In the past month we’ve seen a number of bass tournaments held at Boondooma Dam by B.A.S.S. Australia Nation and heaps of high-quality bass have hit the scales.
Lure fishers have had great success all over the dam, but particularly in the timbered arms. The Boyne and Stuart arms have produced very big bass and yellowbelly and the best way to catch these hard-fighting natives has been to cast 5/8oz spinnerbaits close to the trees. The secret is to get your spinnerbait in as close to the standing timber as you can, letting the lure sink for three to six seconds before slowly winding it back to the boat.
You will get the occasional snag, so a lure retriever is essential, but this is where the fish are hiding. Persist long enough and your spinnerbait will be hammered by a fish. When the fish are holding in the timber they tend to fight dirty and will pull you into the nearest branches, so leaders of 12lb or heavier are essential to keep you from being busted off.
Coming into winter, the shallower bays and flats are worth a try with soft vibes and hopping blades. Another positive we’re seeing at the moment is some of the bays are developing great weed beds, and I’ve heard reports of quality fish being taken from these.
If you’re a troller, I highly recommend trolling small deep-diving hard-bodies in among the trees. Lures from 40-60mm in length that dive deep are your best bet for trolling up good yellowbelly and a decent bass or two. Again, a lure retriever is essential for getting your snagged lures back.
Other options for getting into some excellent fish include trolling in close to the bank around the points in 3.5-7.5m of water.
Bait fishers, your best bets are the Boyne River rocks or anchoring up to any standing timber in 3.5-7.5m of water and vertically jigging your bait off the bottom with small hops. The biggest mistake I see bait anglers make is anchoring on trees that are too deep. Native fish in our dams love that 3.5-7.5m range. Saltwater yabbies, shrimp and worms have been working very well.
The new cabins are coming along nicely and will be a great addition to the facilities at Lake Boondooma. Don’t forget about the delicious wood-fired pizzas available from the kiosk on Friday and Saturday nights. You’ll always be served with a smile.
Yallakool Park at Lake Barambah has recently come under new management, so if you get a chance, drop in and say g’day to Andrew and the team.
I’ve spoken with him a few times and he’s a top guy who’s keen to see Yallakool develop over the coming years.
The new cabins at Barambah are also coming along well and are situated very close to the kiosk, swimming pool, tennis courts and kids’ play area, making it a great spot for families to enjoy.
Lure fishers, your best bets are Bass Point or any prominent points around the main basin, fishing in 4.5-6m of water. Fish have been schooling well on most points and can be taken by slow rolling 5/8oz spinnerbaits, blades and 1/2oz soft plastics. The shallow flat just out from the main wall has also been productive using the same techniques.
The fish have been very quiet in the timber for lure fishos because of the dirty water that’s flowed in from the recent rain. Bait fishers, I highly recommend fishing the timber up the back alongside the old Barkers Creek bed. You can see where the old creek bed runs as the spindly timber runs directly alongside.
Tie up to a tree and fish with the same technique I mentioned for Boondooma. If you’re trolling, hit the outskirts of the main basin and try to stick to water no deeper than 6m. Trolling the big flat in front of the main wall with small hard-bodies is a great way to get a few sizeable fish. Red claw can still be caught in both dams but will start to slow down very soon as the colder weather sets in.
The best baits for red claw have been dog biscuits and soft vegetables. Remember, if you don’t have the lure styles mentioned, both dam kiosks have a fantastic range. Just let the staff know what you want and they will be more than happy to help.
Until next time, tight lines and bent rods.