Home Locations & Maps Fish species Fishing Guides Products Accomodation
Australian Fishing Shop

Picture Gallery

Weather page & links

Fishing Competition Calender

Articles & information

Fishing Rules & Regs

Fish Stocking

Chat Page





Fishing Fun at Faust Dam by Jason Bird

Well it was time again to pack up the car and boat and head north on my annual October pilgrimage to Peter Faust Dam or Lake Proserpine on the way I fished Teemburra Dam and also Lake Awoonga, this was compiled over two separate trips two weeks apart.
Although I wrote a feature last year on the Faust it had changed a fair bit with about 6 feet of water missing from the dam and the fish are holding in different areas than last year.
For those making there way up the coast to have a crack at the barra in the impoundments I would recommend making the time to have a look at both Awoonga and Teemburra.

Teemburra is a great little dam west of Mackay right near Pinnacle Point and although the water level is not what you would call high it is still a great place for a fish.
We spent a day and a half on Teemburra and had a ball with barra in the 85cm range belting lures from small bass style lures right up to purpose bred 125mm scorpions and the Lively Lures Arafuras.
The need for what we call Faust class tackle is just not needed here as there is not many meter barra in the place and the majority of fish are in the 50 to 80 cm range.
I used 20 braid and 60 lb wind-on leaders for Teemburra and had no trouble at all stopping the fish, apart from one.
I cast deep into a sunken cattle crush in about 5 feet of water, I only got about 2 turns out of the reel and I was smashed and promptly smoked by what was a good fish.
The Pinnacle Point Hotel is situated not far from the dam and is easy to find, they have basic but comfortable accommodation for those that would like to stay near the dam and as camping on the dam is not permitted it is a good option. Another good option is to stay at Mackay; we stayed at the Cool Palms Motel on Nebo Road. Steve and Tracy Froome will look after you and they have room for limited boat parking as well.

Onto Awoonga, this place is huge at the moment and has very freshly sunken forests all around the dam and the best way to get a handle on the place is to ask the ranger at the dam for advice. There is a good mix of both small medium and very large barra in the place so tackle needs to be what we would use for Faust fish.

The next and last place is my favorite and that is Faust.
This year I did the trip with my brother Nathan and two mates Dave Price and Aarron Elks and the previous trip was with Randall Gillbert, Steve Brown and Peter Swanson.
On the first trip we found the going very tough with strong cold winds keeping the water temp down to about 22 degrees C and as a result we didn't see many fish over the 5 days we were there but we did work out the fish were not doing what they had done last year.
In the previous year the fish were holding in the top of the many creeks that flow into the dam as the water was clean and warm up there but this year with the water at a lower level the top of the creeks is very dirty and just looks lifeless.
I did pull an 112cm barra from the top of one creek on one afternoon on the first trip but we soon found the fish had changed their habits to suit the conditions.
The water out the front of the bays is still clean and warm and this is where we found the fish, on flat open timbered paddocks in about 10-15 feet of water.
The best thing we found this year was to find the warmest water relative to the rest of the dam and then get to that magic depth and start casting, we fished water to 28 degrees Celcius on the last trip.
I mentioned Faust class tackle earlier well this is what is needed for these brutes of fish. I fish a custom built rod for these fish but in essence it is an 8 - 12 kg bait-casting rod at about 6 feet long.
You don't want long rods for these fish as the leverage they have on you is just too great to try and stop them from too far from your body. They have a habit of going under the boat when you think they are finished also so a strong rod is needed when they do this but sometimes the best option here is to free spool and then catch up with them when you have changed sides of the boat.
Reels need to be tough.
I used a millionaire for the last three trips and on the last fish I hit of exactly 1 meter long it gave up and is now in need of some new bits. I recommend the Shimano Chronarch or just as good will be the new Penn low profile bait caster to be released shortly.
You will need 50 lb braid as a minimum for Faust, I watched many people turn up thinking 30 will stop most things only to head for Proserpine Bait and Tackle to get some 50 after fishing for just one morning in the dam.

Lastly for tackle is the leader needed.
I use 80 lb leader and connected via and 40-turn bimini in the braid and then an improved Albright to the leader, a hint is to put a drop of super glue on all the knots to secure everything in place.
Lures are a subject that could be talked about for days but what we found to work were the 150mm scorpions, 130 and 150mm Lively Lures' arafura, Barra Baits and we didn't bother with anything else, all these lures are in gold or bleeding mullet color. One bit of info I have is DO NOT trust the Classic Barra lures in the 160 mm, we had a barra pull one of the things in half and another fail, everything else stood up to these fish but the Classics.
Enough of the technical stuff, this is a passage of events from the latter trip.
On one morning it went something like this, we pulled into a bay where we found fish that we later named FS bay. We cast for about 10 minutes and then I got smacked by a big fish but pulled the hooks as I started to apply serious pressure. Then about 4 minutes later Dave got belted by another big fish, this time it was solid hook up with two thumbs on the reel and really stretching the 50 lb to the limit the 80lb leader gave way on a tree the fish had passed on it's rampage. If you can get these fish to jump you are halfway there, it's the ones that put the head down and charge that are truly unstoppable. Next my brother gets hits at the boat, a small fish about 80 cm but the hooks are shaken pretty quick, everything has seemed to settle down until Aarron got hammered by a real big barra, this fish took line off a locked up drag and thumb locked reel like it was in free spool and then busted him off easily on a tree.
All this happened in about 20 minutes, two lures lost and no one with a fish, awesome.
Next morning we headed back, same barra time, same barra channel.
This time it was Dave who got hammered first with a big fish jumping at the boat but throwing the hooks early in the fight, we kept casting. Dave gets belted again this time by a huge fish, we see it take the lure and put the head down and charge. Dave jams both thumbs on the spool and gives no quarter as the fish was headed for some serious timber, you can hear the 50 lb braid cutting the water as the fish belts away from the hurt and a huge boil follows as the 50 lb braid lets go with a definite crack just near the reel, lure and fish lost.
Shortly after Nathan boats a small model of 60 cm, nice work.
Then I get belted by a good fish as I watched it eat the lure I knew I'd be in for it.
As I started to put hurt on the fish the reel lets go and I loose control of the fish as it goes from snag to snag trying to get rid of the lure. In the end after some panic and weaving around I got a 100cm barra on the boat.
Trolling is still a very good way to catch a fish if you are sick of getting smashed up in the timber, troll the tree line across the dam from the ramp for good results or in the basin near the wall as well.

This place is awesome and if you have been toying with the idea of chasing big barra Faust is the place to go with Awoonga and Teemburra a great warm up for the belting you will get in Faust.


Related Links:
Lake Proserpine info page with lake map
Water Level Link - Sunwater
Faust Dam Express - Article by Birdy
Gearing Up for Big Lake Barra - Article by Birdy
Winter Barra - Shallow or Deep - Article by Fitzy

Copyright© 2004 Jason Bird. Sweetwater Fishing Australia