Silly Season bass
  |  First Published: December 2003

IT’S THE silly season again and normally I’d be warning you of the boat ramp blues at the dams but alas there are none – ramps that is! In Maroon and Moogerah all launching has to be done off the mud or gravel, if you can find it.

The fish are still biting their heads off in Maroon and reports of Mary River cod are coming in regularly. Please release these fish and send me a photo if you get one and I’ll publish it (not of a dirt-covered cod gasping for air though – those photos go into the bin, sorry). The bass are taking surface lures and fly on the shallow banks early and late. Eddy’s Surface Buster has been good, as well as fizzers and poppers. Spinnerbaits and Jackal lipless crankbaits have been slaying fish through the day.

In Moogerah, spinnerbaits are catching the most fish, with Jackals catching well on some days. 1/2oz Greenfish spinnerbaits in Blue Baitfish and Green Baitfish colours have been best. Deep diving jerkbaits fished off the steep banks have also been catching big bass.


When I have on-water conversations with clients from areas without the fish numbers that we have in southern Queensland, their remarks are often spiked with negative remarks about fisheries management, size limits and bag limits. Fisheries management in other states is a subject I don’t know much about so I’ll leave it alone. However, one subject that gets my hackles up is the argument that we should be taking out all the big fish, be they barra, bass or cod, “so they don’t eat the fingerlings we put in.

That’s crap! In the case of barra, you can’t tell me that if you release 100,000 fingerlings in trees, weedbeds and so on that all those big barra are going to leave the bonies, gar, barred grunter and catfish alone to chase their progeny. Sure – they’ll eat some fingerlings, as will the shags, turtles and other predators as happens in the wild. Bass and cod are the same. The real question is this: would you rather go to the dam and catch a few big fish with a sprinkling of other year classes or a heap of small ones and no big ones?

“Put and take” is the cry from some corners, who declare that if we put them in we should be able to take them out. OK then, let’s get out the nets and clean out every year class as soon as they are legal size. At least there will be no big ones to eat the little fellows we put in.

I estimate the percentage of catch and release fisherman who chase big fish and buy permits to be about 75% of all anglers on the dams. What does that tell you!

Overstocking is another gripe we hear. Are we putting too many fish in our dams? I don’t think so. Sure – there are plenty of skinny fish around at the moment but this is because of the drought and low water levels. How many fish we can put in our dams is yet to be determined because there still seem to be areas in the lakes with plenty of baitfish and structure which don’t hold fish.

For a charter on Maroon or Moogerah contact Harry Watson at Greenfish Sportfishing on 0407 596 814 or visit www.greenfish.com.au.

1) Lipless crankbaits are taking plenty of bass at Maroon Dam.

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