Dam Fishing

Let’s face it fishing is more fun when your catching them. So with this in mind we are creating this site as an up to date reference for fishing  QLD Dams.

Sharing the knowledge I have gathered from years of fishing various spots in this district along with the input of high profile fishing figures like Carl Jocumsen, Jason Wilhelm, Tim Morgan and others. Enjoy the read and check back regularly for new tips, tackle and techniques.

Boondooma Dam

Check a map to gain some knowledge of spots before heading to the lake.

Begin by finding an edge that looks like it will hold fish? Using the sounder to look around about the15 feet mark to see if there are any fish holding just out wide of the edge . This is sometimes a good indication that there are active fish moving up to feed. First up in the morning starting with a reaction bait like a spinnerbait blade or jackalls, two reason these can all be used as a search bait, to find if there are any fish in the area. In the morning the fish are more active, active fish in the area won’t miss an opportunity to eat. It may not be what they want to eat but the bass aggressive instinct takes over not only because of the size of the lure but the disturbances it creates in the water.

If this doesn’t work, its thinking time… First. Down Sizing – start by dropping lure size from a 60mm jackall to a 50mm. A 1/2oz blade to a 3/8oz, a tandem blade set up spinnerbait to a single Colorado. These are all minor changes that help on certain days!

Ok this doesn’t work what to try? Target the deeper fish hanging out off the edge, say in 15 feet! You don’t want to scare these fish (with those big reaction baits) because they are generally resting fish (not so much hunting fish!) These are fish that could move up to the bank to feed at some stage, so this situation we start small and with very little vibration, like a soft plastic, a slider grub or atomic ripper, then trying a small blade with a bit of vibration. Just trying to crack a pattern or find out what the fish want to eat! So a little bit of trial and error is still needed.

Try this on a few a different bank types maybe steep rock banks, timber lined banks or weed edges. Just to find out what structure the fish are holding close to. Going through these steps is all part of landing those big fish we all dream about.

Cressbrook Dam

Depth. 1 to 10 feet,
Lure – Soft plastics, Rigged ¼ oz Jig head.
Rod – A good 7 foot rod helps get the best twitch and casting distance.
Braid – 2 to 6 lb is the best for this situation.
Leader – 6 to 8 lb

Casting soft plastics to the weed is a great way to tempt some of those winter time bass and cressy is one of the ideal places to do it. Fishing slow sloping backs is the best for this style of fishing, using plastics like the Atomic Ripperz and Eco Gear grass minnows and even the good old Slider grub. These all work a treat on those lively Cressbrook bass, rigged on a 14 oz panted jig head.

Cast your lure right to the edge of the weed or even just into it, starting the retrieve with three or four aggressive upward twitches. To make your lure look like a fleeing bait fish that is shooting out of the weed. (Also this helps free any weed from the lure). To make it look as natural as possible. Then going to a slow roll retrieve for about ten winds of the handle, stop and let the lure sink back to the bottom once again do a few quick twitch’s, then back into the slow roll, continuing your retrieve all the way back to the boat, (as shown on the extreme angler DVD.)

Fishing blades is another way to tame a few Cressbrook bass, and shallow schools always show up around the lake at certain times of the year. Fishing a small Eco Gear or Little Max’s blade is a sure thing at Cressy. Targeting the fish that are between 10 to 20 feet of water, presents some great freshwater fishing action. Starting with a ¼ oz Little Max blade and just try slow rolling the lure through the fish using big casts is a must, to try keep the lure in amongst the fish . This will double your chances of landing a few fish.

Hopping the little blade is another way to catch any fish that are holding close to the bottom. This makes life a little easier because when the lure is on or near the bottom its always in the strike zone. Casting your lure out and let it sink all the way to the bottom, using 2 sharp lifts of the rod will make the lure shute up off the bottom, stop and hold the rod tip high in the air give four winds of the handle, too wind up the slack then let the lure free fall back to the bottom, keep repeating this process all the way back to the boat. As the lure free falls back to the bottom this is when the fish are most likely to bite.

Maroon Dam

Casting surface lures around the shallow weed and into any pockets is a great way to start a bass session at Maroon Dam, in the warmer months. Getting out on the water before the sun is up is going to increase your chances of get some great top water action. Using poppers like the Jackall SK Pop, MegaBbass Pop x and even the River 2 Sea Bubble Pops. Are all good for the pop style of surface lures, but it’s the (walk the dog) style of surface lure that really stirs up those Maroon bass. Mega Bass Dog x jr. , OSP Bent Minnows sammy 65’s and the Jackall Water Moccasin are by far the best lures on the market for this style of fishing? Using very long accurate casts, and a electric motor to stay super quite is also a must when trying for some top water action! The best retrieves for all these types of surface lures is a stop start retrieve. Where you work the lure for about a metre and then stop letting the lure pause and sit motionless on the top for a period of time. Between 5 to 10 seconds.

Moving then on to little hard bodies, casting them in around the weed, also paralleling the weed is a good option. This gives the fish a chance to explode out of the weed so that there pray has no clue its coming, but in our case eats our lures. For this I like to use suspending lures, Jackall Chubby’s and Squirrels, Mega Bass Llive x Smolt and Baby Griffons, also the Atomic Hardz range has a great selection of lures. If there floating lures I like to use the Pontoon 21 suspendots, to get those floating lure to do exactly what I want. Once again using a slow wind and pause retrieve, just to let that lure sit in front of the fishes face to entice them to bite. Fishing light line to help you get those long cast is a must the lighter the better in this case. This is one fun way to catch bass.

