Fishing South East Queensland's Freshwater



Gary "Fitzy" Fitzgerald

For those that like to travel to different locations for a bit of piece and quiet or those that are mad keen anglers chasing that trophy fish or even just a feed, there are plenty of destinations around that will cater to your needs.

One of the best around is Lake Barambah otherwise known as Bjelke-Petersen Dam or simply BP dam. Situated in the south Burnett region, this well stocked lake has plenty to offer to campers tourists and anglers alike. Construction of Bjelke-Petersen Dam commenced in 1984 and finished in 1988 creating the lake that was named "Barambah" after the original property in the region. This average sized impoundment covers 2150 ha and holds 125 000 mega-litres coming from a catchment area of 1670 km squared .

A two-hour drive north west of Brisbane heading along the Brisbane Valley Highway and then turning left onto the D'Anguilar Highway will find you getting close to Nanango. From here it is about 40 km north to the turn off and another 9 km to the lake itself .

Camping is permitted at Yallakool Tourist Park where there are sites provided for caravans & campers as well as self contained cabins & villas and some bunk houses with no cooking facilities. There is plenty of space around the park & the operators are quite keen to promote a nice quiet family atmosphere. For those that don't want the head ache of cooking, these is a well equipped café & tackle shop on site that is open 7 days a week. There is a tennis court provided for guests and swings to keep the kids amused. It is always handy to take a torch along, as there are a few nocturnal visitors that are content to quietly feed if you don't disturb them .

There are no boating restrictions on Lake Barambah but there are two no boating zones near the main dam wall and the saddle dam respectively. These no areas are marked with large buoys, so there's no excuse if you get caught on the wrong side of them. There is a concrete boat ramp directly in front of the camp ground that has limited parking and a cleaning table provided for those that want to clean their fish. Pelicans make their presence felt here, especially when there is a bit of activity at the ramp. There is another concrete ramp closer to the main wall with plenty of parking available as well as a well grasses picnic area and toilets. There are some hire boats available on site if you don't own one and want to explore the lake .

The fishing here is superb and is a credit to the hard work and dedication of the local fish stocking group. Bass, yellow belly and silver perch are the main stocked species with a few saratoga also being liberated here. These fish are stocked on a regular basis and live quite happily along side the breeding populations of Tandans (eel tailed catfish) and spangled perch. There is a growing trend among freshwater anglers to chase fish with lures and there are plenty of areas for you to try. One of the best techniques is to cast or troll shallow diving lures along the outside of the many weed beds in the bays and around the points. Other areas that produce fish on lures is the timbered upper reaches that are best fished with deeper diving lures. The hotspot of this lake that tends to produce the big bass is at Treasure Island. At the current water level, it is not actually an island but an underwater hilltop that bass tend to congregate on. Fish this spot with deep diving lures or jigs. All of the above mentioned spots will produce big bass, yellow belly and silver perch on baits, especially if using locally caught live shrimp or fresh, juicy worms. Try floating your bait down towards the bottom with as little weight as possible and occasionally lift and move your offering around to give it something to attract fish. Probably the best rig to use is some 10 or 12-pound line tied straight onto a 1/0 suicide hook with no sinker or swivel. Then it is a simple matter of adding some split shot to the line if some weight is needed to get the bait down to the fish or if the wind gets up. Try one location for 20 minutes and if you've had little interest move to another likely looking spot. Bank anglers aren't as much the poor cousin here, with plenty of big yellow belly getting caught from the bank all the way from Yallakool to the main wall using live and dead baits like frozen prawns. .

For me, Lake Barambah/BP Dam is one of the best fishing locations with some top facilities available at any freshwater destination in southern Queensland. In fact, I'd say that if you want to tangle with a big bass then this is the place for you. If you want a guided tour of the lake or want to sample the best fishing spots, then contact local guide Mathew Mott of Burnett Valley Sportfishing Adventures. Mathew and wife Gayle also run the lakeside café and tackle store that has plenty of food, supplies and some camping equipment if you've forgotten something. You can contact Mathew and Gayle on 07 4168 4811. For bookings at the Yallakool Tourist Park, call 07 4168 4746 .



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