Trolling producing the goods
  |  First Published: October 2003


If you’re heading to Lake Cressbrook make sure you bring your surface lures. In the mornings and afternoons bass will be smashing surface presentations, and lures in the 5-8cm range are ideal. If it splashes, bloops or ripples the surface, chances are a bass will nail it. Eddy’s Surface Busters and Rapala Skitter pops are two of the more popular choices. For the flyfishing fanatic, now is also an ideal time to get involved in the topwater action.

The weeded edges should produce plenty of bass and the odd yellowbelly while casting lures. Suspending jerkbaits, beetlespins, spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits and soft plastics will all take their share.

While filming a local news segment, local lad Carl Jocumsen boated a huge Mary River cod over a metre long and in excess of 20kg. The fish was taken on a spinnerbait while fishing a rocky stretch of bank.

There is now a boom gate in operation at the entrance to the dam. Entry is $2 which is payable in any coin denominations (no change given). If you’re fishing this lake or any of the others mentioned below, don’t forget your Stocked Impoundment Permit.


With the dam at around 25-30% capacity, the fish have less water in which to hide and should be active, especially considering the water is a comfortable temperature. This month will be enjoyed by all anglers planning to troll hard-bodied lures. Working trolled lures like the Smak 16 and Brolgas around the old creek bed drop-off should account for plenty of yellowbelly and a few bass. A couple of areas worth mentioning are the points in front of Bridgeman Downs and the area around Bass Point. Soft plastics and spinnerbaits are also worth a try.

Bait fishing will produce mixed bags this month. The majority of fish will be yellowbelly with the odd bass and some eel-tailed catfish thrown in. Fishing the timber has been one of the preferred ways to put a few in the boat. When navigating the top end of the dam, approach the timber with care as the water can hide some nasty propeller-munching and hull-splitting logs.


The pattern for Boondooma over the last few months will probably begin to change this month. The fish tend to scatter, which makes them ideal targets for trolled lures. Trolling lures allows you to cover plenty of water in search of hungry fish, and to increase your chances I recommend you try the wall end of the lake, concentrating on the points and rocky banks. Using lures like the Golden Child and Blitz Bagas will tempt plenty of yellowbelly when trolling in 5-6m of water. Try slowing your troll speed by dragging buckets when using the petrol motor. Better still, enjoy the more silent approach of using an electric motor.

Bass will also be holding in the same part of the lake, although they’re more likely to be found in deeper water. Locating schooled fish using a sounder is the key to good catches using lures such as paddle-tail grubs, tailspinners, ice jigs and deeply presented flies.

The Boyne timber is still producing yellowbelly on live bait. Exercise care when moving around in the timber as there are plenty of submerged trees and big granite boulders. With the water dropping, the Stuart timber is hardly worth fishing and is becoming more and more hazardous.

If you are interested in fishing Boondooma or Bjelke, local guide Matthew Mott can teach you all you need to know. Contact him at Burnett Valley Sportfishing on (07) 4168 4811.


Warmer water should mean that the yellowbelly are well and truly on the chew. Trolling both deep and shallow diving lures around the steep rocky banks is one of the best options. Working the old creek bed with lures that are almost dragging the bottom is another way to tempt the goldens – and to entice a bass as well.

The schooled bass have been holding in numbers between The Spit and Bay 13. Using a sounder to follow old creek beds will soon reveal the location of some prime Somerset bass. Once you’ve located the fish, target them with soft plastics, flies and jigs.

1) Schooling bass are still available and more than willing to chew on a well-presented Slider grub.

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