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Wintery Wyaralong: Bass and Mary River Cod

Wintery Wyaralong: Bass and Mary River Cod

by August 19, 2020

The planned club trips for the year collapsed under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Initially, all fishing was banned but then a reprieve was granted for fishing to catch food. Some club members availed themselves of this. But with many members in the very vulnerable age group, most did not. Finally, with the easing of restrictions reopening dams and allowing journeys of 150km in May, the club was able to organise a trip to Wyaralong Dam near Beaudesert. Most club members are also members of the stocking group, Logan and Albert Fish Management Association, and the club raises money to support stocking of the dam, so it holds a special place for us all. The dam is stocked with Australian bass and Mary River cod as well as other species. It also holds pest species carp and tilapia, many of which are very large.

The club journeyed there on Saturday 23 May on the coldest day in nearly 100 years. The temperature maxed at a balmy 13 degrees, so warm clothing and beanies were the order of the day.

All members availed themselves of coffee to warm their internals and kick- start their day. Members started arriving at 8am to find the mist on the water clearing and still conditions. Most had taken the opportunity of the restrictions to make changes to their boats or kayaks.

Wyaralong is an electric-only dam, but it does allow your petrol motor to remain on your transom, so this provides additional safety.

The dam is also set up with rowing lanes by Queensland Rowing in the main basin, so most of us planned to journey up the dam for the first time. Previously most of our fishing efforts have been near the dam wall opposite the boat ramp, so this was all new territory.

Wyaralong Dam was fished as part of the bass competition in November 2019, and some large fish were pulled out. In September 2019, in recognition of the stocking effort, the regulations were changed to allow one Mary River cod over 60cm to be kept. Fish over this size have been reported, so everyone was hoping for a good session on bass and perhaps cod.

Once the boats were organised, we headed towards the Crows Creek arm, trolling as we went. As it was a new experience and we did not know the dam, we had the experience of getting snagged, retrieving lures, and losing and replacing lures as we went.

We plugged away at it for hours. Switching from spinner bait to blades, spoons to jigs, and even Tassie Devils. No bass! No carp! No tilapia! But plenty of lily pads and sticks, though.

One of the best things about our club is the discussion at our meetings before trips where club members discuss techniques for the species targeted on the night.

The SBSFC was formed in 1995 by a band of dedicated anglers. Members of the club participate in a wide variety of fishing including lure casting and trolling, fly fishing and bait fishing.

Check out the club website on or join the Facebook group Southern Brisbane Sportfishing Club. For further information, please contact Ross Williamson on 0407157870 or email

Published in the August – November 2020 print edition.