Work timber for Windamere whoppers
  |  First Published: May 2016

I am lucky to live in Orange in the Central West where it only takes me one hour and a bit to get to the best golden perch dam in Australia. People come from all over Australia to fish here and all over the world to Lake Windamere located near Mudgee in Central Western NSW, and it’s is widely considered a greatest place to catch some whopping golden perch up to and over 60cm.

The dam level doesn’t change much, and that’s good because when you go there one year and catch fish, they are usually there next time you go.

Like any fishery, the earlier the better, however, fish will feed at nearly anytime of the day given the opportunity and right presentation. The light changing periods can be all the difference in laying a beautiful big fat golden on your brag mat or plugging away for hours hoping for that whopping 65cm golden perch to assault your lure. 

Working the banks early morning and late afternoon is generally the most productive when fishing this dam.

There are several techniques and tips to increase your catch rate or even just land your first golden perch. Angling the boat at a 45° angle and casting in at the shore with lipless crank baits, plastics or blades is a well-known method of targeting yellowbelly. Working the shoreline with a slight breeze has also proven to improve catch rates with the fish pushing over towards the bank following the warmer water.

Look for single trees, yellowbelly like to school up in large groups at the base of these trees. Make sure you cast as close as possible to the base or tip of the tree, depending on how deep it is. If it stops on the way down on a branch, give it a quick flick to free it from the branch. Most of my yellas have come as the lure is falling lifeless to the bottom.

If you get a sharp whack from the fish and you miss the strike, don’t give up on it, just give the lure a quick hop then free spool it for a few seconds and then begin the same retrieve. Most times the perch will come back for a second go. 

Work each tree from every angle possible, mixing your retrieve and having at least 10-20 casts probing and hammering it for a minimum of ten minutes, trying to induce a strike or annoy one enough to bite. When you do nail a fish, keep working the area as goldens usually feed in schools or pairs, and if fishing with a mate or partner, cast in the exact area where the last person hooked up.

If you catch a fish doing one thing or using one lure, you should be able to use it all over the dam on a particular day.

Burrendong Easter Classic

Tackle World Orange was one of the big sponsors of the Burrendong Easter Classic catch and release photo comp this year, and it was a good time for fishing. There was over 3,200 people in the park and 1,200 fishing in the comp, so it was a big weekend for all.

It was also good to see some big yellas get pulled out of the dam, and the top three golden perch were all over 600mm. It’s good to see that the stocking program’s working well for the goldens at Burrendong, and I can’t wait until next year!

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