Bur­nett dams fish­ing re­port

Angling am­bas­sador casts ad­vice

Central and North Burnett Times - - SPORT - Matthew Lang­ford

THE fes­tive sea­son is a great time of year to be out­doors with fam­ily and friends and it’s also the best time of year to be on the wa­ter as the tem­per­a­tures are hot, and the fish­ing is ac­ces­si­ble to an­glers of all abil­i­ties.

Cham­pion South Bur­nett an­gler Matthew Lang­ford gives his top tips to make the most of your time on the wa­ter.

If you haven’t been out yet, make sure you start plan­ning your next trip be­cause this time of year is the best chance to get your­self on to some tro­phy size bass and yel­low belly from Bjelke-Petersen Dam and Boon­dooma Dam.

Boon­dooma Dam

Over the past cou­ple of months, the fish have moved into the ther­mo­cline and are a real tar­get for our avid trollers and cast­ers.

The 15 to 25 foot zone is where you will find them when you’re out in search of some fish.

The most pro­duc­tive ar­eas on the dam are the deeper sec­tions of wa­ter around the rocky walls and the buoy line near the dam wall.

The most pro­duc­tive bite time is from lunch time through un­til dark when the day is at its hottest.

The key to find­ing a good school is us­ing your elec­tron­ics to slowly sound over likely ar­eas.

If you don’t have a sounder tie on a cou­ple of deep divers or a 5/8 spin­ner­bait and start trolling.

If you get a bite or fish, troll around the area that you had the ac­tion. Re­mem­ber to be pa­tient when look­ing for fish, as it may take a while to lo­cate them if you’re not fa­mil­iar with the dam.

Lately I’ve been catch­ing my best qual­ity fish sus­pended in deep wa­ter. They have been sit­ting in the ther­mo­cline at 15 to 20 feet.

I tar­get these fish us­ing a va­ri­ety of baits, ini­tially start­ing with a soft bait, a half ounce rigged soft plas­tic.

I cast this out and be­gin count­ing to seven sec­onds to let the lure sink into the strike zone.

When the plas­tic is down to the de­sired depth I then start a slow roll and add a few twitches ev­ery now and then to change the swim­ming pat­tern, as the plas­tic glides through the wa­ter.

Con­tinue this un­til you get bites but keep rolling the plas­tic un­til you get a solid hook up.

If this method doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to change your lure un­til you are happy.

The bass can be fussy when it comes to feed­ing when they are sus­pended in the col­umn.

I like to try plas­tics first and then move to a re­ac­tion bait. My pre­ferred re­ac­tion baits for sum­mer sus­pended fish are 12 to 20 gram spoons, spoons like the Nor­ries Wasabi, Halco Twistie or Palms slow blatt are all great spoons for catch­ing sus­pended fish in Boon­dooma.

With these lures, make a long cast and let the lure sink down five to 10 sec­onds. Once the lure is down in the zone, start a fairly rapid re­trieve with a few twitches ev­ery now and then.

This is where the fish are forced to ei­ther ig­nore the lure or re­act out of in­stinct to bite as the bait zooms past.

It’s a very ef­fec­tive method, with bass well over the 50 mark reg­u­larly hit­ting the deck.

Trollers are catch­ing some re­ally nice fish us­ing deep div­ing hard bod­ies and 5/8 Bass­man spin­ner­baits around the same ar­eas as I men­tioned ear­lier.

The key is to be pa­tient. Bait fish­er­men are catch­ing some good num­bers of bass and yel­low belly us­ing live shrimp caught from the dam.

Try to an­chor over prom­i­nent points in the dam in 15 to 20 feet and also try the tim­bered sec­tions of the dam.

Red claw have been a lit­tle slow but drop your pots around the rocky banks of the dam and also just wide of the weed beds.

Bjelke-Petersen Dam

Bjelke-Petersen Dam has been very con­sis­tent over the past two months, pro­duc­ing good num­bers of fish of vary­ing species and sizes.

The fish are in great quan­tity, but it just takes a bit of mov­ing around to put your­self on to some qual­ity.

Ar­eas to tar­get are the deeper wa­ter out the front of the dam wall, wide of bass point and off any main dam points that hold deeper wa­ter of about 15 foot.

The fish have been sit­ting in the 15 to 20 ft mark and on the bot­tom in the same zone.

I’ve been catch­ing the ma­jor­ity of fish us­ing a half ounce rigged plas­tic, with the same method as ex­plained for Boon­dooma.

Also heav­ier spin­ner­baits and Chat­ter­baits have been work­ing well on the big­ger fish when you’re fo­cus­ing on the re­ac­tion bite.

Some big yel­low belly are be­ing caught, but they have been a bit quiet.

The key to catch­ing a few gold­ens when it’s quiet is to fo­cus on fish­ing the bot­tom or the many weed banks that en­com­pass the dam.

In this case, tie on a blade and hop it gen­tly off the bot­tom or out of the weed.

The yel­low belly are a real sucker for a hopped blade and it won’t take long to catch a few fish us­ing this tech­nique.

The smaller bass also don’t mind this tech­nique but it won’t be long and you’ll be in con­tact with some nice fat golden perch.

Trollers are get­ting good bags of fish trolling 5/8 Bass­man spin­ner­baits and deep div­ing hard bod­ies.

Ar­eas to tar­get are the deep wa­ter around in front of the dam wall, Bass Point, around Light­ning Ridge and around any prom­i­nent points.

Bait fish­er­men are catch­ing plenty of fish just wide of the steeper rocky banks.

Don’t try and head up the back of the dam as the wa­ter lev­els are low and you will get stuck in the mud.

Red­claw are about and are com­ing from the steeper banks with scat­tered tim­ber.

The most pro­duc­tive bite time is from lunch time through un­til dark when the day is at its hottest.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

TOP CATCH: Rob with a cou­ple of crack­ing bass caught cast­ing near the wall at Boon­dooma Dam.

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