January 30, 2018
by Matthew Langford
The Christmas and New Year crowds have dispersed but the fishing has remained consistent and despite the low water levels, both South Burnett dams are fishing well.
Boondooma is producing some big quality Bass and Golden Perch, while BP Dam is producing large numbers of fish of varying species.
If you’re thinking of coming for a fish, it’s hard to go wrong if you follow the report below.
The South Burnett is the place to be for some fantastic freshwater fishing!
* * *
The dam is beautiful early in the morning and there’s plenty of wildlife to enjoy.
With the summer bite patterns continuing, it makes for some exciting fishing on Lake Boondooma, particularly later in the day as the water temperatures really warm up.
Lately the trend has been to fish the timbers of the Boyne or Stuart arm early with 5/8 Bassman spinnerbaits or lipless cranks in the morning.
During the afternoon, target the deeper sections of the dam up near the dam wall and rocky edges with 1/2 ounce rigged Eco gear power shads or Norries Wasabi Spoons or Spinnerbaits.
If I’m fishing Boondooma during the summer months, I’ll start in the timber early in the morning as the fish are in amongst the trees looking for an easy meal from passing Bonies.
In the arms, the fish are holding very close to structure and you’ll need to get your lures in as close as you can to get a bite.
Look for spindly timber – but trust me, there’s a lot of it!
Lures of choice for this scenario are 5/8 or 3/8 Bassman Spinner baits and any sinking lipless Crank bait.
Give your lure up to 5 seconds to sink down to 10–15 feet and start a slow wind.
It’s important to make sure that you have a lure retriever with you as you’ll get snagged on the trees occasionally – but if you’re getting snagged you know you’re in the thick of it.
Keep moving from tree to tree or structure to structure and persist as your lure will be eaten eventually by a hungry fish.
In the afternoon, the fish tend to bite better in the open water when it heats up.
I’ve found the fish move deeper into the timber as the day progresses, so finding the fish in the deeper water is easier to target.
To find fish in deep water, I’ll use my sounder to sound the fish sitting in that optimal depth of 15 to 25 feet.
When I’m happy I’ve found a good concentration of fish, I will pull up and begin casting 3” to 4” soft plastics rigged with a 1/2 ounce head or 18 Gram Norries Wasabi Spoons.
With a big long cast over the areas where I’ve found the fish, I will let the jig head or spoon, sink 7 to 10 seconds and begin a slow retrieve back to the boat with a couple of twitches mixed in.
Continue this technique until you start to feel a few taps on the plastic or spoon.
When you feel a tap it’s important to keep that slow wind going (without striking) until you feel weight on the line, then slowly lift the rod tip until you feel the weight of the fish.
At this point the fish will know its hooked and will make some great runs back down into the deeper water.
Keep your drag fairly loose so that the hook doesn’t pull on the way back to the boat
Trollers are picking up some great Bass and Yellow Belly trolling around the deeper sections of the dam, targeting those suspended fish.
Make sure to have plenty of deep divers handy, lures that dive 15 to 20 feet will be the ones that get you onto consistent fish.
Bait fisherman are consistently getting amongst a mixed bag of fish up in the timbered arms of the dam using worms and fresh shrimp.
It may even pay to move to the main basin and let your bait suspend under the boat in that 15 to 25 foot range.
Drifting with the wind is a great way to cover water with your bait under the boat.
Eventually it will cross paths with a hungry fish or two.
Red claw numbers are also starting to pick up with some real big ones amongst them, so make sure your pack the opera houses if you’re coming out for a day or two.
* * *
If you’re keen on trolling then I can suggest trolling lightly weighted spinnerbaits, 3/8 blades or any deep diving hard body from boat ramp to boat ramp.
Early in the day, I’ve been casting soft plastics with a lot of success out in the open water of the dam.
The bait is thick and high in the water column, so the Bass are sitting below them and coming up to feed.
I’ll use a 1/2 ounce jig head with a 3” soft plastic and cast over the open water.
Let it sink for 3 seconds, then begin a reasonably fast wind.
The Bass will tap at the lure so it’s important to remain patient and not strike until the fish has a firm grasp on the lure.
This has been our most successful method of fishing of late.
When the sun’s higher in the sky I’ve found that the Bass move out onto the deeper flats so you should, too.
Long casts, letting the plastic sink to the bottom and using a burn and kill retrieve is the key to getting the fish to hit the lure hard.
* * *
The fish stocking for both dams is still very much alive and well with another massive stock of Yellowbelly put into Bjelke-Petersen dam over the Australia Day weekend.
56,000 Yellowbelly were released into the dam, a great boost for fishing in the South Burnett.
It’s wonderful to see our fish stocking associations working hard to make this happen, because without them we wouldn’t get to catch the fish we really love chasing.
* * *
Don’t forget that you can book a fishing charter with me on BP and Boondooma dams and many other dams in Queensland.
If you’d like a great day out and all the info and knowledge to catch Bass, Yellow Belly or Saratoga in our 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.
You can also check out our website on www.australianfreshwaterfishing.com
Until next month, tight lines and bent rods!
Footnote: southburnett.com.au would like to congratulate our fishing columnist Matthew Langford for being nominated as Senior Sportsperson Of The Year in the South Burnett’s 2018 Australia Day Awards.
[Photos: Matthew Langford]