The yellowbelly are keen on worms or yabbies as the afternoon heats up.
The yellowbelly are keen on worms or yabbies as the afternoon heats up. Matthew Langford

Change in season shaping up for top fishing in region

SPRING is officially here, and as water temperatures gradually increase, our native fish in our stocked impoundments are really springing into life.

It's a great time to be on the water, particularly in the warmer afternoons.

Boondooma

THE fish in our dams are reasonably deep for this time of year, particularly the Australian bass, but yellowbelly can still be caught from the edges in the timbered arms of the dam.

A few bass have been in shallower areas in the morning - about 20ft - but as the day warms they seem to be moving out into the 30-60ft range.

The reason the fish are sitting so deep is the bait. The bass are feeding on very small shrimp, red claw and massive schools of bony bream.

The large percentage of this forage for the fish is moving along the bottom out in those 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.

SPRING FISH: Damien Reardon with a nice yellowbelly from the Boyne River at Boondooma.
SPRING FISH: Damien Reardon with a nice yellowbelly from the Boyne River at Boondooma. Matthew Langford

For bass, blades and 20g spoons in 18-25ft of water in the morning is the best bet.

Later in the day, move to a depth of 30-60ft 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 afternoons.

Once that water has been getting 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 ½ ounce blades, spoons, tail spinners and ½ 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 the bait up and down off the bottom. 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 while trolling.

Lake Barambah

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 Eco gear 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 the jerkbaits.

The deeper flats have also been producing lots of fish, be it bass or yellowbelly.

Ecogear ZX Blades fished vertical have been the best method. Most anglers have been sounding fish in about 20ft and sitting on top of them and Eco gear 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.

The best spots to drop have been the big flat out from the main dam wall.

The locals have been enjoying the fishing conditions at Boonddoma of late.
The locals have been enjoying the fishing conditions at Boonddoma of late. Matthew Langford

Fishing charters

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 information and knowledge to catch bass or yellowbelly in our great dams, make sure you give me a call on 0408 658 592.

You can also check out our website on www.australianfreshwaterfishing.com.

Until next time, tight line and bent rods.

South Burnett

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