by Matthew Langford
Summer is a great time of year to be outdoors with family and friends and it’s also the best time of year to be on the water.
The temperatures are hot, the 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 Lake Boondooma.
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Over the past couple of months, the fish have moved into the thermocline and are a real target for our avid trollers.
The 15 to 25 foot zone is where you will find them when you’re out in search of some fish.
The most productive areas on the dam are the deeper sections of water around the dam wall and the Buoy line.
The most productive bite time is lunchtime 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 15 to 20 feet.
I target these fish using a variety of baits, initially starting with a soft bait, a 1/2 ounce rigged soft plastic.
I cast this out and begin counting to 7 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’re happy.
Bass can be fussy when it comes to feeding when they are suspended in the column, so I like to try plastics first and then move to a reaction bait.
My preferred reaction baits for summer suspended fish are 12 to 20 gram spoons.
Spoons like the Norries Wasabi, Halco Twistie or Palms slow blatt are all great spoons for catching suspended fish in Boondooma.
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.
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 50 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 been a little slow but drop your pots around the rocky banks of the dam and also just wide of the weed beds.
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BP Dam has been very consistent over the past two months, producing good numbers of fish of varying species and sizes.
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 foot mark and on the bottom in the same zone.
I’ve been catching the majority of fish using a 1/2 ounce rigged plastic, with the same method as explained for Boondooma.
Heavier spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits have also been working well on the bigger fish when you’re focussing on the reaction bite.
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.
The 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.
If you don’t have a boat, try walking the edges of the dam throwing hard bodies.
This can be a very effective way of catching some nice natives.
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 near any prominent points.
Bait fisherman are catching plenty of fish just wide of the steeper rocky banks.
Don’t try and head up the back of the dam as the water levels are low and you will get stuck in the mud.
Redclaw are about and are coming from the steeper banks with scattered timber.
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2018 Boondooma Dam Yellowbelly
Make sure you book your campsite for the 2018 Boondooma Dam Yellowbelly fishing comp being held on February 10-11.
Entry fees for the competition are just $20 for adults and $5 for juniors (16 years and under).
There are live and dead weight divisions for Bass, Yellowbelly, Silver and Spangled Perch and there are thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes up for grabs, with food and drinks available at the event.
It’s one competition you really don’t want to miss!
Call Lake Boondooma kiosk to make a campsite 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.
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On a final note, I have just started up my own fishing charter business on BP and Boondooma dams.
If you’d like a great day out and all the info and knowledge to catch Bass or Yellowbelly in our two great dams, make sure you give me a call on 0408-658-592 and I’ll be happy to take you out for a great day’s fishing.
Until next month: tight lines and bent rods!
[Photos: Matthew Langford]