lure bounces over the underwater structure.
It’s a great way to fish and it can be nail-biting at times, especially when you hook up a quality fish.
Later in the day when the sun is up, I’d be moving out to the main basin and sounding for concentrations of fish in the 15 to 25-foot range.
This time of year, the fish that sit in this zone, called the “thermocline”, are real suckers for slow retrieved or burned 5/8 Spinnerbaits or Spoons.
Give this a try next time you’re out, but make sure you find some good shows of fish on the sounder before you start casting. It pays to put the work in to find them because you can be greatly rewarded.
The best places to try are around the steep rock walls in the main basin and along the buoy line in front of the dam wall.
Don’t be afraid also to go looking around the rocky points around the main basin as this is where fish like to congregate.
Trollers are getting some big Bass in the main basin, trolling 5/8 Spinnerbaits, mainly around the steep rock walls and the buoy line.
Some nice Yellowbelly are also coming from the Boyne timber, trolling hard bodies and Spinnerbaits.
Bait fisherman are still recording good catches in the timbered sections of the dam, using shrimps and worms. Silver Perch, Bass, Yellowbelly and Eeltail Catfish are all catchable and good eating quality.
Redclaw are patchy but if you put in the work you will catch some whoppers.
Remember, if the pot is empty make sure you keep moving them as you might drop a pot on the honey hole.
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Bjelke-Petersen has been the pick of the dams as far as numbers of fish go. Sessions of 20- plus fish are not uncommon and if you put the work in you can get some quality as well.
A few areas that have been fishing well lately are around Lightning Ridge and wide of Bass Point. Make sure you ask the guys at the kiosk if you want to know these areas.
Soft plastics rigged on a ½ ounce head have been very effective. Soft Vibes and Spinnerbaits are also a great go-to lure if the fish are sitting up off the bottom with a burn and kill retrieve.
Areas not to forget are the areas around the edges of the dam that hold some structure, because the dam is so shallow, the fish like to move up into these areas to feed most of the year.
Coming into autumn, the fish with definitely be up in these areas. Baits like Spinnerbaits and blades could become a key bait at this time of year.
Trollers are catching some nice fish trolling around the main lake points of the dam, around Lightening Ridge and wide of Bass Point. Deep diving hard bodies are also accounting for some nice Yellowbelly, especially the more fluorescent colours.
Bait fisherman are getting some nice Golden Perch around the old quarry up near the dam wall.
The Redclaw have been moving of late, so don’t forget to pack the pots.
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It was great to see a record attendance at the annual Yellowbelly competition this year – a total of more than 1000 entrants.
Everyone was well-behaved and most people caught fish.
A huge thank you to everyone that attended this year’s event and made the weekend such a huge success.
Thanks also to the Boondooma fish stocking group, led by Terry Allwood, who made it so enjoyable. These guys will put the money back into fingerlings for the dam to keep flourishing for years to come.
Now that we’re coming into the Easter break, the dams will become quite busy.
Can I remind everyone to be wary of the 6-knot zone in front of the camping areas as well as keeping out of the no fishing/boating zone near the dam wall.
Fisheries Queensland will be visiting quite often over the Easter break, and I’d hate to see you fined for the above reasons.
That’s it for this month’s report.
Until next time, tight lines and bent rods!
[Photos: Matthew Langford]