June 7, 2017
by Matthew Langford
With the unseasonably warm weather hanging around for quite some time the cold weather gear hadn’t had to make much of an appearance until lately.
Water temps have begun to drop slowly over the past few weeks. However, the fish are still active and still hungry.
With the cold moving in fast now, the edge bite and shallow flats bite have really fired up and you should be able to bag yourself some very healthy Bass and Yellowbelly over the coming months.
The great thing about this time of year is the Bass and Goldens are fat and healthy and a whole new array of lures can be used to target the natives in our local dams.
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Recently the best techniques have been to hit the edges early with lipless cranks and spinnerbaits.
Rocky or weedy edges are the best to target.
Another good way of finding good fish is sounding over the main lake points and large shallow flats in the main basin in search of the large schools that generally congregate at this time of year.
In the morning when it’s quiet and still is the best time for this type of fishing, because water temps are at their lowest and the dam is at its quietest.
Having a good quality sounder is important when trying to locate the schools as you’ll pick up the fish close to the bottom when you’re searching.
Once a school is located, position the boat towards the school and cast ¼ or 3/8 ounce Eco gear VX, ZX or Little Max blades. Let the blade hit the bottom and use a slow hopping or roll retrieve.
Occasionally, change it up and use a slow roll and kill technique as the fish will hit the lure when it’s close to the bottom, as it’s falling or just after it’s rolled off the bottom.
Later in the day, when the water heats up, I’ve found that fish can be caught by using Nories tail spinners, 12 gram being the best.
Cast the tail spinner out with a long cast and let it sink to the bottom. Wind up the slack and slowly lift the rod tip, then drop it back to the bottom keeping contact with the lure at all times.
The fish this time of year love a bait that is falling in their face and the tail spinner suits the bite perfectly.
The fish will generally hit the tail spinner as it’s falling after the lift.
Keep an eye on the sounder with this technique, as you’ll get more bites when the fish rise off the bottom. This generally means they are flared up and ready to eat.
Trollers are getting some good Yellowbelly in the arms of the dam using deep-diving hard bodies.
Troll in close to the timber near the rocks in the Boyne Arm. Make sure that you have a lure retriever handy because you will get snagged occasionally, but your hard work will be rewarded.
The best chance for bait fisherman is to fish the trees in the arms of the dam in 20 feet of water with live shrimp.
You can catch the shrimp using opera house pots with a bit of steak just below the kiosk, or around the lake edges. It pays to get live bait and it’s even better when you can get it from the dam you’re fishing in.
There’s been some great reports of good numbers of big Redclaw coming in, dog biscuits and soft vegetables proving to be great bait for their opera house pots.
Rocky ledges and points are the best spots to drop your pots, but make sure they are are clearly marked with your name and address.
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The fishing over the past month has slowed down a little but you can still catch some very decent fish if you’re up early and fish patiently.
The fish have been up on the edge early when the water’s cool. I’ve been catching some good Bass and Yellowbelly using ½ ounce rigged grub tail plastics.
Target rocky ledges with a bit of timber or rocks.
As the sun gets higher, I always move to the deeper flats and target areas around points and flats. Lightning Ridge, Bass Point and the Quarry are likely spots to find fish sitting out deeper.
If you’re not familiar with these places, call into the kiosk. They are always willing to explain where they are.
If the regular deeper areas don’t produce, it’s a good idea to sound around the outskirts of the dam and find those fish sitting in 10 to 20 feet of water.
Once located, target them with the techniques that I mentioned for the Boondooma flats. Blades, tail spinners and ice jigs are the go-to lures to use when the fish are sitting out deep.
Both dams are reasonably similar but sometimes it does pay to experiment with your lure selection.
The Bass are getting bigger. Models of up to 45 cm have been caught recently off the edges and out on the flats.
If you’re chasing Yellowbelly, fish tight in around any timber on the dam with lipless cranks or spinner baits. Persist long enough and you’re sure to get a couple.
Yellowbelly over 50cm have been caught recently using this technique. The afternoon, when the water’s warmer, is the best time.
Trollers are getting some nice Yellowbelly up in the timber of an afternoon, but be wary: the water is shallow going into the timber.
You can still troll through the timbered areas up the back of the dam with shallow to medium diving hard bodies. Some Bass have also been mixed in with the catches.
Bait fisherman have also been having some success. They’ve been catching mixed bags of Yellowbelly, Silver Perch and Bass from the timber.
Tie up to a tree and use live shrimp as bait. Drop your bait to the bottom and slowly jig the bait.
If your first spot doesn’t produce, don’t be afraid to move several times until you know you’re sitting on some active fish.
The Redclaw are still around but you’ll have to put in the effort for a feed. Target rocky edges or spindly timber and use soft vegies for bait.
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If you’re looking at coming out our way and would like to stay at either park, phone us and we’ll book a site tailored to your needs.
Give Yallakool a call on (07) 4168-4746 or Boondooma on (07) 4168-9694.
That’s this month’s wrap up of the two dams.
Tight lines and bent rods!
[Photos: Matthew Langford]