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Macquarie perch a viable winter target
  |  First Published: August 2013



The river is looking quite good and is at present as cold as a mother in laws kiss.

The water is a very typical brown coffee colour and its going up and down daily from the spasmodic rainfall.

It is prime time to drown those scrub worm and reef a few carp up the back as well as some more favourable species. Macquarie perch are going to start to move from now till after Christmas and they are the primary scrub worm bandits of the system.

Fishing close to the bank is far more successful than casting into the middle of the river as this is where the fish hunt for food.

Dropping your bait straight off the rod tip into 1-2m of water will get you a bite and even more so if you’re just upstream of a rapid. These fish will move a considerable distance to find the right place the spawn and will do so in moving water.

As the fish move upstream they will spend so time in the more moderate flow and can be quite aggressive to a feed of worms after swimming like Ian Thorp up the run.

Some things to note about the Macquarie perch are the biggest ones are always females and they take quite some time to get to this stage of life. So, being that you are all awesome people who fish for photos not fillets, I’d expect you’ll take just one of the medium size models for dinner and release the rest to fight another day.

There is also a closed season for the fish and it runs from October 1 to December 31.

If you bother to read the news, Melbourne Water is planning to release some water from the upper valley dams systems to ‘flush and create’ for the future heath of the river.

Ok, so? Maybe they’re waiting for floodwater so they can top it up with this proposed ‘massive’ 10ML allocation of expensive dam water (yes, that is sarcasm).

Seriously, they must think we are all idiots. The Yarra river has flooded quite nicely on it’s own in the past two years and has pushed out a stack more water then a scabby 10ML. Propaganda and back slapping abound in the Melbourne Water offices I’m sure after this little media dog bone.

I’ll keep you posted as to whether the ‘massive torrent’ ever happens because some peanut turned on the tap!

Macquarie perch are a great winter sports fish. Photo courtesy Marc Ainsworth.

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