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Cranking the bass in
  |  First Published: February 2005



Cressbrook

Cressbrook is once again open to trailer boats. The Toowoomba and Crow's Nest councils have upgraded launching facilities but care still needs to be taken, particularly when launching larger vessels. Don't forget your $2 gate entry fee.

Reaction baits have been working well around the edges. Casting lures such as spinnerbaits, beetlespins and lipless crankbaits is sure to produce plenty of bass. These fish are active at this time of year, so expect to catch a lot of undersized bass as well as legal ones.

Surface poppers worked close to the edges are a good option early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Eddy’s Surface Busters and the Rapala Skitterpops are two of the most proven fish takers. The bass caught on surface are often of better quality than those caught using other methods during the day.

In past years February has produced some good rainfall, and we’re all hoping for some decent rain so the dam level can rise. If the lake has a rise of anything over a metre, be sure to get there in the following weeks. Fishing the newly flooded banks can be awesome, using the methods I’ve just mentioned.

Bjelke-Petersen

There have been plenty of bass and golden perch taken by those trolling lures. The fish seem to be scattered, suspending in deeper water, making trolled lures are a good option. A couple of areas worth trying are the top side of Treasure Island and Bass Point.

Brolga lures are producing the goods for trollers, but using spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits for trolling is increasing in popularity. These lures frequently out-fish the more conventional, deep-diving plugs used for trolling. Jackall lipless crankbaits, in particular, have been great fish takers.

There are a few fish around on bait, but it has been pretty patchy.

If you need any advice on fishing the lake or the right tackle, be sure to call into the kiosk at the lake (ph. (07) 4168 4811). Matthew Mott, who runs the kiosk, also runs charters on the lake.

Boondooma

Most of the fish have moved to the wall end of the lake. Here bass can be found in the deeper water about as far up the dam as the second or third buoy. Look on your sounder for the bass, which usually suspend at 6-8m. If you come across a decent show, you can turn them on by casting soft plastics, lipless crankbaits or spinnerbaits.

If trolling is your scene, you won’t miss out. Deep running divers or heavy spinnerbaits will reach the depth at which the fish are holding. Trolling will cover plenty of water and hopefully help you to locate the best concentrations of fish.

Trolling around The Islands and Pelican Point will turn up bass as well as golden perch. Baitfishing has been pretty steady. The lake has stained water at both ends from a rise of some time ago. The main basin has remained clear (unless there’s been more runoff by the time you read this) and is the best place to try.

If you’d like to learn how to fish Boondooma, give Matthew Mott a call on (07) 4168 4811. Matthew runs bass and barra charters, and Boondooma is one of the lakes he has specialised on for years.

Somerset

Bass can be found between The Spit and Bay 13. Most of them will be hanging around the deep water out from Beam Creek, near drop-offs and flats at Pelican Point.

Water temperature gets pretty hot at this time of year, and the bass that were happily munching soft plastics when it was cooler are now more reluctant to eat them. On those days when the fish aren’t responding to plastics, switch to spinnerbaits. If you locate shallow schools of bass in water less than 6m deep, you’re in with a good chance. Normally these fish are the most active and are often bigger than those in the deeper water. Cast across the flats using 5/8oz spinnerbaits and work them close to the bottom. I prefer the AusSpin ‘Bony Bream’, ‘Guppy’ and ‘Rainbow Fish’ from the Baitfish Series for this type of work.

Trolling the drop-off to the old creek bed will pull the odd bass and some goldens. With water temperatures being hot, it can be hard work. Push your lures as deep as possible by running fine lines and using ultra-deep divers.

An alternative is to use a 3” paddle-tail grub rigged on a 1/2oz or 5/8oz jighead. Troll these at a steady walking pace, preferably by using an electric motor. When the bass are tight-lipped, this method still seems to work.

Hinze

Surface action is red hot at the moment. Flies and poppers worked on top until the sun gets up will draw plenty of strikes. As the day wears on and the fish go deeper, probe the depths with lures such as plastics, spinnerbaits, and lipless crankbaits. Plastics around 3” long rigged on 1/4oz jigheads are ideal. Downsized spinnerbaits from 3/8oz to 5/8oz will do the job. When it comes to crankbaits, I’ve had the most success with the Jackall TN60 and Mask Vibe 60 (a.k.a. soft Jackall).

There are plenty of fish to be caught around the edges throughout the dam. The eastern arm seems to be holding the biggest number of bass, though the western arm has been producing the better quality fish.

The ideal formations to concentrate on in these areas are the steady tapering points. These extend further into the water and are a schooling point for bass. Working your lures in 3-7m of water and keeping them close to the bottom will turn the fish on in such areas.

For more information about what’s happening at Hinze or on the coast, visit the guys at Gold Coast Fishing Tackle in Nind Street. They have a great range of tackle and always know where and when the best fishing action is happening.

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