February 5, 2020
by Matthew Langford
Water levels in the South Burnett’s dams have seen a much-needed increase over the past month due to some consistent storm activity through the area.
Boondooma currently sits at 34 per cent and Bjelke-Peterson Dam at 21 per cent.
The rising water levels haven’t seen a huge change in the way the fish are biting, though.
They’re still easily catchable and some great hauls have been caught at both dams in recent times.
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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 amongst the spindly timber.
I often start here first when the arms are quiet and it usually pays off.
I like to cruise amongst the trees with the electric motor and cast 5/8 Bassman Spinnerbaits or soft lipless cranks in tight to the spindly trees, let the lure sink from 3 to 5 seconds and 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 nail biting stuff at times, especially when you hook up to a quality fish.
Later in the day when the sun is up, I’d be moving out to the main basin and sounding for concentrations of fish in the 15 to 25 foot range.
This time of year the fish that sit in this zone called the “thermocline” are a real sucker for slow retrieved or burned 5/8 spinnerbaits, 1/2 ounce rigged plastics and 18 gram Norries spoons.
So 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 Barbour’s pole area, the dam wall, Leisegangs 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 Eel tail catfish are all catchable and good eating quality.
Redclaw have picked up since the rain, too.
But remember: if the pot is empty make sure you keep moving it as you might drop a pot on the honey hole.
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Lately 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 1/2 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 with definitely be up in these areas.
Baits like 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 are also accounting for some nice Yellowbelly, especially the more fluorescent colours.
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 red claw have been fairly quiet this year but they are still there to be caught. Set your pots around rocky structure for the best results.
After the water influx I’m expecting their numbers to pick up significantly.
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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, Yellowbelly 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
Until next time, tight lines and bent rods!
[Photos: Matthew Langford]