by Matthew Langford
Spring is officially here and it’s a time of year that I always look forward to.
The water temperatures are gradually increasing and the native fish in our dams really spring into life.
This is the time of year they start gorging themselves on small baitfish.
For us anglers, this means it’s a great time to be on the water, particularly with the warmer afternoons.
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The fish in our dams are reasonably deep for this time of year, particularly Australian Bass, but Yellowbelly can still be caught from the edge in the timbered arms of the dam.
A few Bass have been up shallower in the morning in about 20ft, but as the day warms they seem to be moving out into the 30-60ft range.
The reason for the fish sitting so deep is the bait.
The Bass are feeding on very small shrimp, redclaw and massive schools of bony bream, and a large percentage of this fish forage is moving along the bottom out in the deeper zones of the dam.
If you want to target Yellowbelly, the edges in the Boyne Arm and the Stuart are producing nice fish on lipless crankbaits cast up around the timber and the rocks.
For Bass, blades and 20 gram spoons in 18-25ft in the morning is the best.
Later in the day, look in 30-60ft range as the Bass will be moving out off the edge to forage on the masses of bait getting around.
The afternoon has been the pick of the times to be on the water, as the fish are responding well to the warmer weather.
Once that water gets above 17 degrees, the deeper sections along the Barbour’s Pole area and the main lake points have been fishing very well.
Fishing water this deep is still quite easy using 1/2 ounce blades, spoons, tail spinners and 1/2 ounce rigged plastics fished along the bottom or mid column.
Leisegangs Ledge, Pelican Point and the main lake points up the front of the dam near the wall have also been producing some good fish.
Bait fisherman have been getting good catches of Yellowbelly in the Boyne arm of the dam fishing close to trees and the Boyne Rocks.
Most have been using shrimps and worms.
It’s a good idea to use smaller sinkers as the bite is hard to detect if you’re using huge ball sinkers.
Simply tie up to a tree, drop your bait to the bottom and slowly move it up and down. It won’t be long until you get a bite.
Trollers have been getting a few Yellowbelly but they have to work hard for them.
Make sure you take a tackle retriever with you as you’re bound to get a snag or two whilst trolling.
Redclaw are quiet but still coming in around the shallow rocky edges; soft fruits and vegetables have been the best bait during the winter months.
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Typically, in Spring, BP Dam’s fish move in closer to the edge and can be caught using a few methods.
Lately the best edge fishing methods have been Ecogear ZX blades, skirted jigs and jerkbaits cast up shallow.
Slower moving baits like the ones suggested are dynamite and the key is small hops off the bottom near the edge with the ZX blades, and long pauses near the edge with jerkbaits.
The deeper flats have also been producing lots of fish, be it Bass or Yellowbelly.
Ecogear ZX Blades fished vertically have been the best method.
Most anglers have been sounding fish in about 20ft and sitting on top of them.
Ecogear ZX blades have been the real standout as they have two small stinger hooks attached.
Drop them down to the bottom and hop them with small sharp hops, a fish only needs to touch them and the stinger hooks will grab them very quickly.
Best spots have been the big flat out from the main dam wall.
It’s valuable to remember that most fish in the dam are gorging themselves on small bony bream, so it’s a great idea to throw anything that looks like a small bait fish.
Soft plastics have been another method used to catch some quality fish.
Look for steeper banks that hold some timber or rocks, as this is a likely place that fish will be looking for bait up shallow.
Out deeper, try to find flats that are close to significant drop offs or the main submerged creek line.
Bait fisherman have been getting a ton of nice fish from BP Dam, and most have been fishing along the edge and using worms, yabbies and shrimps.
Trollers are catching the odd fish trolling around the main lake points – small deep diving hard bodies are the best to use here.
Redclaw have gone very quiet but should start popping back up as the water gets warmer.
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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]