Big rains bring good fishing
  |  First Published: August 2005


Lake Cressbrook tends to fish well in August and in previous years, has been one of the best months to target the lake’s bigger bass. These bass, and also yellowbelly, can be caught casting lures around the edges of the lake. The weed beds are dying off due to the low water levels, which has made the fish more accessible to the shore-based angler, although a boat is a better option as it gives you the ability to explore the whole dam and provides access to deeper water.

Care needs to be taken when launching boats. At the time of writing, the gravel ramp is shallow for quite a way out into the water and unless the water drops another metre or so in the next month, this will still be the case. Smaller boats provide no worries but bigger boats tend to drop down as the stern enters the water. Just take it easy in order to keep your motor and fishfinder transducer off the gravely bottom.

Casting suspending jerkbaits around the edges is one of the best ways to get the fish to bite. Bass are the main species taken, with some good-sized yellowbelly a common by-catch. Cultiva Rippiní Minnows and Jackall Squirrels have been performing well, though other natural coloured neutral buoyancy lures will also do the job. The best performers are those that dive 1-2m deep.

Jerkbaiting with plastics is another option. Rig jerkbait plastics like Gulp Minnows or 3” PowerBait Bass Minnows on 1/16 and 1/8oz jigheads. Fish these with plenty of twitches and allow them to sink at least a metre during the retrieve.

If you can find any weed beds in the lake, these are the best place to try any shallow water presentations. The weed seems to grow best in the small bays that have had a layer of silt washed down in past years. The further the weed is from the shore and the deeper the water it’s in, the better.

Scattered, schooled bass can be found around the points, so check all the points in the main basin of the lake by looking in water of 5-10m. Once found, run some Mask Vibe Jackalls or Slider Grubs rigged on 1/2oz jigheads past them.

Bjelke Petersen

This lake has really fired in the past month and there should continue to be good catches from a variety of methods.

The creek bed at the wall end of the lake is holding some big schools of bass. Although these fish were hard to catch earlier in the year, they are making up for it now. Lure fishermen can have good sessions using soft plastics or trolling Jackalls through the schools.

Livebait will produce golden perch, bass and eel-tailed catfish, with the waters between Bass Point and the wall the best. Concentrate on the creek bed, deep drop-offs and the quarry area. If you plan on venturing up to the timber, take care, as there is a lot of shallow water (even out in the open parts of the lake).

Matthew Mott runs freshwater charters on Bjelke, Boondooma and some of the northern barra lakes. If you’re interested in learning more, give him a call on (07) 4168 4811.


Early in July, the water level rose over 1m, so the water has been dirty in the upper reaches. Provided it has started to clear here and hasn’t affected the main basin, you can expect the following action.

The banks will be holding bass and golden perch for the lure caster. Varying between soft plastics, Jackalls and spinnerbaits will ensure you are giving yourself the best chance. The fish on the edges are spread out throughout the lake.

Big schools of bass should be found in the deeper water, particularly at the wall end of the lake. Casting or trolling with soft plastics or Jackalls will get them to bite and trolling can also be a good way to explore the areas that are likely to hold fish.

After the run of fresh water, the yellowbelly should have been stirred up in the Boyne River timber, which had a bigger run than the Stuart River arm. Livebait fishing with shrimp right in the thick, heavy timber puts your bait in the right zone. Even if the water is still discoloured, bait should do the trick.

For all your tackle needs or the latest report, call in at Bass to Barra Marine in Kingaroy’s main street right near the Shell service station. They’ll be able to give some handy tips on how to get into the best action.


Some of the July heavy rain on the coast managed to reach Somerset’s catchment and the dam rose over a metre. A rise of this amount will have little effect on the water clarity from the Bay 13 area down to the wall.

The winter bass that are caught in the shallow water around the edges will be encouraged to hold there in bigger numbers. Rain stirs up plenty of nutrients and goodies in the water, attracting bait and predators into the shallow water. Using lures that cover plenty of water and make a fair amount of vibration seems to work best. Spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits are my picks as they can be fished at different depths by changing the retrieve.

The rise will have had little effect on the schooled bass that are holding around the old creekbed. They were starting to find different areas to hold in due to the lower water level but now this has risen, they will probably work their way back to their normal haunts. Pelican Point is a good place to start looking. On the busier days, try to seek out small schools of fish away from other boats. When the bass are pressured by a lot of anglers, they get finicky and harder to catch, so try looking in Bay 13, along Brad’s Bank, the bay opposite The Hump and around the point of The Spit.

The schooled fish were fairly easy to catch only a month ago, but they can become hard to catch at this time of year. In the past three years they have been tough work, but in years before that, they were really easy. It’s difficult to guess but this year I think the schools will be pretty easy to entice, particularly with soft plastics, Mask Vibe Jackalls and spinnerbaits. If they are proving difficult, deep water fly presentations may be necessary.


