There are no prizes for guessing the topic of conversation around impoundments in Southeast Queensland at present. The drought and subsequent low water levels are making it very difficult for anglers to get to their favourites spots. While shrinking water levels can make finding fish easier, many boat ramps at local dams are, at best, 4WD access only, or at worst, out of bounds for all.
On top of this, the fishing has been quiet lately, but falling water temperatures will signal the return of bass to their winter haunts. Redclaw are still abundant, so there is no reason to go home empty handed.
At Lake Samsonvale, the Pine Rivers Fish Management Association (PRFMA) recently carried out further maintenance to the temporary ramp to ensure continued access to the waterway. The project received generous support, with Boral Quarries from Petrie donating materials and Goanna Earthmoving from Caboolture doing the earthworks.
These improvements will ensure holders of new permits for boating access to Lake Samsonvale, which kick in on May 4 for the 2005/06 season, will be guaranteed access to the lake. These permits, available from the PRFMA, provide the funds to stock the lake with bass, golden and silver perch, Saratoga and Mary River cod.
Previous permit holders will be quite familiar with the best spots, so this article is intended primarily for those anglers who will be accessing the lake for the first time. Refer to the numbers on the map and read on to find out about some of the best areas to try.
1. As you come out of the launch area into the main channel, the points on either side are worth a look. There is still plenty of water in this area, so don’t rush past this on your way to ‘greener pastures’.
2. This area features the confluence of two creeks beds, resulting in some deeper holes and good structure. There is an SEQWater marker buoy in the middle of this bay, and this provides a good reference point. This spot is especially good for silver perch.
3. A rocky bank on this side of the lake provides natural cover, so a quiet troll down this bank will often result in a hook-up or two. All around this area is good redclaw territory.
4. Look out for the SEQWater marker buoy for this very productive area. Later in winter, this bay seems to hold good fish.
5. Between points 4 and 5, the riverbed makes some sharp turns, which provide excellent structure for holding fish. This then leads to a steep wall, where the river runs close to the bank, with quite a steep drop-off. This has been a very productive area for bass in the past
6. A group of submerged tree stumps, usually marked with a float, provide good cover for bass, although these tend to be smaller than the monsters that roam the open areas of the bay. Anchoring up on the structure and bait fishing with live shrimp will produce quantities of bass, while trolling around the bay will almost guarantee some 50cm-plus fish.
7. Working back upstream from the launch area, look for rocky shorelines, which are likely to hold fish. Generally, the upstream sections are much shallower, but still hold some interesting features.
8. This bay leads to an old bridge, which is submerged at higher water levels. A deep hole under the bridge often produces, but low water levels of recent years have driven the fish into other areas.
9. In this section, the lake starts to narrow to the original river course. This tends to concentrate the fish, and can be quite productive at times. Navigating some of these areas is problematic with low water levels.
10. From this point on, you will be fishing in the river itself. Early in the season, this is well worth a try. The beautiful scenery and tranquillity alone make the trip rewarding, with fish a bonus.
Having a sounder on the boat is almost a necessity to locate the old riverbed and submerged structure. Criss-crossing the riverbed to locate fish schools is a good tactic, and using down rigs in some of the deeper areas is recommended. However, with the very low water levels at present, it is not difficult to bottom lures out in most of the regular spots.
Applications for boating permits are available from leading tackle stores, or by contacting the Pine Rivers Fish Management Association at PO Box 131, Lawnton, Qld, 4501. You can also call them on 0417 742 023, or send an email to --e-mail address hidden-- . Alternatively, the application forms can be downloaded from the PRFMA website at www.prfma.tripod.com.
Ramp improvements ensure access to the lakeReads: 1976