Reaction Baits Still Hot
  |  First Published: April 2003


The fishing has been fairly slow at Cressbrook lately. There have been plenty of small fish around to keep anglers occupied, but the bigger fish haven’t been playing the game.

The weeded edges are holding an endless supply of small bass. Mixed with these undersized fish are some better quality ones, and if you’re very lucky you could find yourself connected to a 50cm fish. Occasionally the better fish turn it on and you can have quite a bit of fun.

Casting spinnerbaits and beetlespins has been the way to lure most of these fish. Light coloured AusSpin Prospins of up to 1/2oz are one of the spinnerbaits that have been producing the goods. They receive more strikes because of their downsized blades and less bulky skirt.

When using beetlespins, I’ve been rigging Pumpkinseed and Smoke/Yellow core Sliders on 1/4oz jigheads and attaching a size 1 Bett’s Spin with a nickel blade.

There are a few schools around on the edges of the weed at the moment, and if you sound around the points and bottom contour changes in about 7m of water you should locate these bass. Again, most have been small. Slowly working spinnerbaits and beetlespins close to the bottom has been taking a few fish, but persistence with soft plastics generally puts more fish in the boat.

The deep water is also holding schools of bass. One area that has been standing out is the water a couple of hundred metres out from the toilet point in the Bull Creek arm. These fish are responding to soft plastics, jigs, trolled lures and suspended live baits.

Although the dam is fishing slow, at least one of the areas mentioned will produce fish if you pay the dam a visit. Experiment and it should bring you success.

As I mentioned last month, I have now given the guiding game away. I apologise if this has inconvenienced anyone, and you can still give me a call if you still have an unused gift voucher. If you want to contact me in relation to this, or want help choosing another guide, you can reach me at (07) 4630 8616.


The hot summer action has started to slow down a bit. Trolled lures have been taking the majority of fish, although spinnerbaiting around the edges is starting to take its share.

Some big bass have been coming from the area opposite Bass Point. Trolling with Hot Lips lures, particularly green and gold, has been scoring quite a few of these fish.

Yellowbelly are being caught mainly from the wall end, and trolling the water directly below the caravan park has been accounting for some nice fish. Black and Purple Brolgas have been one of the most consistent fish catchers.

There have also been reports of yellowbelly being caught on spinnerbaits while casting from the bank. Working the edges by casting from a boat definitely has its advantages but either way, the fish are there to be caught.


Boondooma has also been fishing a bit slow. The deep water at the wall end of the lake is still holding schooled bass and, once found, these fish can be targeted with soft plastics. Some anglers have been using live shrimps suspended under corks so that the bait is where the fish are suspending.

Bass and yellowbelly are being caught just outside the Boyne timber. Other places worth trying for yellowbelly are the many points and rock walls in the main dam basin.

If you’d like a charter on Bjelke or Boondooma, give Matthew Mott a call at Burnett Valley Sportfishing on (07) 4168 4811. Matthew and his wife Gayle run the kiosk and tackle shop at Bjelke, and if you drop in they’re sure to let you know which lures are working best and where to find the fish.


At the end of February Somerset experienced a 2m rise, bringing the capacity to over 45%. During the rise the fishing was slow, but now that the water has settled the hot action should start up again. The fish didn’t move after the rise and can be found in the same areas they have been in for the past two months.

Bass are holding between the Spit and Bay 13. Some of the better schools are concentrated along the western bank from outside of Beam Creek to opposite The Hump. Trolling deep divers is a good way to catch a few fish and cover water to find the schools. Once you’ve found the schools, bring out the soft plastic and fly tackle for some fun. Slider Grubs rigged on 1/2oz heads to keep them nice and deep are my favourite choice. Otherwise, a Bass Vampire or similar Clouser-style fly fished through the schools should do the trick.


Lake Wivenhoe also experienced a rise late in February, and April should be a good month to target redclaw here. These delicacies should still be moving around in the shallow water after the rise, and you should make the most of their activity before autumn really sets in. As the water temperatures start to cool off more the redclaw will get harder to find.

1) Good yellowbelly like this one are being caught just outside the Boyne timber at Boondooma.

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