Paddling for gold
  |  First Published: May 2005

Fishing from my Koastal Kayak is one of my favourite ways of catching a fish in the rivers.

It enables me to get my lures into spots on the banks that most other anglers have difficulty getting to and it's a very relaxing way to spend my time on the water.

When I fish for golden perch in the rivers my favourite lures are 1/4oz Bassman spinnerbaits with pumpkin/chartreuse skirts and double Colorado blades. I have had a lot of luck on these and swear by them.

The hard-bodied lures that I have had most success with are two models of the Hydro Bug, the Dytiscus and the Chaser, in yellow and red.

At one of my particular favourite spots for yellas there is a lot of good food for the fish, making a lot of them fat and round, but they still fight very hard. At another favourite spot there is a lot of bamboo on the banks and the yellas tend to hang around there because the shrimp tend to hide and breed in it .

Recently my Dad, Barry, and I headed to this spot. The fish weren't as active as we would have liked but we got some nice ones.

The morning was perfect, enabling us to cast accurately and catch a couple of decent fish but the afternoon brought along a bit of a breeze which made it hard to control the kayak. Often we'd get in a good cast and the wind would turn us right around.

Because of the breeze we headed downstream and landed a couple more pan-sized yellas and let them go so we could come back and catch them another day.

As we headed downstream we and paddled around a bend and found a bank sheltered from the wind, making it much easier to put in an accurate cast. We had a couple of hits and some follow-ups right up to the kayak, but no hook-ups.

I noticed that down a little farther there was an old tree fallen in the water – another great spot to find a native fish – so we headed straight for it.

After a few casts my Hydro Bug Chaser got absolutely smashed. The fish hit the lure so hard and pulled a lot of line from my reel. All I could do at this point was hope that this one stayed on.

I thought it could have been a good cod until I saw the beautiful golden colour! While I was bringing her in Dad paddled us to the opposite bank, where it was shallow enough to beach the big golden, which would have been around 4kg. This was my biggest for the day and my biggest to date.

When fishing two-up in the kayak is I find it a good idea when one of us hooks up on a good fish for the other person to paddle away from any structure so the fish can't dart into the snags and end the battle prematurely.

That afternoon we caught a couple more fish but they were nothing to write home about.

We caught majority of the fish that day on spinnerbaits. They’re one of my favourites because they enable you to punch a good cast into structure like willow trees and fallen trees and work the lure on the drop right in the strike zone.

To the fish the fluttering spinnerbait looks like food falling from the tree into the water. I have caught a lot of yellas using this technique.

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