THE SILLY season is here again! In the Territory they call it the ‘suicide season’ when the heat and wet set in and send everyone mad. On the southern dams we get the crews of skiers and fisherman who have dusted off their boats for the Chrissy break. We’re all out to have a good time during the holidays, but please don’t forget the other people on the dam, the environment, wildlife and regulations.
One destructive problem I see is wake waves eroding banks, causing them to cave in. This problem is fairly hard to avoid, even by going slow - which sometimes makes it worse. The best thing is to avoid travelling over weed beds repeatedly. I have seen skiers doing the same circuit on Maroon Dam in an area where it’s prohibited to ski. This area had extensive shallow weed beds, but when the skiers were finished the area looked like a chopped salad. Most fishos only hit weed beds by accident while travelling between fishing locations.
The wildlife around the dams - kangaroos, hares and waterbirds - are all hungry and fighting for a feed at the moment, so pay attention and make allowances for their needs in these dry times. In particular, watch out for roos when driving around the Maroon Dam area.
At the boat ramps, please be patient. Sometimes it’s quicker to help someone out rather than sit back winging about how slow they are! To make life easier and faster, have your boat ready to go when you back in so you can get it and your trailer out of the way quickly. The same goes when you’re retrieving and, if you’re not first in line to retrieve, don’t park closest to the ramp. Packing and unpacking should be done well out of the way in allotted areas (if any).
The fishing at this time of the year is usually good in most of the dams. The very low and falling water levels can sometimes make the fish a bit edgy, but on most days they fire up with some hot action spasmodically. Sometimes it’s a matter of trying different lures, and other times you just have to wait them out until they start biting. At the time of writing, midday is a very good time to catch fish.
In Moogerah, most reaction baits (spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and so on) are catching plenty of good fish by trolling or casting. There are fish on most shallow banks and flats. When things go quiet, try deeper ledges or change to soft plastics.
Speaking of soft plastics, it’s amazing how people are swayed by media hype and packaging. When fishing for bass with plastics, 2” shads and similar size paddle-tail grubs costing $8 for 20 will catch just as many fish as those plastics that cost a buck each. If you’re on a budget, look for the Atomic 2” shads, paddle tails and Sliders.
In Maroon dam in December, anything will catch fish at some time of day. Usually surface lures work well early and late in the day, while mixes of spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and crankbaits will carry you through the high sun hours. At night, try any of these and you’ll catch plenty of fish. The surface action is explosive!
As a Christmas present for your partner or kids, try a fishing charter with Harry Watson at Greenfish Sportfishing (ph. 0407 596 814, (07) 5463 4096, www.greenfish.com.au).
1) This 48cm Moogerah bass ate a crankbait bounced across the top of a rockpile in 12 foot of water.Reads: 1991