Golden Perch are one of the more common freshwater fish targeted west of the great divide in Australia.
How To Identify:
Golden Perch as the name implies are normally a very golden colour on the sides moving to an olive-green on the top part of the body of the fish. They are a deep bodied fish and as they get larger a hump develops from the to the rest of the body. Yellowbelly have sharp gill rakers so be careful when handling as they give a nasty finger cut with careless handling. Can grow to almost 25kgs, however commonly caught 0.5 to 4kgs. Regularly catches of larger fish are now happening as a result of the impoundment stocking throughout Australia.
How To Catch:
Golden Perch can be caught on both bait and lures. Many people who bait fish say their fighting qualities are like pulling up a bucket however on light gear they can be quite fun. There is a couple of method used to bait fish, one being a small amount of lead fished on the bottom, the other is called "bobbing" and I have caught many using this method, it entails using a large float with about 1 meter of line below the float then just lifting the float up and down just high enough to make ripples in the water. Golden Perch will then stick at the bait quite hard. Baits for Golden Perch include worms, shrimp, wood grubs and my favourite small live yabbies. Golden Perch are will also take a lure, and tend to fight a lot harder when striking lures. I have caught them on celta type lures as well as hard bodied lures and in the stocked dams they seem to love spinnerbaits.
In Australia Golden Perch are found throughout the inland river system - The Murray -Darling River System and most of its tributaries. They are well suited to billabongs, dams, lakes and slow moving waterways, they are also found in some clear rocky waters in some coastal streams. Yellowbelly have in more recent years become a major part of the dam stocking program and have responded very well. They are reaching very healthy sizes and a common catch. Golden Perch love structure such as snags and rock ledges.