The time is right for anglers to look at the edges. There are plenty of lakes with plenty of fish sitting on the edges smashing lures and baits and giving anglers the time of their lives.
This winter has failed to cool the water temperature to the levels of past years. This has in turn affected the number of fish being caught in the shallow water. There are still quite a few bass and goldens lurking around the edges of the lake but most of the fish have stayed in schools in deeper water.
The edges are still worth targeting as the bass caught here are often much bigger than their schooled mates. Casting lures is the best approach. Surface lures are worth a try in the mornings and afternoons. Walk the dog stickbaits like the Eddy’s Surface Buster and cupped face poppers like the Rapala Skitter Pop are favourite topwater performers.
Suspending minnows work well throughout the day; cast these into the shallows and work them out into the deeper water with plenty of pauses to interest the fish. Bass and goldens will take suspending lures and using deeper diving models that get down to about two metres will score the most hits if the fish are willing to play.
Some days, the edges seem to fail and it’s necessary to look for schooled fish in deeper water. The many points on the southern bank in Cressbrook Creek arm are a good place to start your search. Other points throughout the dam are also likely to hold fish. Further up both arms, the fish will be schooled in 5-15m of water in what may seem to be areas that offer little attraction. Quite often, these areas are close to the old creek bed drop-off and it’s likely they will hold more fish as the water level continues to fall.
The schooled fish will respond to Jackalls but most times a 3” plastic rigged on a 1/2oz head will do the trick. When plastics fail, just add a beetle spin blade and fish the same way you would with a standard plastic. I’ve used a silver Bett’s Spin No. 2 blade in this way to turn on what seemed to be shut-down schools of bass.
This month is a great time to hit the banks in search of some great casting action. Plenty of bassers experienced a great edge bite in Bjelke at this time last year.
Casting lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits and soft plastics is sure to pull plenty of big bass and goldens. Most banks hold fish and there is no need to find weed beds as the big fish are showing no fear, cruising the open, shallow water.
The lower end of the lake between Bass Point and the wall is holding the majority of fish. Low water levels have forced the fish into the deeper water found in this part of the lake. Trolling lures such as Blitz Bagas and Brolgas in and out of the creek bed will secure a mixed bag of goldens and bass.
Fishing with livebait will produce golden perch and jew. Try using shrimp, fished around the old creek bed or out from the steeper banks at the bottom end of the dam.
Matthew Mott runs fishing charters at Bjelke and Boondooma. He can be contacted by calling the Yallakool Café at Lake Bjelke-Petersen. The café stocks a great selection of freshwater fishing tackle, so call in and check it out or call (07) 4168 4811 to find out more about a fishing tour.
It’s a great time to hit the shallow banks for both golden perch and bass. Casting spinnerbaits or lipless crankbaits to the edges will produce good fish, with spinnerbaits in the 1/2oz and 5/8oz weight range best suited to the job as they are able to probe deeper into the water than lighter models. Try those from the AusSpin Baitfish or ProSpin ranges or another of similar design from other leading manufacturers. When choosing a lipless crankbait, it’s hard to go past the Jackall TN60, as these lures are awesome for targeting fish on the edges and in schools.
Schools of bass should be quite easy to locate. The deep water around Pelican Point and around the outside of The Islands are reliable holding areas, while masses of bass can also be found schooled between the second and third marker when heading down the dam. Sound around in the deep water here until you locate the fish.
When looking for fish in the deeper water, it’s a good idea to have a troll. Lures like Blitz Bagas, Golden Childs and 5/8oz spinnerbaits cover plenty of water while you’re trolling. If good shows of bass are located, or you start to catch a few fish from the one area, pull up and have a cast or jig with soft plastics, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits or jigs. Switch around to see what seems to be working best on the day.
For all your tackle needs or the latest report, call in at Bass to Barra Marine in Kingaroy. The guys can offer the latest information and will be able to give some handy tips on how to get into the best action.
Last month a lot of bassers took part in one of the best bass bites Somerset has offered in years. Schools of bass were concentrated in the lower regions of the lake, with the water between The Spit and Beams Creek being the most thick with fish. Here they were taking jigs, plastics, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits and other more unusual offerings when they were on the chew.
The bass will be a lot more pressured and the action is sure to slow down considerably this month. It’s understandable that anglers can’t continue to catch thousands of bass without turning them off the bite. Still, a mid-week session could be the key to experiencing some fast and furious action.
Sound around until you locate fish. Although this can sometimes take up to an hour or more, the effort will usually be worthwhile and reflected in better catches. Look in water that is 5-15m deep as the bass are likely to be spread throughout the water column and therefore holding at various depths.
Soft plastics like 3” Slider Grubs rigged on 1/2oz heads are a good way to start fishing a school. If these fail, opt for a larger presentation of a Jackall Mask Vibe 60 in the 22g model. When the bass are eating bony bream, the Mask Vibes are hard to beat as they resemble a bony so well, while other options include spinnerbaits and even ice jigs when the fish are directly below the boat. Flyfishing with deeply presented Clousers could do the trick, making the pressured fish bite more readily.
With all of last month’s action happening in the schools, it was easy to forget the edges. Plenty of big bass and yellowbelly are cruising the edges in shallow water, so position your boat in 3-5m of water, cast spinnerbaits or Jackalls to the edges and retrieve them midwater. There can be a lot of casts between fish but the effort is worthwhile due to the exceptional quality of the fish.
Consistent catches for those prepared to put in the time should be expected this month at Hinze. There will still be some schooling bass holding in the lower reaches of the lake but as water temperatures rise, these bass will start to scatter and make their way back into the upper reaches.