After last month’s downpour on the Gold Coast and the subsequent rise in water level, Hinze should be fishing well. Areas to target will be the upper reaches of the dam and any of the grassy edges. Look for gently sloping banks with some sort of structure and deeper water close by, where the bass like to retreat and hide when the sun is higher. Spinnerbaits, Jackalls and suspending crankbaits such as the Jackall Squirrel range will all catch their share of fish. The darker natural colours are a good choice while the water remains dirty.

Poppers and other surface lures should also get some strikes due to the rise. A slowly worked popper fished close to the edge will produce some exciting surface strikes, especially from early to mid-morning.

The points closer to the dam wall will also be holding fish. Start prospecting at a depth of around 7m and look for schools of bass on your sounder. Once the fish are found, slowly worked plastics and spinnerbaits will do the trick.

Overall, August is a great month to get out and target some fish on Hinze. The cooler calm days in conjunction with the rise in water level should keep both fish and angler happy. For all the latest details on how the lake is fishing, call in and see the guys at Gold Coast Fishing Tackle in Nind Street, Southport. They can help you out with all the information and gear that you’ll require for fishing the Gold Coast area.


After completion of stage one in the upgrade of facilities at the lake, anglers have again been enjoying what Lenthalls has to offer. A new ramp makes launching and retrieving a breeze, although there are only limited car and trailer parking spaces available at the moment.

Bass have been schooling around the lake and points are a good place to look for such schools. Fishing soft plastics or fly is the best way to tempt these fish. Around the lake’s weedy edges, there are plenty of bass for those casting all manner of lures, such as spinnerbaits, beetlespins, lipless crankbaits, jerkbaits and soft plastics.

Anglers targeting bass are also catching some small barra of 40-50cm. These barra hold in schools, so if you happen to catch a few, make sure you release them safely. And remember, the minimum size is 58 cm.


During the cooler winter months, there have been many happy anglers landing some impressive yellowbelly. They are being caught in various sizes, which is a good indication of the healthy growth rates in the dam. Yellowbelly can be caught either with bait or by casting lures, with Lively Lure Micro Mullets a popular lure at the moment.

Sleepy cod are still in abundance throughout the dam and are a very nice table fish. The best bait to entice these fish is either prawns or worms.

The redclaw have flourished in the winter months and can be caught all over the dam by placing pots close to structure in 3-5m of water. The redclaw bait of choice is either rockmelon or banana.

By the end of the month, the barra won’t be too far off making their presence known. For any up-to-date details or the right tackle and gear for fishing the lake, call in and see the guys at Creek 2 Coast Fishing Tackle in Biloela or call them on (07) 4992 1288.


The barra bite for Awoonga is expected to be fairly slow. If last year is any indication, there will still be barra around, particularly on the warmer days. Try casting B52s into the warmer water of the shallows in the afternoon on a warmer than normal day.

Trolling the open water during the middle of the day is also worth a shot. Trolling lures maximises the amount of time the lure spends in the water and if the fish are in the area, this will increase your chances of success. Predatek Vipers and Pristine Lures in big and small sizes have been and will continue to take the odd barra while the water temperature is cool.

Redclaw can be caught from the boat or even off the bank using opera house traps. Try to get the pots into about 5m of water and use baits like dog biscuits, paw paw and mango.

Last season produced the best fishing Awoonga has ever offered. It’s sure to kick off in a big way in September or even earlier if there’s a run of warmer days. To find out what’s happening or to get in early and book a spot at the lake, give Merv and Meg at the Awoonga Caravan Park a call on (07) 4975 0155.

Lake Proserpine (Peter Faust)

Being further north, the barra fishing tends to pick up earlier than the more southern barra lakes. Last year, August produced some of the best big barra fishing on record. Lindsay Dobe’s charter operation reported hooking 18 barra over the magic metre in a single lure casting session.

As always when the water temperatures are cool, look for the warmer areas. Most sounders these days are fitted with a temperature sensor to monitor any changes. Casting in shallow water of around 2-2.5m deep is the best bet and in the sticks, look for any spindly timber as the barra love to hang around this. Use slow presentations with lures like Barra Baits in both the 8+ and 14+ models or the new Big B52.

Topwater lures are also worth a go. Fishing on the surface is best in the mornings or on afternoons with no wind and some of the better lures to try are Bill Bugs 100mm Fuzz Bug and 90mm Mice Bug or the 90mm Rapala Skitter Pop.

As mentioned, August is a great time to hit the water. This will depend on the weather and when the warmer days arrive. To be sure you don’t miss out on the action, you should call Lindsay at Proserpine Bait and Tackle on (07) 4945 4641 to organise a charter. Even if you’re heading to the lake in your own boat, a day spent with a guide can make all the difference to the rest of your stay.

Quality bass like this can be expected throughout the winter months for those prepared to put in the time.

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