Brad Maloney with a cracking yellow belly caught at Pelican point at Lake Boondooma.

Fish moving with changing water levels

Micheal Close with a great yellow belly caught on a recent charter at Lake Boondooma.
The Bass are keen Bony bream so don’t be afraid to try bigger lures if your small offerings don’t work.

SINCE the start of winter the fishing has changed considerably in the South Burnett region.
With a bit of patience and some searching you can find cracking catches of native fish.
No matter what type of angler you are, you’ve always got great options when targeting fish in Boondooma and Bjelke-Petersen dams.
Over the past few months the fish have been sitting very deep in Lake Boondooma.
Generally at this time of year you’ll see the fish along the rocky edges or feeding shallow among the weed.
This season it’s totally different.
The fish have been a little shallower in the morning in 6m of water but as the day warms they move into the 9-18m range.
The reason for the fish sitting so deep is the bait.
Bass are feeding on very small shrimp, red claw and huge numbers of bony bream.
A large percentage of this forage is moving along the bottom in the deeper zones of the dam.
Areas to target include the Boyne River in the timber and Pelican Point early in the morning when it’s cold.
Small 1/4oz blades and ice jigs present the best way to catch yellowbelly and bass in 5-8m.
Fish these lures vertically with small but sharp hops off the bottom among the timber pockets.
The afternoon has been the pick of the times to be on the water, as the fish are responding well to the warmer afternoons.
Once the water gets above 16C, the deeper sections from 9-18m along the Barbers Pole area have fished very well.
Fishing water this deep is still quite easy using 1/2oz blades, 20g spoons, tailspinners and 1/2oz-rigged plastics along the bottom.
Bait fishers are getting good catches of yellowbelly in the Boyne arm of the dam, fishing close to trees and the Boyne rocks.
Most have been using saltwater yabbies, shrimp and worms.
It’s a good idea to use smaller sinkers because 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 the bait up and down off the bottom.
It won’t be long until you get a bite.
Trollers have been getting yellowbelly but they have to work hard for them.
Make sure you bring a tackle retriever with you because you’re bound to get a snag or two while trolling.
Red claw are still coming in but you’ll have to work around the shallow rocky edges.
Soft fruits and vegetables have been the best baits during the cooler months.
Lake Barambah (BP Dam)
Typically, in winter, 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 involved using Ecogear ZX blades, skirted jigs and jerkbaits cast into the shallows.
Slower-moving baits like the ones suggested are dynamite in the cool.
The key is small hops off the bottom near the edge with the ZX blades and long pauses near the edge with the jerkbaits.
The deeper flats have also produced bass and yellowbelly.
Jigging blades has been the best method.
Most anglers have been sounding fish in about 6m and sitting on top of them.
Ecogear ZX blades have been the real standout because they have two small stinger hooks attached.
Drop them to the bottom and hop them with small sharp movements.
A fish only needs to touch the lure and the stinger hooks will grab them very quickly.
The best spot has been the big flat out from the main dam wall.
It’s valuable to remember most fish in the dam are gorging themselves on bony bream, so it’s a great idea to throw anything that looks like a small baitfish.
Look for steeper banks that hold some timber or rocks because this is a likely place fish will be looking for bait.
Out deeper, try to find flats close to significant drop-offs or the main submerged creek line.
Bait fishers have been getting a tonne of nice fish from BP.
Most have been fishing along the edge and fishing yabbies, worms and shrimps.
Trollers are catching the odd fish around the main lake points with small deep-diving hard-bodies.
Red claw have gone very quiet and should start popping back up as the water warms.
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.
You can also check out the website australian
Until next time, tight lines and bent rods.

About Matthew Langford

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