Gold rush fails to pan out
  |  First Published: October 2009

pring run of golden perch has been a little slower this season, with many anglers struggling to repeat the success of a few seasons ago.

Back at its height, the lipless crankbait craze was sweeping its way along the Murray and every man and his dog became overnight perch guns when these fish were a dime a dozen below the locks and weirs during their breeding run.

These good catches and poor breeding since may account for the slower than normal action at the start of

As the water temperature has climbed, the fish have increased their activity ever so slightly, with some anglers managing their bag (limit of five) in the right areas.

Finesse-style techniques, using lighter gear and smaller lures, are bringing the best results with vibrating blades worked along the edges of weed beds and around the willows proving real winners.

Soft plastics are also working well, as are some of the compact
umblers and spinnerbaits.

Slowly working these areas with repetitive casts is bringing the best results, so don’t be in a hurry.

If you find a good snag that holds fish, keep working it and alternate lures as the fish become aware of your presentations.

It’s now common for many anglers to have a fly rod set up ready to go, just for some of the thumping carp that are often spotted free-swimming just under the surface.

The carp make a great change of pace and can add a little action between the slack periods.

Most of the carp seen cruising are too big for cod fodder. The rarity of their smaller counterparts is testament to the impact native fish are having on their numbers.

Make no mistake, the larger models that are left will pull you a new freckle on fly gear and provide excellent entertainment.

And you should get a feeling of accomplishment as they are removed from the river. When you consider that a single large carp can lay up to 1500,000 eggs a season, you are doing the river a great service by removing them.

In recent years these fish have adapted from mud-sucking opportunists to full-blown predators that will willingly hunt down and eat lures.

We have caught plenty on the troll on small to medium hardbodies and a good number on cast spinnerbaits. No doubt if they will eat these lures, they will also hunt and predate upon smaller native fishes.

Redfin, another introduced species, seem to be making a bit of a comeback in many areas along the Murray.

And while they are great on the plate they, too, do their share of damage. If you happen across a school of these fish on the chew then try to catch yourself a good feed and maybe a few for your mates.

lades, plastics and micro
umblers have been working well.

There have been plenty of smaller cod caught in many sections of the river during the closed season, with most returned to the river unharmed.

Of course, there are still those who care little for the closure who still deliberately target large cod out of season. Just because they are putting them back doesn’t make it right.

As the waters continue to warm and we head towards the coming cod season, let’s hope the golden perch kick it up a notch and go into full swing. If not, there still seems to be enough action on the water to keep most anglers entertained until it’s time to target green fish again.

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