Targeting toga
  |  First Published: December 2004

Summer is a good time to have a crack at the Australian bass and saratoga in our local freshwater impoundments. Both species have been rather quiet, although there have been encouraging reports into November.

Bass are well stocked into Lake MacDonald, near Cooroy in the Noosa hinterland, and Borumba, a little further afield just past Imbil. Trolling deep or extra-deep minnows is a good way to catch a few bass. Casting, however, is much more fun and at least it will keep you active in between hits!

Lake MacDonald has very big areas of weed, most of which is the noxious cabomba. While the weed beds are not supposed to be there they do serve a valuable purpose and that is to provide shelter for shrimp and small forage fish. The bigger fish hunt in these areas, and they are the best places to cast your lure!

Small minnow lures in green or purple work very well when worked slowly around the weed faces. Spinnerbaits are also an exceptional tool, and spinning variants such as Rev Heads and Beetlespins have also caught plenty of fish in Lake MacDonald.

If it’s saratoga you’re after, Borumba is the better option. This lake also holds good quantities of bass, golden perch and silver perch. The place to cast for toga is amongst the drowned timber. At the top of the dam (the end furthest from the dam wall) the dam is fed by two arms: Kingham and Yabba. Both are well worth fishing, particularly under the stealth of electric power. Cruise along slowly and fire casts towards the timber, in particular around drowned or partially drowned leafy snags. Gold spinnerbaits are good choices for saratoga, some of which are true monsters in this waterway.

Trolling the deeper sections of the lake is also worthwhile. Trolling extra deep minnows, particularly in gold chrome, is a good way to pull a few bass and the occasional yellow out of the water. Good luck!


1) Quality saratoga, such as this specimen caught by Shannon Watson up at Borumba Dam, should be available over the holiday period.

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