Wayne “Mr Freshwater” Dubois
Southern Freshwater Specialist
Wayne has been a freshwater fishing specialist forever and has fished Blowering Dam for Yellowbelly for over thirty years. He’s been in the tackle trade, spent some time as a fishing guide, written numerous fishing reports and magazine articles. He now runs Insanity Tackle, which specialises in a range of lures for Australia’s native freshwater species.
Wayne’s Top Yellowbelly Fishing Tips
- Fishing for yellowbelly is about working lures slowly. “When you think you’re going slow enough, slow down some more”. Often in this storage fish will follow a lure closely and not take it, slowing down will often make the difference and result in a strike.
- Yellowbelly in Blowering Dam are super finicky and the water is super clear. Stealth is important, don’t drive your boat into the fish on the main motor, sneak up from a couple of hundred metres with the electric motor.
- During spring the yellowbelly are in shallow water looking for warmth and starting to feed after sulking through winter, so the fishing is a fair bit easier. During the autumn and winter they’ll usually be a little deeper and less inclined to feed, so look for active fish and understand that wind is your friend. Especially seek out the “milk line” where clean water meets dirty water caused by wave action on the shoreline by finding the bank or point that is most exposed to wind. Fish that are in this stirred up, muddy water are always actively feeding.
- Yabbies and frogs are the prime food items for yellowbelly, so be sure to work your lures in a fashion that imitates these food items.
- The lead up to the new moon is a great time to fish for yellas in this system, though some anglers prefer to fish around the full moon. The few days after a new moon are also great and the few days before a storm event can fish exceptionally well, though the yellas can often go quiet again during the actual storm.
- The best time of day to fish depends on the time of year. During winter and spring the fish move into shallow water to find warmth and the afternoons and early evenings fish best as the water has had more time to warm up. During summer it’s the opposite, fish will feed more freely in the mornings before the water gets uncomfortably warm. Low light periods are always More reliable than the middle of the day, though fish can definitely be caught all day long.
Wayne’s Yellowbelly Fishing Tackle
- When fishing the spindly trees and other hard structure Wayne prefers to use light baitcast gear, although spin gear can also work well. 10lb braid with a 14lb leader is perfect for this style of fishing
- When fishing more open water and deeper areas with blades and soft vibes Wayne likes to use standard trout gear, with a 7ft rod of 2-3kg line class, 6lb braid mainline and 6lb fluorocarbon leader.
- Wayne prefers to use 3-4 rod lengths of leader due to the clarity of water and the habit of yellowbelly of shaking hooks when there’s no shock absorption in the line.
Wayne’s Yellowbelly Fishing Lures
- A small ZX style blade is a good option to imitate yabbies and Wayne’s company has developed a similar lure called a Yab Blade, which is larger and heavier and fishes better in deep water, when it’s windy or when you’re targeting bigger fish. The small ones (6g) can be used in shallow water, but Wayne likes the larger lures for hopping down deeper banks, windswept points and so on. Cast them out, let them sink to the bottom and then lift then sharply with a double 1-2m lift of the rod, then stay in touch with the lure without keeping the line tight. Fish usually pick them up on the drop or on the bottom. You can check out Wayne’s article on this style of fishing here:
- A twin curl tailed soft plastic grub of around 3-4” in size is a good option and very versatile in Autumn when fish are usually down deeper. Rig them on a 1/4oz jig head and fish them around rocky points, windswept areas and so on in the same way as you’d fish the Yab Blade, above. In spring they can be fished on 1/8 or 1/16 oz jig heads and slow rolled with occasional pauses.
- A soft vibration bait is a good option when fishing deeper and/or fishing in the wind. Wayne likes them for fishing the backs of bays when the water depth is 10-50 feet. Cast long, let them sink to the bottom and then slow roll them with occasional pauses. Wayne’s Insanity Lures Mini Vibe and Mega Vibes are great for this style of fishing.
- Rattling lipless crankbaits are good in shallow water when it’s easier to stay in touch with the lure and detect bites. They’re also the lure of choice around the mud lines where visibility is poor and the vibration and rattle can attract fish. Slow rolling them with occasional pauses is the trick to catching plenty of yellowbelly. the Jackall Mask is a great lipless crankbait for Aussie natives, but Wayne has also developed his own line of vibes called “Slapwalkers”, which are available in 50, 60 and 70mm sizes.
Wayne has a long history of tournament wins and an obsession for freshwater fishing that has led him to develop a line of lures and accessories specifically for targeting his favourite freshwater species. The range includes many of the soft vibes, lipless crankbaits and “angelbaits” mentioned in this podcast episode, but also boasts swimbaits, ice jigs, unique spinnerbaits and a ton more. Check out and order Insanity Lures at the link above!