Shallows turn to gold
  |  First Published: August 2009

September marks the beginning of the unofficial golden perch season at Blowering Dam and anglers in the know realise this means it’s time to start fishing the shallows.

Big golden perch are most common in the backs of shallow bays, where they bask in the warm sun while sitting in the thickest of weed beds in wait for an easy meal.

This type of fishing is very exciting because it is so visual, especially in Blowering’s clear waters. It common during Spring to have up to 6m visibility, which makes for some sensational polaroiding.

There are a number of ways to successfully target golden perch at this time of year.

My favourite technique is to cast lures like spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits but trolling these lures, as well as small hard-bodied minnows, is also a good way of targeting the goldens.

Bait anglers can also get consistent results by fishing the same areas with yabbies. For the absolute best results, fish your live yabby similar to the way you’d fish a soft plastic.

Simply cast it out, let it sink to the bottom and then slowly lift the yabby back off the bottom and allow it to fall back. Wait a second or two and then repeat all the way back to the bank.

This type of active bait fishing works really well and is slowly starting to catch on with local anglers.


It’s not just good golden perch fishing to be had in the shallows at this time of year, either. Trout often frequent the newly flooded dam edges in hope of an easy meal.

The techniques for golden perch listed above will also give you a good chance of hooking a trout in the shallows but bait anglers might find better results using worms, grubs, maggots or PowerBait.

Fly fishing with large wet flies around shallow points and bays early in the morning and late in the afternoon is another good way of targeting the trout now.

The redfin fishing, in particular the jigging, over the past few months has been sensational.

Although the general size has been down on previous years, the sheer numbers of redfin at times was phenomenal.

Catches of 100 or more fish were commonplace, especially for clued-on anglers using ice jigs. Other anglers jigging with yabbies and worms have also been doing well.

The majority of the better-sized schools have been sitting down around 13m but as the water slowly starts to warm this month, the redfin usually start to move to slightly shallower water.

You should find most schools hanging around in the 6m to 9m, making them trolling targets.

When redfin schools are sitting at these depths it’s hard to beat an AC Slim Invader in purple and black or in red and white with black stripes – my two favourite colours for redfin lures.

If you can’t get a hold of these lures then any lure around 50mm long that gets down to those depths will do.

When I’m specifically targeting redfin on the troll I like to add a 1” to 2” soft plastic or a big, flashy saltwater fly to my line about a metre above the trolling lure.

The plastic or fly helps to trigger the redfin’s impulsive competitive side, which garners more hits and also gives you the chance of getting the odd double hook-up –always fun, no matter what the fish size.

Bait fishos confined to the banks should start to get redfin this month. Best places are any deep points which have a bit of timber on them.

Worms on a running sinker rig or small (30mm) yabbies on a paternoster rig would be your best bet.


In 2005 DPI Fisheries released around 50,000 silver perch into Blowering Dam.

Why this was done I am not sure but they are there now for everyone to enjoy.

The reason I have brought this up is that I am yet to see one caught, but I rarely use bait these days and we all know how rarely silver perch hit lures.

So if anyone out there has caught silvers and I would love to hear about it – and see pictures, if you have any. I and many other fishos would like to know if the stocking effort was a success.

If it was a success and anglers are starting to catch a few it might mean more stockings in the future.

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