Bass to Barra Trail.

It’s been another big month of fishing in the impoundments of the Bass to Barra trail, with consistent captures of big freshwater fish. The water temps are slowly starting to lower but constant warmer afternoons have really made the fish bite well. It’s been a very warm month with only a few mornings cold enough to pull on the jumpers.

Since the rain from cyclone Debbie a lot of our dams in QLD have risen. The rise hasn’t changed the fishing conditions and some great reports from around the trail have been very good. We’ve also seen a dam come to life that’s been quiet for quite some time. Here’s a rundown on the pick of the dams throughout QLD.


Boondooma has been the dam to go to of late as the bigger Bass and Goldens are consistently being caught on a variety of techniques. The last month has seen some awesome fishing with a lot of fish over the 50 cm mark being landed. Cyclone Debbie was kind enough to dump some much-needed rain in the catchment and the dam has risen almost 5 meters.

In the mornings, when its cooler, I like to head up the arms of the dam and fish the edges as this seems to be the best option for those feeding fish early in the morning. I’ll cast a 3/8 Bassman spinnerbait or a lipless crank to the edge, let it hit the bottom and slow wind it out. The fish tend to move up on the edge during the night and will generally feed until the sun hits the water and starts to warm. This can be a great way of catching some big fish, especially if you’re up in the timbered arms and there’s a lot of structure near the edge that you’re fishing.

Another option is fishing the many weed beds that line the edge of the dam, Jerk Baits are a great option here. Cast the Jerk Bait up to the weed edge and crank it down a couple of winds, pause it and then begin a series of twitches as you wind. Remember that fishing close to the weed, you will come in contact with the weed regularly, so just give the rod tip a quick flick to get the Jerk bait free. Be patient with this technique as the Bass sitting in the weed pockets will eventually come out and hit the Jerk Bait hard. This is also a great option for catching some big Yellow Belly, particularly in the afternoon when the water is warm.

After the sun has been up for a while and the day starts to warm, I always move out to the deeper sections of the dam and target the schooled fish sitting out on the flats.

Sound around until you’ve located a good showing of fish, generally this time of year I’ll be searching around the 15 to 25 foot mark. When a school is located you have a few options to cast at the fish to entice a bite. ½ rigged plastics, tail spinners, blades, spinnerbaits and soft vibes all have their place out on the flats and it’s just a matter of trying a few baits until you have one that you’re consistently catching fish with.

Recently soft plastics have really been the standout lure fished along the bottom. A key to getting a good flats bite though is having an afternoon where it’s quite hot and you have a slight breeze on the water. This combination of warmth and current tends to get the fish biting.

Lake Wuruma

Lake Wuruma is a dam that doesn’t usually get much recognition on the Bass to Barra trail as a few years ago a lot of the resident Barra population escaped over the wall during floods. As of late though, the dam has come alive with some great catches of Bass and Yellow belly coming from the edges. Not just small fish, big fish of up to 58 cm.

Your best option if your visiting Wuruma is to start on the edges. If you head up near the dam wall you will find some steep rocky edges with some timber lining the edges. Tie on a spinnerbait of about 3/8 ounce and begin casting to the edge as close as you can, count to 3 and start a slow wind out.

The bass have been sitting reasonably tight to the edges and amongst the timber so it’s a really good idea to tighten up that drag and have a minimum of 14 pound leader on. These fish are big, and if you get a 50 cm bass scream out and hit your lure on the edge, you’re going to know about it.

Lipless crank baits are also a great option for this type of fishing. There are plenty of yellow belly in Wuruma as well and they love a lipless crank, as well as the bass.

Lake Barambah

Fishing on BP has fired up again with some nice catches of Bass and Yellow belly coming in, particularly during the warmer afternoons. With the warmer days the fish have generally been staying out deep in the 15 to 25 foot zone.

Depending on the day, if it’s cool in the morning, I will target the weed edges with spinnerbaits and blades. Also it helps if the edges have spindly timber mixed in with the weed, as the fish tend to move up and feed around this structure early in the morning.

Later in the day, especially if it’s warm, I will move out deeper and target those fish sitting in the deeper flats of about 20 feet. The fish have been spread out over the flats near Lightening Ridge, Bass Point, and Treasure Island. The best way to target the fish out deep is using plastics, blades, tail spinners and soft vibes.

Sound around these areas until you have a good show of fish on the sounder, then go through the above mentioned lures until you find one that gets you onto a couple of fish and stick with it. Make long casts and make sure the lure stays in contact with the bottom regularly.

Use either a hopping retrieve, or a dead slow roll along the bottom. Persist with this long enough and you will eventually get a bite. >Lake Monduran

The Barra dams have been producing, and the best on the trail at the moment is Lake Monduran. The dam did have a small influx of water and some fish did go over the wall, but only a handful. The fish have been biting and if you put the time in to locate the fish you will be rewarded.

Fish have been caught mainly through the mid-section of the dam and are responding well to large Jerk baits and soft plastics.

The fish are sitting around points that have timber around them or banks with timber with the wind blowing onto them. The Barra tend to cruise along these banks and the timber in search of bait and a well-presented lure will get them to bite. Make sure to check out the Lake Monduran Sponsor a Barra Facebook page for what’s happening on the dam.

These guys will be able to help you onto some fish or give you a rundown of what’s happening.

Special Mentions

Cania dam has been producing some good Bass and Saratoga from the edge casting Jerk baits and Spinnerbaits. The fish have started to move shallow so fish the timber lined banks to get into some fish.

Lake Borumba has also been producing some nice Bass and Toga from up in the arms of the Yabba ck and Kingham arm. Cast lipless cranks and spinnerbaits to the edge for the best results.

Hope you all get out for a fish on the Bass to Barra trail soon.

See you on the water

Matthew Langford

About Matthew Langford

I grew up fishing the rivers of Western Qld, chasing Murry Cod, Yellowbelly, Silver perch and Eel Tail catfish. As I grew older my passion for casting lures grew and I moved to Central Qld and developed my fishing further targeting Saratoga and Barramundi. I'm now based in the South Burnett Region and have access to some of the best impoundment fishing for Australian Bass in the country. My passion for freshwater angling is as strong as anyone I know and will be happy to share locations, stories and techniques to catch all varieties of our inland native species. I really looking forward to sharing with you all.

Matthew Langford Australian Fishing


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