The good news for boaties is that the amount of dams and weirs you can now fish in, in Queensland has nearly doubled since this time last year.
An additional 31 dams and weirs were added to the Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme (SIPS) from 1 July 2016. So with all this good water on offer, you can bet there’s likely to be a dam near you stocked and ready for fishing.
Firstly you’ll need a permit for freshwater fishing which you can purchase onlinevia the Queensland Government website. The permit is sent digitally by email or text message, so if you need to show it to anyone you can just display it on your phone. But you can also get a paper receipt if you wish.
The permits cost:
- $10.00 per week
- $50.00 per year
- $36.00 per year if you are entitled to a discount*
(* Discounts are given to those with a Queensland Government Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card, Health Care Card or a Repatriation Health Care Card, (Gold Card).
What kind of boat is best?
For dam fishing, small tinnies or smaller fibreglass boats lend themselves well to the task. A smaller boat is better than a large one and will allow you to manoeuvre around to fish a variety of spots. Some boats that are popular for dam fishing include bowriders, which have precise handling and can double as a water sports boat, and cuddy cabin boats, which are great for family fishing as they have an enclosed deck for weather protection.
How do I find fish?
In dams fish usually prefer a cover of some kind, such as logs, rocks, weed beds or steep banks to hide in. They generally don’t go deeper than 10 metres, so you should be fine fishing at around the six-metre mark. Modern boats have sounders which make it even easier to locate fish and where they’re congregating. Summer is usually the best time for catching fish in dams; winter is a slower time for fish activity.
What’s the best fishing method?
Bait fishing, lure trolling and lure casting are all used in dam fishing and will catch most species of fish. Trolling with a deep diving lure is the preferred method for fishing in dams as you can cover more territory and the lure stays down deep. Use one of these in conjunction with a sounder, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble catching fish such as bass, trout and yellowbelly, occasionally even barramundi and cod!
If you’re keen for a day of family fishing, plan to go out in the early morning or late afternoon for a spot of relaxed fishing, and use the rest of the day for swimming, bush walking or a picnic. Most dams have boat ramps and amenities such as BBQs, picnic areas and toilet blocks. Check Seqwater’s list of dams and weirs for more specific information about a location’s fishing regulations.