Cressbrook’s fish are holding around the edges, as the weed provides them with cover and attracts plenty of baitfish. The dropping water level has left much of the weed high and dry but there are still some areas on the shallower banks that have good weed growth. This may die a little with the cold weather and if the lake continues to drop.
Increasing numbers of yellowbelly are being taken casting lures. These fish have been tough to catch for the last couple of years but seem to have reappeared. Averaging 1.5kg, they’re decent fish. Still, they are only considered a bycatch by most anglers targeting bass.
Bass can be caught throughout the dam. Most banks hold fish, especially the ones with a gentle taper and good weed growth. Look for changes in the bottom formation, such as where a shallow bank drops away to deeper water caused by a gully or erosion.
Casting soft plastics like Sliders rigged on 1/4oz jigheads is working well. Pumpkinseed has been a good colour, as have the other more natural colours. Try to work your plastic as close to the weed as possible without fouling it up. This may be difficult at first, but persist with it. It should pay off.
Other options are also worth trying around the weed, with spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits and suspending lures at the top of the list. Suspending minnows are great lures to use around the lake’s edges. Their profile resembles that of a small garfish. Early and late are good times to throw shallow divers like the Rapala Husky Jerk. If this fails to produce, try probing a little more deeply with suspending lures from the Rapala Shad Rap range or those from C’ultiva.
I had some success on surface lures last month, and this will still be an option this month – although the action will be slower. It may be necessary to work these lure slowly to achieve results. Pauses of 10-20 seconds with the odd slight twitch do the trick when the fish are slow to respond.
There have been reasonable catches coming from all over this lake. Golden perch are taking live shrimp and worms in amongst the timber. The timbered area is also a good place to try casting lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits for golden perch and bass.
Trolling spinnerbaits around the drop-off to the old creek bed can be productive. This has been the case in the Pelican Point area of late. This technique has produced mainly yellowbelly, although bass are a good possibility as well.
Bass have been schooling in the deeper water at the wall end of the lake but they have been hard to tempt. It’s worth keeping an eye on them because they’ll have to get more active, sooner or later. Soft plastics would be worth a try to see whether they’re willing to cooperate.
Bass schools are holding in different locations throughout the lake. Deeper water – near the wall, Pelican Point and at the last bend before the timber in the Stuart – has consistently held schooled fish. These bass should be holding pretty close to the bottom in 10-15ms of water. Working ice jigs and casting soft plastics and spinnerbaits should all receive some attention.
Golden perch will fall for baits in the Stuart and Boyne arms. The Stuart timber is normally the better place to try.
Bass schools are easy to find between Beam Creek and Bay 13. This is a pretty big area so a good sounder is necessary to do the job. Look around the old creek bed and on top of the flats nearby. Although these fish are pretty easy to find, they can be difficult to catch. Slow rolling spinnerbaits and soft plastics are two of the most popular ways of targeting fish from these waters. Another option, which can be quite successful on big bass at this time of year, is fishing deep fly. Deeply presented Clouser-style flies fished from fast-sinking lines are the key to gaining the fishes’ interest.
Spinnerbaiting along the edges of the lake is another productive method. We generally say ‘spinnerbaiting’, but other reaction lures, such as lipless crankbaits and beetlespins, work as well. The fishing on the edges can be pretty tough. It’s important to cover a lot of water in search of active fish, and an electric motor is the best way to control the boat and to manoeuvre quietly. Both bass and goldens will be patrolling the lake’s edge, looking for some food in the warmer water.
The edges up in the timber are a popular choice for this style of fishing. My last trip fishing the timber had steady action, only producing small bass and a few yellowbelly. The left feeder arm’s shallower water was dirty, with rubbish floating on top due to the lake slowly rolling over. With luck, things will change and the timber will fire again.
A few decent bass are starting to show up in Wivenhoe. Trolling deep-diving lures in the Pelican Island area is scoring a few reasonable fish. If you have plenty of battery power, a trip to Platypus Cliffs could be worthwhile. Again, trolling lures works well here.
Make sure that you pick a good day by watching the weather before you leave. You don’t want to be pushing your vessel into a strong headwind on the way back to the ramp. Wivenhoe is a big dam and it can blow up, getting pretty rough.
There is a Bass Electric round being held on July 11. It will be good to see how anglers fare on this huge impoundment. Despite its close proximity to Brisbane, Wivenhoe has had minimal fishing pressure from lure tossers due to it being restricted to electric-powered craft. Like most bass lakes in Queensland at this time of year, the edges should be holding quality bass. Spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits can cover a lot of water when in search of fish, but if you find a school you might have to put the reaction baits away. Even those these lures may draw some attention, winter fish often prefer a soft plastic.