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Golden Perch fish, its habitats, characteristics, fishing methods.

Golden Perch form the backbone of the inland fishing in Australia. An underrated sport fish caught readily on bait and lures, although it is a spasmodic biter. They are willing takers of baits including crayfish, shrimps and worms. They are also lure takers with spinnerbaits and trolled deep diving lures gaining more popularity. They can often be found in large schools in both river and lake situations. Eating qualities vary depending upon the waters they are caught from and the size of the fish. Larger fish are often very fatty along the top of the back. Flesh is firm and tasty with excellent eating qualities.
A combination of understanding the fish and the techniques used to catch them will help you to hook more fish to the end of your line. Better knowing and understanding of the fish that you are trying to catch will make you a more successful angler, whether you are fishing for trout on a river or surfing on the beach or trolling on the open water.

Golden Perch Fishing The golden perch, Macquaria ambigua, also known as Macquaria, Ambiqua, Callop, Yellowbelly, Perch, Murray perch and White perch, is an Australian native freshwater fish, primarily of the entire Murray-Darling river system, but also push significant distances into upland reaches as well. They range throughout the Murray-Darling river system in central and southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. They can also be found in rivers draining into Lake Eyre.

    Golden perch are medium sized fish, commonly 3040 cm and 12 kg in rivers. Fish from rivers are smaller and somewhat streamlined fish in man-made impoundments are much deeper-bodied and show much greater average and maximum sizes. In rivers, has been recorded to 9 kg, in impoundments to 15 kg. Golden perch have an elongated deep body, laterally compressed, with a sizable mouth, small to moderate sized eyes and distinct curve to the forehead and "hump" above the head. The caudal fin, soft dorsal fin and anal fin are rounded. The spiny dorsal fin is short to moderate in length and strong. They have a high-humped back and stumpy, barely functional tails. Their gill covers have razor-sharp serrated cutting edges.
    Their coloration is variable ranging from pale silvery-gold (in turbid waters) to deep yellow/gold or bronze-black (in very clear waters). Generally they have a dark brown to olive green back, shading to yellow or white towards the belly. The fish's belly is usually creamy-yellow, but sometimes appears bright lemon-yellow. They have strong lateral line, very prominent on the rear half of the body. Pectoral fins are usually yellow; other fins vary in color from dusky to yellowish or cream, sometimes with reddish or white edges on the lower and tail fins. Larger adult fish have a very distinctive form. Golden perch are sometimes confused with Macquarie perch (Macquaria australasica), however golden perch have a concave forehead and protruding lower jaw. Small golden perch are also often confused with small silver perch, goldfish, carp, Murray Cod and Trout cod.

Habitat and Habits
    Golden perch are predominantly found in the lowland, warmer, turbid, slow flowing rivers. In the rivers they prefer deep, slow flowing pool habitats and were often associated with snags and other cover. Variety of environments, but most frequently occurs in warm, turbid, sluggish inland waters and associated backwaters and billabongs. A tolerant fish able to withstand water temperatures of 4 to 37C, and salinities up to 33,000 parts per million (almost that of sea-water). The species is long-lived, with the maximum validated age for an individual of 26 years, although most individuals live less than 10-12 years.
    In spring golden perch will more readily school up, they are drawn to the warmer water. It is often the case that one female golden perch will be accompanied by several males. In this situation the males will become very territorial and will have an aggressive response with any intruder coming too close. In spring when you catch male golden perch they will often have damaged scales on their cheeks. This damage occurs from males fighting with other males in order to keep prized position beside their female companion. It is a very good tactic when fishing for golden perch during spring if one angler manages to hook up a fish that the other angler should immediately cast another lure and try to retrieve it two meters parallel with the first hooked fish. This can often result in a double hook up. It is quite common for another free swimming fish to follow its hooked companion to the boat. For those switched on anglers they will often convert a follow into another hook up.
    Golden perch are predators, eating mainly yabbies and shrimps, benthic aquatic insect larvae, mollusks, frogs, small fish and aquatic invertebrates. Feeding behavior varies; some individuals remain in shaded areas or amongst cover to take prey as it passes, whilst others move slowly over weed beds etc. to feed. Juvenile fish consume more of the smaller items such as aquatic insect larvae and microcrustaceans.

