Golden glory!
  |  First Published: September 2008

The winter months didn’t produce as many fish as we would have liked, but that’s fishing! If it was easy they would call it catching, not fishing. Don’t worry though – there are much better times around the corner, especially for those anglers who love to target golden perch.

Although it was not the best winter for fish but it was a better than average winter for crays around Shepparton. I had many outings where I pulled up solid legal males and some huge females. One had a carapace length of 18cm.

My young brother had never pulled in a cray pot before this season, but after seeing that monster he was keen for more. It was great to see as not too many teenagers get out on the water and experience that feeling very often.

Cod season is officially over for another three months, so obey the rules. If you happen to get a nice cod make sure you gently place it back in the water. If you see anyone breaking the rules and keeping a Murray cod, get on your phone and call Fisheries (133 474) because we need the mighty cod to be around for many more generations to come.

With spring here the golden perch are on the move and the Broken and Goulburn rivers are fishing consistently.

I love this time of the year because the bush surrounding the local rivers is full of fresh growth and colour, and fishing for golden perch is one of my favourite things. Live shrimp straight from the net is my favourite bait for goldens. I have recently had success with shrimp by rigging them on a soft plastic jighead and casting them deep into reedy areas and around snaggy riverbanks.

Once the shrimp has sunk slowly to the bottom, start reeling the shrimp in like a normal lure or, once the shrimp has hit the bottom, give it a jerk – but try and keep the bait in the strike zone for as long as possible.

Kialla Lakes

For all you anglers who enjoy golden perch fishing, I’m going to let you in on one of my biggest fishing secrets: Kialla Lakes.

Locals may see Kialla Lakes as a very upmarket housing estate, but don’t let that turn you off. This lake holds some solid goldens, as well as redfin, plus I have also pulled out a handful of huge eel tailed catfish.

Casting lures or bait fishing from the grassy banks at the lake is very enjoyable, but the key is to keep on the move, with both lures and bait.

There is not much structure in the form of snags at the lake, but it has some really deep drop-offs and some big shady willow trees that are very good spots to fish in the warmer parts of the day.

If you do decide to fish out Kialla Lakes, make sure you respect the residents and the properties surrounding the Lake as you are only meters away from their back yard.

The golden perch fishing in the Goulburn River and other waters around Shepparton should improve substantially in the months ahead.

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