Peter Faust Dam Revisited by Jason Bird
missing seeing the place in 2005 this year I just had to get back
to where my love of chasing impoundment barra began and while
Awoonga is now-a-days by far the most popular of the impoundments
I just had to get back to 'Faust.
Lake Proserpine is where it all began for me and the place is
still special even after fishing many other barra impoundments
over the years.
The usual stop at the BP in Prossy for fuel and also Woolies for
some food was done after the 13 hour run from Brisbane and then
we pointed the Hilux out the road that leads us to the dam and
of course our donga at Camp Kanga.
As we got nearer to the dam the memories I have of the place involving
momumental bust offs in the sticks on big barra came flooding
through and while those memories where not to be replicated this
trip there was enough action at the right times of the day to
keep us going back for more every afternoon.
On this trip I was joined by Mark Todd.
Mark is a mate of mine from Brisbane and keen barra angler who
untill this trip had not boated a fish over 1 meter cast and retrieve
from Faust, we didn't know then but he would go onto smash that
goal during the 7 days we fished the dam.
After a quick chat to Jan at Camp Kanga and unloading the gear
our first afternoon saw us scouting around the dam just checking
out the place as we went as neither of us had seen the dam at
the present water level we needed a few hours to get feel of the
I recall Faust as being a huge place that bewildered me on my
first trip up there and while there are still plenty of sticks
to cast behind the tree line it is far from the maze of trees
and creek lines it once was,with any luck this coming cyclone
season will put some water back into the place.
We fished the sticks hard for two days in reasonable weather but
we had arrived just as 2 weeks of very cold weather had chilled
the dam a few degrees and we found the fish hard to excite in
the sticks so we changed what we were doing.
I am big believer in the knowledge that barra have got to feed
every day reguardless of wind, moon and any other bigger factor
and I reckon you have just got to be casting when they do.
We again proved this theory with some great sessions in that magic
period between about 5 o'clock in the afternoon and 9 at night
on this trip hooking well over 30 fish in the process from a shut
down dam and all big fish over a meter long.
Looking at the weed beds on the major point in the middle of dam
and after talking to Lindsay at Proserpine Bait and Tackle we
decided to attack the fishing just as we would do at Awoonga.
The wind was howling as we dropped the anchor into the weed bed
just on dark and proceeded to cast both soft and hard bodied lures
off a distinct weed edge, not long after a 100cm fish inhaled
the 110mm Slick Rig I was casting.
That was the last fish I caught on a Slick Rig for the trip as
I began to play with my favourite technique for any fish on lures
and while far from being new information I love fishing suspending
lures over or near a weed edge for big barra.
The lures I use for the purpose are not suspending out of the
packet and need the hooks and rings to be modified so they behave
in the way I want them to.
The Laser Pro 120 is the lure I use for this style of fishing
and while I am not a subscriber to color making a difference after
dark a few things I noticed on this trip cast a doubt on that
theory for me, more on that later.
I like to have the Laser Pro just on the sinking side of suspending
and there is a reason for me wanting them to sink and not slowly
If the lure is just floating up while stalled it drfts away from
fish that are not quite in the mood, if you have fired up fish
that are biting it doesn't matter what way it suspends but for
quiet fish sinking is best.
As the barra follows the lure on the active part of the retreive
it is more often than not just under the lure looking up at the
silloette and contrast the lure makes, then as the lure is stalled
and suspends the barra is still under the lure looking up.
I have seen barra in the middle of the day get disinterested with
a slowly floating lure as it drifts away from the fish.
However if the lure sinks ever so slowly it is drifting towards
a stationary fish that is typically just behind the lure and then
the lure naturally is right in the strike zone and sometimes right
on the nose of the barra, this works rediculously well on barra
in all dams that I have encounted.
This is not new information by any means but most suspending lures
sit still or just float. I find it can be more effective if you
can adjust them to just sink and then cast them near a weed bed
for a giggle, you will see the difference having the lures drift
towards the fish makes.
I fish the Laser Pro weighted this was using short,fast winds
and then a stall period of 20 seconds or more and then a fast
wind again with some rod tip work thrown in for good measure.The
extra weight I use for the Laser Pro (this can apply to most lures)
for slowly sinking is no.1 6X VMC trebles on Halco 6X split rings
and for just floating no2 6X trebles with 4x Halco rings.
The method I just outlined was far away the most sucessful on
Faust on this trip with every barra I boated but for 2 taking
a Laser Pro while it was stalled after dark,the thump and head
shake one gets as a big barra inhales a lure that is sitting still
is something every fisho should get the chance to do.
I mentioned color earlier,there is one color that stood out after
dark in a big way.
Moe is what we call this color,in actual fact Halco call it Flamin
Hot but myeslf and few mates call it a Flamin Moe after one particular
It is the pearl white and Flouro Orange head you may have seen
around the place.
I have wondered what it might be about this color that was working
so well after dark and has done for me at Awoonga many times also.
I found out when I looked at the lure in the moon light with no
artificial light source shining on it, the head on the lure becomes
an oily jet black in the moon light and the body fo the lure remains
I have not noticed this kind of color contrast in any lure I have
ever seen before under the moon light and I'm not sure if Halco
knew what they had achieved with this color but it changed my
thinking a little on the color debate after dark for barra as
it was much, much more effective than anything else we threw at
All in all it was another great trip to where it all began and
I enjoyed being able to fish the dam with only 5 boats on the
dam at any one time.
I 'll be back to Faust
on images for larger version
Proserpine (Peter Faust Dam) info page
Fun at Faust Dam Article by Jason Bird
Dam Express Article by Jason Bird
up for Big Lake Barra Article by Jason Bird
Barra - Shallow or Deep Article by Garry Fitzgerald
Link - Sunwater