Jackall Masks should produce plenty of fish and a slow roll is a very effective way to retrieve the lures and catch fish. Soft plastics and 1/2oz and 5/8oz compact spinnerbaits also catch plenty of fish, with the entrances to most of the small bays and the edges of points being good places to target more active fish.
With the slightly warmer weather, it will be time to bring out the surface lures again. Mid-morning as the sun warms the shallow edges is a good time to throw your favourite popper around and slow bloops with lengthy pauses should produce some of the explosive surface strikes that Hinze is well known for.
September is a great month for fishing Hinze with plenty of options open to bank and boat fishers. 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 at Southport. They can help you out with all the information and gear you’ll require for fishing the Gold Coast area.
Bait fishers have had no trouble catching a bag of goldens at Cania and the number one bait is live shrimp. Fish these directly below your boat in 6-8m of water using a paternoster rig with the hook positioned 20-60cm above the weight. Alternatively, you can use a running sinker that sits directly on top of the hook. This rig keeps the bait anchored on the bottom and will catch jew as well as goldens. For the best hook-ups when using bait, opt for one of the many wide gap patterns in a size 1/0 or 1.
The lake’s bass have been a bit hit and miss in the past, however, with the warmer weather on the way, there’s a good chance they will start biting more consistently. Cast soft plastics to any schooled fish found on the sounder or troll in the deeper water around the schooled bass with medium to deep diving lures. The steep banks opposite the boat launching area are always worth a try.
Spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits cast to the edges in the middle and upper reaches of the lake will be effective on bass. Saratoga have also been getting involved in the action when chasing bass with these lures. To concentrate on the ’toga, you could try lightly weighted soft plastics and shallow and surface fly presentations fished tight against any cover around the edges. Keep your eyes peeled and look into the top layers of the water for any signs of cruising or feeding fish. A good pair of polarised sunglasses cuts the glare and makes all the difference and I like the photochromatic models from Mako because they automatically adjust the tint of the lens to best suit the amount of light at any given time.
For all your tackle needs and the latest updates on the lake, call in and see the guys at Creek 2 Coast Fishing Tackle in Biloela. They stock a good range of fresh and saltwater tackle, specialising in the local fishing hotspots.
Plenty of yellowbelly are being caught on live shrimp in Callide at the moment and there are some good fish amongst them. For those who can’t be bothered collecting livebait, frozen prawns have been catching their share as well. Last month, anglers trolling big lures like the DK Scalerazer (no longer available) and the River Rat for golden perch were quickly sorted out by big barra on their light outfits.
With the action already picking up, the barra will soon be making their presence felt in a big way. Trolling lures will continue to pick up goldens but expect barra to be on patrol as well. Casting shallow diving lures around the edges will be a good option, especially for the larger barramundi. Look for the warmer water and sheltered areas where there is plenty of sun during the day to find the bigger barra.
For 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.
It’s great to see this fishery producing barra of all sizes and it looks really promising for the future. There are plenty of 70cm barra on the chew at the moment and these smaller fish seem to bite more readily than the bigger models. At some stage this month, when the water warms, the big barra will turn it on and when they do Awoonga is the place to be for Brisbane-based anglers.
Casting lures in the shallows around areas like New Zealand Gully, Iveragh Creek and Dingo Island will score barra to over a metre in length. Shallow diving lures like the Big B52 or a Predatek Viper will do the trick, but remember that the bigger fish are quite lazy, so fish your lure slowly with plenty of pauses to get them to bite.
Trolling in the main basin across to Dingo Island is an easy and relaxed approach to catching fish. The barra here hang around the old creek bed where the water is about 13m deep. The barra will rise to take a lure but one that swims at around 4m down and rattles will help to attract fish.
There are a few events on the calendar in the near future. The Lion’s Family Fishing Festival will be held on 28-30 October. The Lake Awoonga Pro-Am Classic will attract some big names in the industry and will be on 20-23 October. Of course, ABT will kick off its Barra Tour series of tournaments at Lake Awoonga in November on the 10-11, so it is no surprise that barra anglers are getting very itchy casting arms.
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 is well known for its big impoundment barra. The fish here are now averaging over a metre in length and after the quiet winter months, they will be keen to play.
Casting lures in 2-2.5m of water is the key as this shallow water is warmer and holds the more active fish. Look in the timbered areas or close by because this is the terrain that barra love. Spindly sticks are another feature that the barra love to hold around. Although the fish are found in shallow water, they still like to have a deeper retreat such as a creek bed close by.
A proven lure for these fish is the Barra Bait with a chartreuse back, which is a custom lure made especially for the dam (this particular colour is available only from Proserpine Bait and Tackle). Work these lures nice and slow, allowing them to pause and rise between winds.
The new Big B52 hasn’t been around for long enough to have been used through a full barra season, but if it is anything like the smaller model, it’s sure to turn heads. Big B52s have already accounted for some monster barra in Faust and I recommend the silver or gold colours.
In the early morning and in the afternoon on calm days, surface lures are another option. Give them a workout for an hour or so before ruling them out. Cast around the small bays and points in the timbered areas and work your topwater lures out from the weed edges.
Generally the lake fishes best when casting at this time of year, but trolling medium running lures along the banks, especially those near the timber, can still work well. Sounders are marking good fish in the open water in the main basin. If all else fails, put some time in here and these fish in the deeper water might be prepared to play the game.
Lindsay Dobe is the owner of Proserpine Bait and Tackle and runs charters on the lake. You can reach him on (07) 4945 4641 or call in at the store on the highway in Proserpine. With the experience of Lindsay and his crew, you’ll be improving your chances of landing some big Faust barra.Reads: 600