Bring on the rain!
  |  First Published: December 2004

Cressbrook low but going OK

Cressbrook is in urgent need of rain, and hopefully the odd drop we got in early November will see the lake fill a little. The lake is still closed to all trailerboats due to the low water level, and the only boats allowed are those that can be carried by hand to the water.

Anglers making the effort to launch their craft are being rewarded with good catches of bass and the odd yellowbelly. Cressbrook seems to fish best when it is under less angling pressure.

Casting lures to the weeded edges is the best and most exciting way to tangle with bass. Surface lures are always on the top of my lures list. If the surface action is slow, try reaction baits like spinnerbaits, beetlespins and lipless crankbaits. Pumpkinseed coloured Slider grubs are another favourite lure of mine. A jighead of 1/4oz is the perfect weight to fish them at various depths around the weed edge. A simple plastic rig has saved the day on many occasions.

For the latest information on what’s biting at Lake Cressbrook, and whether the boat ramp is open for general use, contact the boys at Mullet Gut Marine on (07) 4632 9770.

Bjelke-Petersen bass on the move

The warm weather usually gets the fish moving. Bjelke can be a popular place at this time of year, especially during the holiday period. If you manage to get out on the water before all the other boats your chances of success will be greatly increased. This could mean an early start in the mornings or trying to avoid the busier periods. Then again, if you’re as keen an angler as myself, you won’t let any of this worry you and you’ll be out on the water making the most of whatever time you have.

There will be good numbers of bass and yellowbelly this month for those trolling lures. Areas like Bass Point, the spot between both boat ramps and up towards the wall are prime locations. Trolling hard-bodied lures like Blitz Bagas or a Golden Child is a good way to start. Alternatively, you can troll more slowly using spinnerbaits.

Bass can be caught by casting lures as well. Locate them in the deep water using your sounder. The majority of bass will most likely be suspended well above the bottom. Casting soft plastics, Jackalls and spinnerbaits to these fish is the best way to get a response. Alternating between these lures, you should find one that will produce the goods even when the action is slow.

Matthew Mott runs the Yallakool Café and the local guiding business, so if you want the latest information on what’s happening at Bjelke-Petersen, give him a call on (07) 4168 4811.

Be early at Boondooma

Deep diving lures trolled around the main basin and toward the wall are the way to go. Bass and golden perch can be caught in these areas. When targeting yellowbelly, work more closely to the banks and concentrate your efforts around the many points. If bass are your quarry, fish more deeply, looking for suspended fish. You’ll still have a good chance of getting a mixed bag even when trying to single out a particular species.

Bass schools can be located on the sounder. These fish tend to move, so although you may find fish one day they may be gone the next. Popular hideouts are The Islands, Pelican Point and the mouth of the Stuart. With the hotter days and change in season, the bass may start to migrate to the wall end of the lake. When this is the case, a lot of fish can be found in the deep open water.

When you find bass, cast to them using paddle-tail plastics in the 3” (75mm) size. Reaction baits can also be worth a shot. Jackalls and spinnerbaits can often turn on shut-down fish. The Mask range of Jackalls are ideal lures to throw at bass, no matter what mood they are in. A Mask has the exact profile of a bony bream, which make up a big part of a schooled bass’s diet.

For the most up-to-date information on Boondooma, call Matthew Mott from Burnett Sportfishing Charters on (07) 4168 4811.

Somerset main basin firing

The action can be hot and cold at Somerset at this time of year. The big bass on offer are this lake’s major drawcard, and it’s not uncommon to catch fish of well over 2kg throughout the year.

Speed restrictions have been put in place at the northern end of the lake due to the low water level. Launching can still be done at The Spit and Kirkleagh. If you put in at Kirkleagh, you have to travel at six knots until you reach the open speed limit buoy line to the south. The water in this part of the lake is shallow in places so be sure to follow the safe water markers until you reach the main basin.

The best bass fishing is in the deeper water at The Spit end of the lake. Unfortunately, this end is the busier end due to the traffic of waterskiers and jetskis. Luckily, the fish are used to all this noise and can be caught while the commotion goes on. It certainly pays to do a mid-week trip though. On these days the fish are easier to catch.

Locating schooled bass shouldn’t be a problem between The Spit and Pelican Point. Look in water over 7m deep for starters. If the fish are suspended high in the water column in the deep water, it might pay to work some shallow flats. For instance, if bass suspend at 4m down, try locating fish across flats of that depth nearby. This generally works best in the mornings before the day gets too hot.

Once a school is located the fish can be taken on soft plastics, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. Trolling will produce a few bass and golden perch. The goldens will take deep-diving lures fished close to the bottom around drop-offs to the old river and creek beds.

Soft plastics are great to use when casting, and they’re also valuable tools when trolling. Often when the water gets hot, the fish get stubborn and refuse to take deep-diving, hard-bodied lures. A small soft plastic, on the other hand, can still be irresistible. I’ve had best results running natural-coloured 3” paddle-tails. I rig these on 1/2oz AusSpin jigheads and add some Spike It catch scent to the tail. Put out a long cast and motor along slowly on the electric motor. This is a good way to move around and explore the lake, looking for the bigger schools of bass.

On top at Hinze

With warm water temperatures, the entire lake should be producing fish consistently. Bass are the most sought-after species and certainly the most common.

One of the more productive techniques during the warmer months is using surface lures. For the best topwater action, be sure to make an early start. At this time of day, you’re almost guaranteed some action. Early mornings are definitely the best time to flick surface lures, but occasionally fish can be taken on poppers and surface plastics well into the day. Some of the most productive lures are the C’ultiva Gobo Popper and Zip ‘n’ Ziggy.

When the surface action slows it’s time to start fishing deeper. In the heat of the day, plastics, spinnerbaits and Jackalls are useful tools to extract bass from the many weedy edges.

Trolling lures, especially around points, is a good way to pull some fish. For the bait angler, live shrimp used in Bass Bay and off Pelican Point are good options.

For the latest information on Hinze and to meet some of the more dedicated Hinze anglers, contact the Hinze Dam Fishing Club on (07) 5533 2109.


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