March 8, 2018
by Matthew Langford
Water levels at our two dams are slowly dropping … it’s hard to ignore, but it’s a simple fact of life when you’re going through one of the worst droughts we’ve seen for some time.
Boondooma currently sits at 35 per cent and Bjelke-Peterson Dam is 8 per cent.
Despite the low water levels. there’s still plenty of water in both dams to get out and catch some great fish.
This past month has been great for fishing!
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There’s always a few good fishing options for Boondooma.
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 among the spindly timber.
I usually start here first when the arms are quiet, and it usually pays off. I like to cruise among the trees with the electric motor and cast 5/8 Bassman spinnerbaits or soft lipless cranks in tight to the spindly trees. I let the lure sink for three to five seconds and then 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.
If you’re after a Saratoga, casting surface lures when the water is still is a great way to catch one of these prehistoric fish.
These techniques are a great way to fish and it can be nailbiting stuff at times, especially when you hook up to a quality fish.
Later in the day when the sun is up, I move out to the main basin and sound for concentrations of fish in the 15 to 25 foot range.
At this time of year the fish that sit in the thermocline are a real sucker for slow-retrieved or burned 5/8 spinnerbaits, ½ ounce rigged plastics and 18 gram Norries 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.
Trollers are getting some big Bass in the main basin, trolling 5/8 spinnerbaits, mainly around the Barber’s Pole area, the dam wall, Leisegang’s Ledge and Pelican Point. Be patient and the rewards will come.
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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BP has been the pick of the dams as far as numbers of fish go.
Sessions of 20 to 40 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 the open water straight out from the park boat ramp, wide of the Quarry and wide of Bass Point.
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 rocky 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 will definitely be in these places.
Baits such as 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, and the open water out from the main boat ramps.
Deep-diving hard bodies, especially the more fluorescent colours, are also accounting for some nice Yellowbelly.
Bait fisherman are still getting some nice Golden Perch along the rocky walls around the edges of the dam using shrimps and worms as bait.
The Redclaw have been fairly quiet this year but they are still there to be caught. Set your pots around rocky structures for the best results.
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It was great to see another massive attendance at the annual Yellowbelly comp this year at Lake Boondooma.
A huge thank you to everyone that attended this year’s event and made the weekend such a huge success.
Thanks to the Boondooma stocking group lead 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 please remind everyone to be wary of the 6 knot zone in front of the camping areas, and please make sure you have your SIPs permit and lifejackets.
Fisheries Qld will be visiting quite often over the Easter break and we’d hate to see you fined.
Don’t forget that you can book a fishing charter with me 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]