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Fishing for Yellow Belly (Golden Perch)


Article by Roger Miles ( Watch )
Posted28/04/08 22:42:59 (Australia/Sydney)
This arcticle has been viewed 34906 times.

Table of Contents: Hide TOC  ]


Golden Perch (Yellow Belly)
Every species has certain times of the year when productivity is at its optimum. With Murray cod catch rates can be good early in the season (December, January and February). The average size of Murray cod being caught is often smaller earlier in the season. At the end of the season (April, May, June, July and August) the average numbers of Murray cod being caught decreases however the average weight of fish being caught increases dramatically.

The most productive time for golden perch in overall numbers and the average size of fish being landed is definitely during the spring months. Whether you are targeting golden perch in New South Wales or Victoria spring is always the best time of the year to target these great Australian Icons.


The secret for successful fishing for golden perch in impoundments is to work out where the best concentrations of fish are holding. It sounds very basic find the fish catch the fish. However a lot of anglers will not be prepared to put the time in to do this. When you are fishing an area that you are not familiar with always spend some time prior to your trip finding out as much information as possible about that location.

It is always worthwhile phoning the local tackle store and getting as much information as possible. It can also be well worthwhile booking a trip with a local fishing guide to ensure a successful trip. Also talking to a few local anglers at the boat ramp can be a great way to gain a bit of extra information. A lot of information can be gained via the internet via fishing web sites and information can also be gained via the net about water levels inflows, outflows etc.


When fishing for golden perch water levels and what those levels are doing can be very important in determining what potential catch rates can be. Often during spring many of our impoundments water levels are rising. The rise in water level relates to an increase in food supply and golden perch will be making the most of the increased food sources and will be actively feeding. When water levels rise in our impoundments the water will go over large amounts of vegetation. The vegetation provides a great new food source. Large numbers of insects and earthworms are on offer for any resident fish. The rise in water levels is usually associated with a dramatic increase in the amount of baitfish in the system. The baitfish like the golden perch will be actively feeding making the most of the perfect conditions. Where there is a good amount of bait present then golden perch won’t be far away.

During spring water quality is often very good. We often experience the greatest inflows into our impoundments during this time of the year. With these good inflows water ph levels are often very good and oxygen levels are usually good because of the rainfall. We often experience a number of windy days during spring which helps to oxygenate the water.

During spring water temperatures are rising. The rise in temperature helps anglers in their endeavours to catch golden perch. The increased temperatures will see golden perch’s metabolism increase and the fish will be making the most of improved feeding conditions. When surface temperatures increase to 18 degree’s the consistency in the numbers of golden perch being caught is usually good. The increasing water temperatures will also increase the golden perch’s urge to breed. This can lead to greater concentrations of fish in a smaller area. Those experienced anglers who locate this concentration of fish can produce some excellent results.


  • 1 The rising water temperature in spring relates to increased fish activity and improved fishing conditions.
  • 2 Any area that has higher water temperatures increases the chances of greater concentrations of fish.
  • 3 The rising water level increases the numbers of fish feeding in the shallower areas.
  • 4 The greater amount of regrowth around the banks increases the chances of concentrations of fish holding around the edges of the lake.
  • 5 Falling water levels means less fish are concentrated along the edges. Greater concentrations will be found along steeper banks or around timbered sections in the lake.
  • 6 With poorer water clarity greater concentration of fish will be found in shallower water
  • 7 Low light conditions i.e. days of heavy cloud cover increase activity in shallower water
  • 8 With very clear water or bright sunny days greater concentrations of fish will be found in deeper water.

These above rules are just a small part in working out the equation of where best to concentrate fishing effort. There are many other factors such as Barometer, structure, wind direction and current flows which all can have an effect on where the best concentrations of golden perch will be.


In spring golden perch will more readily school up. In impoundments such as Lake Windermere very good concentrations can be located in unlikely locations. Often in this lake very good concentrations of golden perch can be located in what appear to be very small and barren bays. This usually occurs when the water temperature becomes higher in these bays. Often the temperature difference can be as little as two degrees difference from surrounding areas, but the golden are drawn to the warmer water. It is often the case that one female golden perch will be accompanied by several males. In this situation the males will become very territorial and will have an aggressive response with any intruder coming too close.

In spring when you catch male golden perch they will often have damaged scales on their cheeks. This damage occurs from males fighting with other males in order to keep prized position beside their female companion. It is a very good tactic when fishing for golden perch during spring if one angler manages to hook up a fish that the other angler should immediately cast another lure and try to retrieve it two metres parallel with the first hooked fish. This can often result in a double hook up. Anglers should always pay attention when bringing a hooked golden perch to the boat. It is quite common for another free swimming fish to follow its hooked companion to the boat. For those switched on anglers they will often convert a follow into another hook up.


When fishing for golden perch in impoundments during spring it can be a hunting game. Golden perch will often be moving around the lake and are not always easy to locate. There are several types of structures which are good areas to try when chasing golden perch. Weed beds are the first type of structure. Weed beds will always hold a good concentration of fish. Weed beds are great habitat for golden perch to hide in and ambush their prey from. Weed beds are great feeding locations for golden perch as they attract baitfish and invertebrates such as shrimp and yabbies. Rock banks or rock reefs are great locations to find golden perch. These rocky areas provide good habitat where golden perch can position themselves against the rocky structure and ambush any prey.

Timber whether it is standing or timber which has fallen over can be very good locations. Often areas where there is isolated timber can be very good these isolated pieces of timber can be excellent structure. The above types of structures are all typical areas where golden perch will be found through out the year.

Banks with large volumes of vegetation can be excellent areas. If the impoundment has experienced rising water levels then these banks will have good concentration of fish along them. The golden perch will make the most of the good feeding opportunities around the newly submerged vegetation. Often the shallower banks will have the greater concentration of fish in this scenario. On the shallower banks the rising water levels will go over a greater amount of vegetation and food. Therefore feeding opportunities are more abundant in these areas.


One of the biggest mistakes that anglers regularly make is that they don’t look at the different conditions from year to year and change their tactics accordingly. All forms of fishing can be productive for golden perch during the spring months. Whether its bait fishing off the banks or casting a lipless crankbaits to a rocky bank. Trolling a hardbody along the edges of the lake or casting a spinnerbait to a large tree. The challenge for us as anglers is to test our knowledge and continue to improve our skills in the endeavour of landing as many fish as possible. What does not change from year to year is that spring is always a great time of the year to target this great Australian icon.

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