Flies. Who needs ’em?
  |  First Published: November 2013

How quickly we forget the downside of every season. During Winter I longed the warmth of Spring and the chance to don the shorts and fish the rising rivers. And so it has been for the past month or so, when numerous solid goldens have found their way onto the end of my line.

During this period I have questioned many times, in an explosion of profanities, the need for flies in our world. I have no doubt there is a reason for these small annoying insects but why so many and why so bloody persistent?

I can handle them hovering around my face and eyes to a certain point but to fly directly down my throat is a whole different kettle of fish, to mix metaphors. They spread their grubby little legs and hold fast to the back of the throat, refusing to go up or down.

This brings on a coughing fit and a tendency to choke, dry reach and eventually spit up what looks suspiciously like anal hair, but not a fly in sight. Then comes the uncomfortable thought that the fly was no doubt chowing down on a fresh dog turd or the like only minutes before. Flies. Who needs ’em?

Most local rivers have fished exceptionally well over the past month with a great run of golden perch, mainly caught on bait.

Anglers fishing the Wakool River at Kyalite have reported excellent captures of golden perch to 3kg on scrub worms and small yabbies.

Several cod have also been caught in this area, the biggest an estimated 10kg, and all were returned to the river, as it’s still the closed season.

It’s a similar story on the Edward River, where anglers fishing from boat and bank are catching some excellent-sized perch and a few cod.

The Murray River at Swan Hill has goldens to a couple of kilos on bait, with scrub worms working best.

Goldens have been running well in Lake Charm with anglers fishing yabbies from the northern end bank landing good numbers of fish to around 4kg. A few redfin are also in the mix at Charm, so it’s not a bad spot to wet a line and catch a feed.

The Little Murray has also been fishing well, with several anglers consistently bagging out on perch to 8kg.

In truth, most if not every section of Murray River locally is producing good numbers of golden perch on bait. Robinvale, Wemen, Mildura and Wentworth all have similar reports.

If you are new to fishing the Murray, look for old snags on the edges of the backwaters. Where the water rolls back on itself or, even better, sits almost still.

Fish close to the timber and present good-sized baits weighted just enough to hold bottom.

Golden perch can be very aggressive feeders but on most occasions they mouth a bait and take it slowly. Take your time and wait for the fish to move off with the bait before you set the hook.

Remember, it is still the perch breeding season and while you are not required to do so, returning larger female fish to the river is common practice and commonsense. Good luck and enjoy the Spring bounty of golden perch.

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