    Spawning is reported to occur at night from spring to summer when water temperatures are between 23 and 26C. Spawning appears to be triggered by increased daylight and rising water levels. Golden will not spawn unless yabbies are part of the diet. This appears to be necessary for good survival and recruitment of spawned fish. Adult fish will move very considerable distances (could be up to 1000 Km) upstream to spawn if possible. Not necessary they migrate to spawning. They do not usually spawn in dams. Females are reaching much larger maximum sizes than males. Females also reach sexual maturity at older, larger sizes than males. A typical spawning from a mature female may produce as much as 500,000 eggs.
    Originally temperatures of close to 24C were considered necessary for golden perch to spawn but as with all Murray-Darling fish species it has become apparent that their required spawning temperature is flexible and that they can and do spawn at somewhat lower temperatures (as low as 20C). Golden perch have a flexible breeding strategy but generally need a spring or summer flood or fresh to stimulate spawning. Golden perch are highly fecund, females between 2.2 to 2.4 kg producing approximately 500,000 eggs per spawning event with fish above 2.5 kg producing well in excess of this number. The eggs are generally water-hardened and large (approximately 3-4 mm diameter), semi-buoyant and drift downstream. Hatching occurs fairly quickly, after 24 to 36 hours and newly hatched larvae are about 3.5 mm long.
    Golden perch continue the trend, among many native fish of southeast Australia, of being very long-lived. Longevity is a survival strategy in the often challenging Australian environment which ensures that most adults participate in at least one exceptional spawning and recruitment event.

Fishing Methods.
    Golden perch are an excellent angling species. They can hit very hard at times and fights well. It is a very strong fish. When fishing for golden perch in impoundments during spring it can be a hunting game. Golden perch will often be moving around the lake looking for the structures which are good areas to hunt for food or to hide. Weed beds will always hold a good concentration of fish. They are great habitat for golden perch to hide in an ambush their prey from. Weed beds are great feeding locations for golden perch as they attract baitfish and invertebrates such as shrimp and yabbies. Rock banks or rock reefs are great locations to find golden perch. These rocky areas provide good habitat where golden perch can position themselves against the rocky structure and ambush any prey. Areas with isolated timber can be excellent structure where golden perch will be found throughout the year.
    Banks with large volumes of vegetation can be excellent areas. If the impoundment has experienced rising water levels then these banks will have good concentration of fish along them. The golden perch will make the most of the good feeding opportunities around the newly submerged vegetation. On the shallower banks the rising water levels will go over a greater amount of vegetation and food. Therefore feeding opportunities are more abundant in these areas. The golden perch or yellowbelly taken by outback anglers are mainly caught on natural baits such as shrimp, yabbies, scrub worms, earthworms, wood or bardi grubs, and small live fish presented on or near the river-bed and close to snags. Also enthusiastically takes lures, cast or trolled, golden perch will also take a variety of diving plugs, spoons, spinners, spinnerbaits, soft-tailed jigs and even flies. Bait and lure sizes smaller than those generally used for Murray cod, but many a golden perch has been caught on a large lure or bait intended for a cod. Probably the single most effective bait is a bunch of three or four live freshwater shrimps followed by small to medium sized yabbies. A live yabby with a ball sinker running right to the hook under the tail is very effective bobbed near prominent snags in the river. Golden perch have been known to take fly, but use heavy gear, an 8 or 10 weight outfits is not over done.
    The rising water temperature in spring relates to increased fish activity and improved fishing conditions, it is increases the numbers of fish feeding in the shallower areas. Any area that has higher water temperatures increases the chances of more catches. When water is clear or during bright sunny days fish will be located in deeper water. When heavy cloud cover or low light, with poorer water clarity fish usually located in shallower water. The greater amount of current around the banks will concentrate fish holding around the edges of the lake. Falling water levels means less fish are located along the edges and more fish will be found along steeper banks or around timbered sections in the lake.
    It is an excellent eating fish, especially when size between 1 and 2 kg. Larger fish carry a fair amount of fat, but this is quite visible in bands along the lateral line and the dorsal area and can be easily removed either prior to cooking or after. Responds well to simple cooking methods, dipping a fillet in flour and then gently pan frying is a good method as is baking whole a smaller fish.

Great rods for Golden Perch fishing are:
15ft Telescopic Fishing Spinning Super Light Rod , 21ft Telescopic Spinning Extra Light Rod, 21ft Telescopic Carbon Pole, 18ft Telescopic Carbon Pole Rod, 24ft Telescopic Fishing Light Action Pole

  • Freshwater Fish Species
  • The Perch family species
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