by Matthew Langford
As winter moves in, the water temperatures in the South Burnett’s two dams have been slowly dropping.
The fish are still active and hungry but it pays to be smart about the way to approach a day’s fishing on our dams.
The edges and the shallow flats bite have really fired up and you should be able to bag yourself some really healthy Bass and Yellowbelly over the coming months.
At this time of year, the Bass and Goldens are getting 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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The best areas to hit recently have been the shallow edges early with lipless cranks and spinnerbaits. Rocky or weedy edges are the best to target.
Early in the morning, when it’s quiet and still, is the best time for this type of fishing because the water temps are at their lowest and the dam is at its quietest.
Some awesome Yellowbelly fishing can be had at the start of winter along the edges, so if it’s Yellas you want, this is where I would start. Cast your spinnerbaits up to the weed or rocky edge and begin a slow roll back to the boat.
Later in the morning I would be moving off the bank and looking for active fish in 20 to 40 feet of water.
When a school is located, position the boat towards the school and cast 1/4 or 3/8 ounce Ecogear 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 (after lunch) when the water heats up, I’ve found that the bigger Bass can be caught well 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 hit the tail spinner generally as it’s falling after the lift, so be on your toes for the bite.
Trollers are getting some good Yellowbelly in the arms of the dam, trolling spinnerbaits. Troll in close to the timber near the rocks in the Boyne arm but make sure that you have a lure retriever handy because you will get snagged occasionally, but your hard work will be rewarded.
Bait fisherman … your best chance 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 lakes edges, so it pays to get live bait, even better when you can get it from the dam you’re fishing in.
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The fish have been up on the edge early when the waters cool.
I’ve been catching some good Bass and Yellowbelly using 1/2 ounce rigged grub tail plastics, ZX blades, skirted jigs and Jerkbaits.
Look for edges with broken rock or pebbles as these are likely edges that hold bait and fish.
As the sun gets higher, I always move to the deeper flats and target areas around points and flats, spots around the outside of Lightning Ridge, Bass Point and the Quarry are likely places to find fish sitting out deeper.
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 and tail spinners 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. Fish up to 45cm have been caught recently off the edges and out on the flats.
Trollers are getting some nice Yellowbelly in the afternoons, but be very wary as the water is starting to get shallow.
Try to stick to the middle of the dam and create a troll run from the Quarry to Bass Point.
Bait fisherman have also been having some success. They’ve been catching mixed bags of Yellowbelly, Silver Perch and Bass from the edge of the dam.
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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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 on our two great dams, 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
Until next month, tight lines and bent rods!
[Photos: Matthew Langford]