You wouldn’t be dead for quids
  |  First Published: October 2004

HOW GOOD is it to exchange the cold winter blues for bright, warm Spring days? To sum it up in one short sentence, you wouldn’t be dead for quids.

While Spring marks the beginning of some exceptional fishing for golden perch along the Murray, it also heralds the start of the closed season for the mighty Murray cod. For the next three long months, those of us who passionately pursue this species will be forced to suffer the rigors of greenfish fever. Ninety-odd sleeps might not seem that long to the average human, but for the dedicated greenfish fanatic it’s an eternity. As hard as it may be, however, the closed season is put in place to help ensure the next generation of cod is conceived with as little disturbance as possible.

To alleviate the symptoms over the closed season, I recommend trying new destinations or applying some of those techniques we just haven’t got around to for one reason or another. The coming months, if water clarity permits, are as good a time as any to try soft plastics on golden perch along the Murray River. It seems anything with fins finds these plastic imitations impossible to resist, and I don’t imagine golden perch would be any different. Who knows? Perhaps hard-bodied lures will take a backseat to soft plastics on our native fish, as they have done on so many other species over the past few years.

Locally, the Murray River at Wemen has been fishing well for golden perch and should continue to improve as the weather warms. Most anglers fishing this area have opted to use bait – a simple, sure-fire method to target this species. Shrimp, worms and small yabbies bring the best results when fished around the timber or along the edges of eddies. Most fish average around the 1kg mark with the occasional 2-3kg specimen always on the cards.

Lake Charm and Kangaroo Lake in the Swan Hill region have produced good runs of redfin. This trend should continue over the coming months. The best captures have been on small whitebait with most fish coming in at less than a kilogram.

Another area that has begun to fire is the Walkool River at Kyalite. This is a popular destination that seems to have the uncanny ability to consistently produce fish all year round. Having a pub within casting distance of the water may have something to do with the good fishing. There have been many a trip undertaken by visitors where the only thing to get wet for the weekend was the throat.

So, all looks set for a great start to Spring with almost anywhere between Swan Hill and Wentworth on the Murray River worth a shot for golden perch.

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