Chasing early season yellas
  |  First Published: November 2007

As the warmer spring weather rolls along, the chase for some early season golden perch is proving to be a bit of a challenge. With the rivers still at winter levels, this is not helping to bring the yellas on the chew.

I recently fished the Wakool River in the Whymoul State Forest. The water was very low, too low to float a boat, and very dirty. By casting spinnerbaits around the snags, I caught three good-sized golden perch. The colour of choice was the red and black combination. I tried some small hard-bodied lures and bait as well, but they received little interest from the fish. Unless we get some irrigation flow down the Wakool River it will not be a place to take your boat over summer.

Martin Auldist fished the Edward River downstream of Stevens Weir and also found the water too low to be worth launching a boat. Casting spinnerbaits from the bank to the snags in the deeper holes, he landed one fish and dropped a better one at the bank. Again, red and black was the favoured colour. Martin reports that bait fishers were also catching golden perch along the same stretch of river.

There are some reports of a few golden perch being caught in the Edward River around Picnic Point near Mathoura. These fish have all been caught using bait, the best of which has been scrubworms, shrimp and yabby tails. Shrimp are still a little hard to catch, but this will soon change as the water temperature rises. The goldens caught in the Picnic Point area have been caught out in the current, where there is some flow. The depth to target is 2.5–3m.

The Murray River around Echuca is producing a few golden perch. The best way to get a fish here is with bait, and once again scrubworms and shrimp are the way to go. The area around the Campaspe River junction is well worth a try, with a few reports of ‘yellas’ being caught from the bank in this area.

The area below Torrumbarry Weir is also a place well worth a try for a golden perch or two. The water level down there is pretty low and care should be taken when fishing from a boat. Reports are that some of the ‘yellas’ have been caught trolling and some by casting lures, and that hard-bodied lures seem to be working better than spinner baits at the moment. The fluoro pink colour is reported to be the most effective.

For more information on fishing around Echuca call in and see Garry at Gone Fishin', Annesley St, Echuca, or call 03 5482 4291.

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