As soon as wattle starts to blossom, I know it’s that time of year again. To me, and many other southern anglers, it means yella season. Golden perch, yellas, will be on most anglers’ hit list this month, for good reason.
This time last year, my partner and I did a trip to Windamere. In typical spring-Windamere fashion, we cleaned up with well over 20 golden perch landed each day we were there. Blowering Dam is considered the southern Windamere, due to its abundance of big golden perch that go nuts in spring. Blowering doesn’t quite match Windamere for numbers, but our size is on par, often bigger.
On top of that we get polaroiding opportunities, which most other lakes don’t get. Being able to spot a big golden perch more than 10ft below the surface is enough to get anyone’s adrenaline going. When you actually get to watch them eat your offering, the excitement is hard to explain. Don’t be too deterred if you can’t make it all the way up to Windamere this year – get stuck into golden perch in Blowering instead.
The water is still cold this month, but it’s on the rise and the golden perch will seek warm water. They’ll be sitting in the tops of trees early, sunning themselves. They will still eat, however, late in the day is when the water is warmest and fish will be at their most active for the day. This time of the year it’s hard to beat the late afternoon bite. The last hour of the day in particular is the best. Be on the water for your best chances of hooking a few big fat yellas.
This early in spring it pays to keep everything moving slowly, and the slower the better. When you think you’re going slow enough, slow down some more and you’re on the money. Rattling lipless cranks are worth a shot, early in the season. The fish haven’t been targeted with them for a while, and they’ll be super hungry. Anything that swims close enough will be eaten.
Other lures that imitate yabbies or shrimp will be best this month, hopped lures especially. Rubber vibes like Jackall Mask Vibs, Berkley MF50’s and Insanity Tackle Mini Vibes will be fantastic. Blades like the ZX style that many companies are doing now will work great as a yabby or shrimp imitation, when slowly hopped along the bottom. Skirted jigs and plastics, both yabby and baitfish imitations, are also good lures to hop in search of gold.
Baitos will like yabby or shrimp, as these tasty morsels have been off the cards for so long. The natives are almost craving them. Keep the bait off the bottom with a paternoster rig – this prevents the yabby from burying itself in the mud, or in a hole. Keep the bait kicking around all the time. This creates action and draws fish to your bait. Alternatively, cast and retrieve your yabby actively like you would a soft plastic, rubber vibe or blade. Watch your results sky rocket. All good bait anglers know you can’t beat moving bait.
Trout anglers are getting itchy feet, as they await the opening of running water trout season, on the October long weekend. Rather than wait for the new season, why not dust off the trout gear now and go for lake fish. There are so many lake options nearby, including Blowering, Jounama, Tantangra, Eucumbene, Three Mile and Talbingo dams to name a few. All of these lakes remain open while the streams and rivers are closed. There’s no need to put your trout gear away at all.
Most of the year, trout can be easily targeted from the bank with bait, lures or flies, which makes them accessible to anyone. Baitos do well with PowerBait, but a wood grub is a cracker. Garden worms also work, especially after significant rain events.
If you want big numbers of trout, go for maggots, or ‘gents’ as they are politely called. Berley the area you’re fishing with maggots and rig a couple of them on tiny hooks, like the size 10 single egg hooks from Gamakatsu. Use a light line, no more than 6lb, preferably 3-4lb. If you have to add a sinker, make it the smallest possible for the area and conditions you’re fishing. Keep your rod in hand as much as possible. Once the action starts, it gets full on. On a hot bite, you will often find your bait doesn’t get to the bottom.
Don’t sit around waiting for the season to open. As you can see, there’s still plenty of options. Dust off the gear and get amongst it.
A beautifully marked brown trout fooled by an Insanity Tackle Mini Vibe. Big lake fish like this will keep trout anglers happy while they wait for the running water to open.
Why wait for the creeks and rivers to open? Trout fishing in our lakes can be sensational this month.
Blowering dam has surprised many anglers. Good numbers of trout are encountered, especially by those targeting them like Mark Chaplin and his mate. They’ve been getting their fair share at Blowering this winter.
For most anglers, this is what September is all about – golden perch.
Whether its Blowering or Windamere, big fat golden perch like this will be on lines regularly.Reads: 182