Maroon isn’t a larger lake by any means but the bass still school up in deeper water, finding these schooled fish can sometimes be a hard task but once located its normally game on. It’s just a matter of finding what bait they are feeding on, always having one rod rigged up with a soft plastic, one with a little blade and one with a soft Jackall. It's then just a matter of a little bit of trial and error and going through retrieves to find which one is triggering the best response. Maybe a hop with the soft Jackall a slow roll with the blade or even a roll and twitch retrieve with the soft plastic. It’s just up to you on what pattern you crack on the day!
Using spinnerbaits is another great option at maroon once again in the warmer months when the bass are aggressive, using smaller spinnerbaits at Maroon is better so like the Bassman Compact Range and the single bladed Compacts and TW series. Casting them to the deeper rocky banks and timber lined banks up the back of the dam is a good way to land some quality size Maroon bass. The standing timber is a good choice, and can produce some great fish at the right time. The fish suspend around the standing timber and it’s a great way to fish because the fish fight so hard. Cast your lure past as many trees as possible in one cast let the lure sink for about ten seconds and then retrieve it with a medium pace, not burn, and not slow just in between. This will make the bass react, and the bass really hit the lures hard when doing this technique.

Somerset Dam

Somerset dam is located 30km north east of Esk

What fish are in somerset?
Somerset dam has been stocked with bass, yellowbelly, cod, boney bream, talapia

How do I catch fish at Somerset?
The first thing is finding the fish. Catching fish at somerset is also made a lot easier if you have a fish finder. So keeping in mind that you have a map, knowledge of prime spots on the dam and a fish finder we’ll get into the other important details.

Other factors that need to be considered:

  • time of year your fishing
  • weather temperature
  • barometer pressure

Next we will discuss the 4 different types of fishing at Somerset Dam .
Deep edge fishing means steep banks like rock walls, steep rock walls that have produced great fish for us. The best way to fish this is using my number one lure is suspending Jackall Chubby. If you have floating ones you can also add tungsten weight to make it suspend.

For this type of fishing you will need a soft fast reaction rod like the Samurai 101. Fast reacting allows you to cast those light lures and soft because when fishing treble lures its so easy to strike to hard and pull the hooks.

This fishing is possibly imitating a moving bait fish? Casting your lure tight up to the edge is crucial and trying to run your lure past any laying down or standing up timber will produce fish. A normal slow roll technique will work but sometimes cranking it down 5-6 winds then pausing your lure and if you have a suspender on it will stay there in about 6 feet. Hopefully your lure is infront of a log when paused, then small shaking of your rod tip just enough to wiggle the lure not move it will send off a great little vibration to entice the fish. After a 20 second pause/ wiggle continue your slow roll back if you don’t get hit on the pause it’s usually the first couple of winds after that the fish will strike.

This seems to be a year round bite. The fish we are catching in these areas are resident fish living of structure so these spots combined with this technique is always worth a try.

1. Deep edge fishing
This means targeting banks and bays that have a slow contour. The best way to fish this and my number one lure is spinnerbait using a heavier rod like samuri 302 will suit this fishing because of the weight of the lure. This fishing is possibly imitating a small school of bait fish swimming in the shallows. Fishing your spinnerbait with a slow roll retrieve so that it follows close to the bottom bumping over any structure, like big rocks, or big lay downs that are hidden under the water. (These structures hold resident fish).

Using big long casts up to the edge and letting the lure sink to the bottom. Start by giving the lure a rip to free it of any weed also this kicks the blades over to start the retrieve. Continue your retrieve slowly just so you can still feel the vibration of the blades. Once your lure is half way back to the boat stop your retrieving and let the lure sink back to the bottom, once again click the reel into gear and continue your retrieve all the way back to the boat again. On the pause or just after the pause is a common time for the fish to strike. This technique and areas marked 2 are best fished in winter, when the fish are moving up to the shallows for the warmer water but can catch the resident fish year round.

2. Shallow edge fishing
Somerset has some great flats of 20 – 50 ft that again we have caught good fish off. The best way to fish this and my number one lure is Jackal Soft Mask Vibe 19 gm. This will require a heavier rod because of the weight of the lure and a stiffer action to hop the lure better. Rod of choice is a Quantum Response 3-6kg possible imitating boney bream or red claw depending on how it’s worked and what colour.

One way of fishing these areas is to do big long casts letting the lure sink to the bottom ( sink rates ) using a normal slow wind retrieve half way back then stoppoing and letting it sink back to the bottom wait 10 seconds and continue slow roll retrieve back.

This technique will imitate a boney bream and favourite colour for that is Tennessee Shad. The other way to retrieve is hopping in which we do two short sharp lifts with the rod getting the mask to vibrate both times then the important part is the pause at the top of the hop because it is in that small pause the fish will usually bite then dropping the rod tip and winding the slack up letting the lure drop back to the bottom. For this technique we like to use Ghost Black Red Belly Mask to imitate a red claw but other colours will work and will imitate other things. This technique is more so a summer bite due to the fish in the deep water becoming more active in with heat but always worth a look the one tricky thing we have found recently is that the fish in these flats are hard to find with the fish finder they seem to be sitting hard on the bottom and its not until you get one to follow or hit that the archers on your sounder will start rising up so instead of just sounding over these spots stop and have a fish just in case.

3. Fishing deep flats
This is the most popular style of fishing at somerset it continuously produces fish and these spots are always holding fish its whether they will bite…

Good Luck