July 3, 2017
by Matthew Langford
The winter weather is now in full swing and it’s about time too! It’s been unseasonably warm this year and the fish have been sitting deeper than usual.
Now that the cold is finally here, the edge bite is heating up and you’ll need to pull yourself away from the campfire for that crisp run up the dam to your first fishing spot.
It’s been a great month for fishing on our inland impoundments, especially Boondooma and Barambah with some reports coming in of great catches of native fish.
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Early mornings on Boondooma have been crisp and very still.
The best place to start your day flicking lures is on the edge and here, you’ve got a few options.
Firstly, you could stop off at one of the many remaining weed beds that have developed around the fringes of the dam and start by throwing jerk baits. The secret here is to choose a jerk bait in a bright colour that is 60 to 70mm long and suspends when paused on the retrieve, my personal choice is the Nories Laydown minnow.
The best method is to cast the lure to the weed edge and slowly roll the jerk bait down. Twitch the lure a couple of times when you’re down to the swimming depth and repeat this process continuously. Twitch the lure regularly and make sure you add lots of pauses in between.
The Bass have been cruising through the weed and have been smashing any small jerk baits that have been presented this way.
Make sure you’re ready for the bite at all times as the Bass absolutely hammer these baits in the weed. It’s a fun way to fish but you must be patient and move a few spots if you’re not having much luck early on.
Option number two is finding a good steep rocky edge that has some laydown timber on it. These edges have been producing some great fish. Both the Boyne and the Stuart arms have edges like this and it’s worth taking some time to fish them well with lipless crank baits and spinner baits. It’s a good idea to do this as early as you can, because the fish tend to become very wary as the sun comes out.
Another great option when the sun is well up and the day is starting to warm is the main basin.
The basin is holding some good schools of big Bass. These fish are cautious to bite of a morning and I can only put this down to water temperature and sunlight but after lunch, when the water warms, these fish seem to switch on immensely.
The best spots to check are the Junction through to Pelican Point, Leisegang’s Ledge and the Barber’s Pole.
Cast 1/4 to 3/8 ounce blades and let them sink to the bottom. Use a slow retrieve and let the lure sink back to the bottom occasionally through the retrieve.
Also, don’t go past tail spinners, 12g being the best. Cast them out and let them sink to the bottom. Use a slow lift and pause retrieve all the way back to the boat. The fish will usually hit the lure when it’s sinking back to the bottom.
Trollers are getting some good Yellowbelly in the arms of the dam using deep-diving hard bodies. Troll in close to the timber of the rocks in the Boyne arm.
Bait fisherman … your best chance is to fish the trees in the arms of the dam in 20 to 30 feet of water with live shrimp, worms and yabbies.
There are some great reports of good numbers of big Red Claw coming in. Dog biscuits and soft vegetables are proving to be great bait for their opera house pots. Place your pots just wide of the weed beds and you should get a feed.
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The dam has gone a little quiet of late but that’s not unusual for this time of year, however some good fish can still be caught if you’re persistent and hit the right areas.
Unlike Boondooma, the Bass and Yellowbelly have been caught well out in the deeper flats of the dam. Look for flats that are in the main basin from 15 to 25 feet.
Once you locate a school in this depth, the best bait to throw of late is the Ecogear ZX 40 Blade. This little lure is very versatile and can be fished by jigging vertically or cast and hopped back to the boat. Small hops are the secret, as the fish have been quite tentative during the day.
Yellowbelly are still able to be targeted but you’ll need to hit any areas that have cover to find them. Look for rocky edges, trees or a mixture of both. Jig blades or ice jigs around any trees or structure or cast spinnerbaits into the pockets around the edges or any trees and you’re very likely to catch a few.
Trollers are still catching fish but it can be a little slow this time of year. Beware that the trees in the back of the dam are no longer an option as the water is very shallow and you will ground your boat.
The best options for trolling are around the main lake points. Deep diving hard bodies and blades are a good option.
Red Claw are still active but make sure you let your pots soak long enough. If you’re staying at either one of the parks overnight, this will be plenty of time to get a good feed of reddies.
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Winter is an awesome time of year to be out camping, especially sitting around the camp fire and telling stories.
Both parks are great places to stay so make sure you’re planning a trip out our way soon.
If you’re camping in the park, please make sure you’re using an already existing fire place. If not, please see the manager for an approved fire drum. Wood can’t be collected from the park so make sure you bring your own.
The nine smaller cabins at BP are having a facelift and all will be finished by the September holidays.
Don’t hesitate to call up and book now to be one of the first to check them out and experience the new improvements.
That’s the wrap-up for this month.
Until next time, tight lines and bent rods!
[Photos: Matthew Langford]