Lake MacDonald back from the dead
  |  First Published: September 2005

Lake MacDonald has come to life at last, at least in terms of the quiet winter thus far.

Trollers have caught plenty of small bass from 15-35cm with the occasional horse close to 50cm. There have been good troll runs along the old creek bed (which includes the bubble trail in the middle of the main basin) and as close as you can get to the weed edges. In some areas however, the edges are not well defined and continual hook-ups on weed can bring even the most patient anglers to their knees. The narrow channel heading into and along Fry’s Run is also well worth a try. The best lures have been gold and silver Extra Deep Borers and green Vipers.

Casters have found some quality bass, with Three Ways and the end of the Runway producing a few fish. The numerous weed beds are all worth casting into and allowing your choice of ammo to sink along the weed face will sometimes turn lookers into hitters. Spinnerbaits in white or lime are good colours to start with.

Working small green and purple minnows erratically around small rafts of water lilies will often draw strikes from hungry bass, while deeper swimming minnow lures worked slowly close to bottom structure will also catch fish. Bibless rattlers are a good tool for probing the depths and this technique allows you to explore plenty of water.

A couple of the protected Mary River cod have been caught during the winter months and at least one of these fish was donated to the Gerry Cook Hatchery to hopefully assist with the longevity of this important and endangered species. Approximately 10,000 of these fish are stocked into Lake MacDonald every year, along with Australian bass, silver perch and yellowbelly. Considering that it has a fair population of saratoga too, Lake MacDonald represents a very worthwhile fishery only 90 minutes or so from Brisbane. Come up and have a look – you might well surprise yourself!

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