Persistence reaps rewards
  |  First Published: June 2003


The fishing at Lake Cressbrook has continued to be pretty slow compared with its normal standard. There are plenty of fish in the lake but, for some reason, they haven’t been cooperating too well of late.

Even so, those angles who have persisted have been rewarded with some nice fish. Bass have been smashing surface presentations in the early morning and late afternoon, with lures like Rapala Skitter Pops and Eddy’s Surface Busters taking plenty of strikes from small and large fish. For a bit of fun, you might like to target these fish on surface flies.

During the middle of the day the surface fishing slows down and you need to start probing deeper water to catch fish. Lures like spinnerbaits, beetlespins and lipless crankbaits have been scoring small bass around the weeded edges. Lipless crankbaits, although slow at times, have been producing some big fish to 50cm. I expect that fishing with these lures, and also with soft plastics, will pick up towards the end of the month. For several years, anglers who cast lures have been lucky enough to experience excellent fishing when the water temperature drops.


Most of the action at Bjelke seems to be happening in the deeper water at the wall end of the lake. There is plenty of water in this area and boating is safe, but care should be taken when navigating the upper reaches of the lake.

As the water temperature cools, trolling diving lures becomes a less effective way to target fish. The most successful way to target bass will be to locate schooled fish and work soft plastics through them.

Yellowbelly can be caught using bait. Live shrimp will start to get harder to find due to the cooler water temperatures, but are still the number one bait. As a backup, frozen prawns can be used to secure some nice catches.


Boondooma has been fishing fairly well and should continue to do so through the cooler months. Schooled bass at the wall end of the lake are one of the dam’s greatest attractions. Look for these fish in the deep water (12 metres plus). The area around the wall seems to hold its share of fish, but look also in the main basin. Sound around Carsburgh’s Point and the island drop-offs in the main basin. Once you’ve found the fish you can target them with soft plastics. My favourite for this dam is a smoke/yellow core 3" Slider Grub, rigged on a jighead between 1/4oz and 1/2oz in weight.

There should also be some bass and yellowbelly in the timbered arms. These fish can be caught on spinnerbaits, particularly in the Boyne River arm. Yellowbelly can also be targeted in the timber or on many points throughout the dam using bait.

Both Boondooma and Bjelke hold good quality fish, and if you’d like to learn how to catch them from an expert, give Matthew Mott a call at Burnett Valley Sportfishing (ph. (07) 4168 4811) to organise a charter.


The fishing has been either hot or cold at Somerset of late. Bass are the main species being caught, and yellowbelly catches will slow down even more as the colder weather settles in.

Bass are holding in big schools between The Spit and Pelican Point, and you may find scattered schools further to the north as well. The bass have been hitting soft plastics and deep flies, with a few also falling for trolled deep divers. We’ve had some great sessions using fast retrieves to get our plastics off the bottom to suspended fish, and then allowing the lures to sink before repeating. I’ve been using Slider Grubs in all sorts of colours, rigging them on 1/2oz jigheads with success.

If you do strike a day when the fishing in the schools is slow, try working some of the edges with spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. There have been a few fish hanging around in the shallow water. When throwing spinnerbaits, I’ve been using AusSpin ProSpins. Colour isn’t that important, though I prefer white and clear skirts. I have found that baits with more vibration are working better, so I’ve been throwing double Colorado combinations. Even though the yellowbelly have slowed down, athough you might find some are active in the shallower water using these techniques.


I haven’t heard many reports from Wivenhoe lately. Cooler water temperatures in this lake always seem to get the bass moving while slowing down the activity of the fork-tailed catfish. It shouldn’t be long before anglers can make reliable catches of bass.

Baitfishing with worms has been catching masses of tilapia, which I hear are great eating. They are an introduced noxious species, so any caught must not be returned to the water – dead or alive.

1) This shot of a Humminbird sounder shows active bass high in the water column most probably feeding on what appears to be a bait school.

2) Jason Ehrlich with a 47cm bass to the fork caught using fast winds through suspended fish at Somerset Dam. The drop-off to the old river bed holds many fish like this.

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