by Matthew Langford
The winter weather is now in full swing and it’s about time – it’s been unseasonably warm this year and this has meant the fish have been sitting deeper than usual.
So it’s a good thing the cold is here because the edge bite is heating up, though you’ll need to pull yourself away from the campfire for a 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 great reports coming from all over the dams of great catches of native fish.
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Early mornings on Boondooma have been crisp and very still and the best place to start your day flicking lures is on the edge.
You’ve got a few options here.
The first option I would start is by throwing jerk baits. The secret is to choose a jerk bait in a bright colour that is 60 to 70 mm long and suspends when paused on the retrieve.
My personal choice is the Nories Laydown minnow, and the best method is to cast the lure to the edge and slowly roll your jerk bait down.
Twitch the lure a couple of times when the lure gets to the swimming depth and repeat this process, twitching the lure regularly and making sure you add lots of pauses in between.
The Bass have been cruising shallow and close to the edge, and they’ve been smashing any small jerk bait that has been presented this way.
Always make sure you’re ready for the bite, as the Bass absolutely hammer these baits.
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 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, which is holding some good schools of big Bass.
The best spots to check are the Junction through to Pelican Point, Leisagangs ledge and Barbour’s Pole.
Cast 1/4 to 3/8 ounce blades and let them sink to the bottom.
Use a slow, hopping retrieve and let the lure sink back to the bottom through the retrieve.
Also, don’t go past tail spinners, 12 gram 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.
The best chance for bait fisherman is to fish the trees in the arms of the dam in 20 to 30 feet of water with live shrimp, worms and yabbies.
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Lake Barambah has gone a little quiet of late but that’s not unusual for this time of year, and 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 at 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 areas that have cover for them.
Look for rocky edges, submerged trees or a mixture of both.
Use jig blades, tail spinners or ice jigs around any trees or structure, or cast spinnerbaits into the pockets around the edges of 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 because the water is very shallow and you will ground your boat.
The best options for trolling are around the main lake points using deep diving hard bodies and blades.
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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 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 days fishing.
Until next month, tight lines and bent rods!
[Photos: Matthew Langford]