Big bass come out to play
  |  First Published: June 2004


This month we should see an increase in the size of bass coming from the lake. The smaller ones get less suicidal and steady up while the big boys come out to play. The surface action will start to die down a little compared to the last few months; the water temperature is cooler so the bass are less willing to take surface presentations – though that’s not to say they aren’t worth trying.

Despite the action on topwater lures tapering off, there’s still a good chance of bagging some bass and the occasional yellowbelly from the shallow water. Casting to the broken weed reefs with various lures should produce the goods, and shallow suspending lures like Rapala Husky Jerks are ideal in the mornings and afternoons. As the day progresses, probe deeper again with a suspending lure such as a Cultiva Rippin’ Minnow. The fish holding around the edges will also fall for soft plastics, Clouser-style flies and lipless crankbaits. One lure that’s been doing well is the silent, soft Jackall (Mask Vibe 60). Similar to a lipless crankbait in appearance, this lure has a soft body with no rattles. The fish may prefer the Jackall because it’s quiet and the noise isn’t needed to trigger interest in such a clear lake.

Deep schooling bass will often move towards the upper reaches of the arms. Both Cressbrook and Bull creeks are worth sounding out in the area where the middle of the lake shallows to around 13-18m deep. Here bass can school and will be suckers for soft plastics. Past experience has shown that 1/2oz jigheads and paddle-tail plastics are best. Spice your plastics up with scent, such as Slime It or Spike It, and you’ll increase your chances of success.

The latest BASS Electric event is being held at Cressbrook on June 6, and for more information you can call Carl Jocumsen at Mullet Gut Marine on (07) 4632 9770. It could also be worth a visit to the store to check out the extensive range of gear and find out which lures are working best.


Schooled fish should be much easier to find this month. A good place to start is around the drop-off to the old creek bed, and the flats between Pelican Point and the timber also hold good schools. Once you’ve located the fish they can be caught using various methods, including casting plastics and lipless crankbaits, vertically hopping ice jigs and trolling spinnerbaits.

There is some weed growth around the edges that should harbour some sizeable bass, and if you work these edges casting spinnerbaits or lipless crankbaits, you should be rewarded. Spinnerbaits can also be used in the timber, where there is a good chance of picking up yellowbelly as well as bass.

Baitfishing usually picks up this month. There are a few shrimp around in the lake, though they can be pretty hard work to catch. An alternative is to use live worms. Bait fishing will produce golden and silver perch, and in the mornings and afternoons you’ll have a good chance of boating some jew as well.


This dam has had plenty of fishing pressure over the last couple of months, making the fish a little shy. They should have had some relief by now and will start schooling, beginning their early winter behaviour. Throughout the cool months the fish tend to head farther upstream, so sounding around the edges of the island in 10-15m of water is a good place to start. Alternatively, you can try the deeper water in the Stuart Arm (around the first and second bend) or the deep side of Pelican Point. Use these areas only as a starting point as the fish can be found in other similar areas as well. Using ice jigs or soft plastics like Slider Grubs are a guaranteed way to entice these fish.

Like most other lakes that have bony bream as one of the major food sources, Boondooma fishes well around the edges. Here, the resident bass and occasional yellowbelly can be caught by casting spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. Simply cover plenty of ground either by drifting with the wind or, preferably, under the power of an electric motor.

If you need some help learning how to fish Boondooma or Bjelke, or you’re just after a good day out, Matthew Mott runs fishing tours to suit anglers of all skill levels. For information or bookings, give him a call on (07) 4168 4811.


The dam hasn’t quite lived up to expectations for the last month or so. I’ve heard reports of fish caught but the action seems to be slow. With a couple of competitions being held at the dam this month, I’m sure the competitors will work out the best way to catch fish.

There are still bass holding in the Pelican Point area through to Bay 13. It is possible that these fish may move closer to Kirkleigh. Hopefully, they’ll pack into tight schools again, making them easier to target. When sounding for these fish, I’d pay particular attention to Bay 13 and the area wide of Queen Street. Spinnerbaits have been working well for some time on these deep holding fish, although winter will probably see them preferring soft plastic offerings.

As always, the edges are a good place to target Somerset’s monster bass, and here you’ll have a good chance of catching yellowbelly as well. The yellowbelly tend to hang close to structure like trees, logs and rocks in water as little as a metre deep. Bass are found on the more open banks. Fish can be taken throughout the dam, although the banks north of Kirkleigh are a popular choice.

Catching fish from Somerset’s edges is a matter of covering plenty of water. Casting spinnerbaits, beetlespins and lipless crankbaits while under the power of an electric motor is the best option. It’s often hard work but the size of the fish makes the effort worthwhile.


Once again it’s time to hit the water of Wivenhoe. The cooler water means the catfish population will steady up, giving anglers the chance to catch more desirable species. Yellowbelly and bass can be caught around the edges. Trolling deep divers or casting spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits is a good way to locate and catch these fish.

The deeper water around creek drop-offs should be hiding schools of bass. Trolling lures is a good way to catch these fish, although the catfish can still be a nuisance at times. If you locate a good school of bass you can target them by casting soft plastics.

A month or so ago there was some surface action early and late in the day. It’s still quite possible that the bass will fall to surface lures as well if the conditions are right.

Overall, it’s a great time of year to be out on the water. Get rugged up and enjoy the warmth of the sun beating through the early morning fog. Frosty banks, freezing hands but big fish are enough to get me excited!

1) This Cressbrook bass fell for a soft Jackall (Mask Vibe 60). As an alternative to rattling lipless crankbaits, these lures have been proven successful on many of our lakes.

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