Southern dams all fired up
  |  First Published: November 2003


After a few months of steady fishing the action has picked up. Bass and the odd yellowbelly have been smashing cast lures around the weeded edges.

Most edges are holding fish and it’s just a matter of moving around to locate the most active fish on the day. Spinnerbaits and soft plastics have been two of the best producers of late. In the mornings and afternoons, surface lures always pull their share of fish as well.

If you’re planning a visit to the lake remember that Cressbrook, like the other dams listed here, is on the Stocked Impoundment Permit scheme. There is also a boom gate at the entry to the dam. Entry is $2 per vehicle and can be paid in any coin denominations (no change given).


It’s trolling time again at Bjelke, and quality sized bass and golden perch can be taken on deep diving lures at the wall end of the dam. Working lures such as Smak 19s, Blitz Bagas, Macks and Brolgas around the creek bed and in the deeper water should produce the best results. Proven colours for this time of year are pink/purple, chartreuse/black and purple.

Casting lures like spinnerbaits and soft plastics could be a bit hot and cold this month. When the fish school up they’re easy to locate and can be targeted successfully, but when the fish are scattered it makes casting lures much harder. Recently I’ve had a lot of success using the new AusSpin skirted jig.

Bait has been hard to catch at the dam because of the low water and lack of submerged vegetation. Live worms and even frozen prawns are always an option. A word of caution: if you plan to bring your own shrimp, be very careful that the water they’re in doesn’t contain any noxious species. Small pests like tilapia or banded grunter can easily end up being mixed in with your shrimp supply when caught at infected waters.


Trolling lures for bass and yellowbelly will produce fish throughout this month. Deep divers worked around The Islands, points at the wall end and Pelican Point creek bed are sure to nail a mixed bag. Ridgebacks, Smak 19s and Cobras are just some of the better models to try.

Bass can be located in the deep water. Some days these schooled fish will be easier to find than others, and at these times they’re easy targets for soft plastics. You could also consider using deeply-presented flies or jigs. Spinnerbaits should continue to pull a few fish from the edges. As the days become a bit hotter and longer the fish may hold on some of the steeper banks. The Boyne timber is always worth a try if you’re casting spinnerbaits.

Bait has been producing yellowbelly around the points at the wall end and also in the first hundred metres of timber in the Boyne arm.

Matthew Mott is a local guide who can put you onto the fish and teach you plenty about all aspects of freshwater fishing. If you’re interested in booking a charter give him a call at Burnett Valley Sportfishing on (07) 4168 4811.


Somerset has really fired over the past month and I expect this great action to continue, so make the most of it if you can.

There have been plenty of yellowbelly active and taking trolled lures all over the dam. A couple of the proven hotspots are Brad’s Bank and Steep Bank. Deep divers in red, yellow or green seem to be attracting the most attention.

The bass fishing has been fairly consistent. Some days are definitely better than others but even the tougher days have been producing quality fish. There’s plenty of big, soft plastic munching bass holding in areas like The Spit, wide of Brad’s Bank and Pelican Point. Basically the fish can be found anywhere in the lower third of the dam if you spend the time sounding around the old creek bed and nearby flats. Sliders and other paddle-tailed plastics rigged on 1/2oz heads are a sure bet. When you know the fish are there but they’re not cooperating, try triggering a reaction strike using a spinnerbait or tailspinner.

Until next month, best of luck on the water.

1) The author’s Humminbird Legend 3005 fish finder displaying a show of bass at Bjelke Petersen Dam.

2) A pair of bass caught at Somerset Dam on an AusSpin skirted jig.

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