cooler water dam fishing
Mick Johnson with a good bass caught on a skirted jig.

Cooler water patterns begin at BP and Boondooma dams

cooler water dam fishing
Matty Johnson extracted a nice saratoga from the Boyne arm.
Bass have been sitting in the 3-4.5m zone but will soon move to the bottom or up on the edge as the water cools.
Lake Boondooma is currently at 32 percent. Photo: Sunwater
BP dam is currently at 8 percent. Photo: Sunwater

IT’S been an interesting month of fishing in the two impoundments of the South Burnett.

With the cooler water starting to set in, there’s been a lack of consistent fishing as the season changes. The fishing has improved over the past few days and captures of good fish in both Bjelke-Petersen and Boondooma dams are being reported.

The water temps are slowly starting to drop but constant warmer afternoons have started to make the fish bite well. It’s been a very warm month, with only a few mornings cold enough to pull on the jumpers. The fish seem to be somewhat quiet in the mornings but they have been biting as the days warm.


Boondooma has started to improve, with bigger bass and goldens being caught on a variety of techniques as the fish begin moving up shallow and sitting on the flats. The past month has seen some inconsistency but good fish are starting to be caught. The great thing about Boondooma is you can catch fish in many different areas with a variety of techniques.

In the mornings when it’s cooler I like to head up the arms of the dam and fish the edges as this seems to be the best option for getting into those feeding fish. I’ll cast a 3/8oz Bassman Spinnerbait or lipless crank to the edge, let it hit the bottom and slowly wind it out. Fish tend to move up on the edge during the night and will generally feed there until the sun hits the water and starts to warm it.

This can be a great way of catching big fish early, especially if you’re up in the timbered arms and a lot of structure is near the edge you’re fishing. Another option is fishing the many weed beds that line the edge of the dam. Jerkbaits are a great option here.

Cast the jerkbait up to the weed edge and crank it down a couple of winds, pause and then begin a series of twitches as you wind. Remember, when fishing so close to the weed you will come in contact with it regularly, but just give the rod tip a quick flick to get the jerkbait free. Be patient with this technique because bass sitting in the weed pockets will eventually come out and hit the jerkbait hard. This is a great option for catching big yellowbelly, particularly in the afternoon when the water is warm.

After the sun has been up for a while and the day warms, I always move out to the deeper sections of the dam and target schooled fish sitting on the flats. Sound around until you’ve located a good showing of fish. Generally at this time of year I’ll be searching around the 5-7.5m range. When a school is located, you have a few options to cast at the fish to entice a bite.

Half-ounce rigged plastics, tailspinners, blades, spinnerbaits and soft vibes all have their place on the flats and it’s just a matter of trying a few baits until you have one you’re consistently catching fish with. Bait fishers are still catching good numbers of fish in the timbered arms by tying off trees and fishing with live shrimp and worms as bait.

Bait can be bought at the kiosk and if you want the best bait, you can catch shrimp in the weed around the dam edges with opera house pots.  Trollers are picking up good fish around the weed edges and along the rock walls near the dam wall as well as in the timbered arms. Spinnerbaits and deep-diving hard-bodies are doing the damage.

Lake Barambah

Fishing on Barambah (BP) has slowly improved in the cooler water, with great catches of bass and yellowbelly coming in, particularly during the warmer afternoons. On the days with warmer afternoons and colder mornings, the fish have generally been staying out in the 3.5-5m zone.

If it’s cool in the morning, I will target the edges with spinnerbaits, blades and tailspinners. It helps if the edges have spindly timber mixed in with weed because the fish tend to move up and feed around this structure early in the morning. Later in the day, especially if it’s warm, I will move out deeper and target fish sitting on the deeper flats of about 6m. The fish have been spread out over the flats next to Lightning Ridge, Bass Point and wide of the Quarry. The best way to target the fish out deep is using blades, tailspinners and soft vibes.

Sound around these areas until you have a good show of fish on the sounder, then go through the above lures until you find one that gets you onto a couple of fish and stick with it. Make long casts and ensure the lure stays in regular contact with the bottom. Use either a hopping retrieve or a dead slow roll along the bottom. Persist with this long enough and you will eventually get a bite. Trollers are picking up bass by trolling deep divers and spinnerbaits along the bottom in 3.5-4m over the above areas. Bait fishers are catching bass and goldens in the timber on shrimp, worms and yabbies. Red claw are still coming in, with quality catches being taken from the rocky areas of the dam as well as in bays with weed coming out from the edge.

Fishing charters

Don’t forget 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 and 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.  Until next month, tight lines and bent rods.

About Matthew Langford

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