Fat bass from Somerset
  |  First Published: September 2003


Lake Cressbrook has fished poorly over the last month when compared with recent years. However, with the onset of spring we should see a few changes and hopefully the fishing will improve. The lake’s edges are still heavily weeded and these areas should provide some action this month.

Casting suspending lures for bass around the edges has been the most successful approach to scoring both quality and numbers of fish. I’m sure this pattern will continue and we may even see the fish become more active. The C’ultiva range of suspending lures is great as there is a selection of lures that vary in size and reach different depths.

Soft plastics and lipless crankbaits are my next choice if the suspending lures fail. Again, casting to the edges should see some decent sized bass hooked and boated. There may still be a few days of cold weather lingering this month, but the water temperature at the surface should start to rise – and this means it’s time to work those surface lures once again. Gar activity will increase and so too should the number of fish falling for lures such as the Eddy’s Surface Buster and the Rapala Skitter Pop.

At the entrance to the dam the Toowoomba City Council has placed a boom gate which will begin operating in the near future. Because no date has been set as yet, it will pay to have some loose change with you just in case the gate is up and running. The cost will be $2.00 and can be paid with any coin denominations. Charges apply to campers, picnickers, visitors and fishermen (remember to bring your Stocked Impoundment Permit if you plan to fish). The opening and closing hours for the picnic and boat ramp area change this month, with gates opening at 6:00am and closing at 8:00pm.


The pattern has been much the same at Bjelke for the last two months, but this is likely to slowly change during September as the dam is subject to warmer and longer days.

Fishing with live bait has been one of the most productive ways to guarantee a feed. Fishing around the points and in the timbered reaches with live shrimp should see a mixed bag of golden perch and jew, with the odd bass thrown in.

Soft plastics have been working well when the bass are schooling in the open areas of the lake towards the wall end. These schools have been patchy but if located they can provide some great fishing. Hopefully the spring change will see these fish school up better and hold in the one location for longer periods, making them easier to catch.

Spinnerbaits in the timber and around the edges are also worth considering. The fish activity should increase throughout the lake, and by the end of the month trolled lures will be worth a try too.


I’ve managed to fish Boondooma quite a few times over the last month and I’ve found it to be a reliable lake in almost any conditions. It always seems to yield a few fish to me, even on the toughest of days.

Spinnerbaiting the edges has been one of the most consistent ways to boat fish. Both bass and golden perch are taking spinnerbaits cast to the edges, and the most productive colours have been purple and white spinnerbaits sporting a combination of silver and gold blades. I feel that, with the water slightly discoloured as it has been for some time, a flashing gold blade can be the key to drawing more strikes. AusSpin ProSpins have been working well for me and you’ll find a range of these lures at the kiosk at the lake.

Soft plastics and ice jigs have been hot and cold. The success when fishing these lures depends on locating schooled fish in a mood willing to eat. Areas like The Islands and Pelican Point are worth a try. When the fish aren’t schooled try casting Sliders in shallower water. There have been scattered fish holding in two to five metres of water that are more active than the bigger schools of deep holding fish, and there have also been some stubborn schools of bass in the deep water at the wall end of the lake. Although easy to locate on the sounder, they have been hard to entice. This pattern may change in the future, so be prepared to put in some time working things out before reaping the rewards.

Live shrimp and worms should work well when fished around the points in the main basin and in the Boyne timber. There have been quite a few yellowbelly around and the occasional bass mixed in as well.

If you want to learn how and where to catch more fish here, call Matthew Mott at Burnett Valley Sportfishing on (07) 4168 4811 for a guided trip.


September has always been a prime month for big Somerset goldens. The male and female yellowbelly get all excited about breeding even though their efforts are in vain (female yellowbelly won’t lay eggs in impoundments).

Working both steep and shallow banks with trolled lures after the full moon should account for some quality goldens. Trolling deep divers using the petrol motor, or small dark coloured shallow runners using an electric motor, should bring success.

Another option is to cast spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits to the edges. It is more likely that you’ll pick up some nice-sized bass as well when using this method. Big bass have been scattered around the edges throughout winter and there are sure to be some stragglers that will fall for a well presented spinnerbait. When fishing the warmer months of spring, summer and autumn, I often opt to use double Colorado bladed spinnerbaits that put out more vibration than the commonly used tandem bladed models.

Schooled bass have been keeping anglers busy when using soft plastics and deep fly techniques, some days pulling them in one after another and other days moving around trying to find active schools on the sounder. Pelican Point has been one of the most popular areas. There are also some schooled bass out from the rock wall to the south of The Spit. When the fishing is tough, finding a school away from the other boats can be the secret. Once a few fish are caught the school can shut down and you may need to move to find a new hot spot.


This may be the last cooler month for some time for anglers to make the most of the bass fishing the lake has to offer, in a reprieve from the unwelcome fork-tailed catfish. The catfish are already making their presence felt and their numbers will only increase as the water gets warmer.

Trolling deep divers has been taking bass, and of course catfish, out from Hamon Cove. Another area worth trying is around Pelican Island. While trolling the drop-offs to the old creek bed, keep your eyes glued to the sounder. If a school of bass is located, they are suckers for soft plastics.

1) 2.5kg of Somerset bass taken on one of the new AusSpin jigs, pre-rigged with a matching plastic trailer.

2) Darren Johnson displays his first ever bass over 5lb. This fish was one of many he landed from Somerset’s deep schools and weeded edges.

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