Welcome to the Estuary Perch Fishing Guide. Ep’s are a great surface sports fish often mistaken with the Australian Bass. They are enjoyable to catch with lures and ultra-light spinning gear. Especially when using surface lures waiting for those boof moments. Estuary perch have been heavily stocked in recent years. This will only increase due to state government initiatives to align with our 10 million by 2022 which is great news for local anglers. This means they can be found in many rivers, lakes and estuaries across the state. EP’s love structure and rock walls and targeting them with ultralight gear with surface styles lures is an amazing form of fishing.

With a scientific name of Macquaria colonorum, Estuary Perch has a minimum size limit is 27cm, with a daily bag limit of 5 of legal size. They can grow up to 70cm but most often you’ll be catching them between 25 and 35cm.

bait to catch estuary perch

  • Scrub worms
  • Powerbait
  • Yabbies
  • Mudeye
  • maggots
  • live minnows

Thread a small running sinker through the mainline shown in blue, around 8 pounds. Then tie a small swivel to the end allowing the sinker to run up the mainline freely. On the other end of the swivel tie 50cm of 8-pound fluorocarbon leader shown in grey. Then finish with a size 6-8 bait keeper hook.

Running sinker fishing rig

Lures to catch estuary perch

Estuary perch will happily take many soft plastics, shallow diving hard body lures and surface lures between 35mm and 70mm. Mix up the colour range, we like to start with silvers that mimic small baitfish and mullet. 

This was filmed fishing above the Werribee River wire wall near the historic park catching estuary perch and redfin

How to catch estuary perch

Ep’s love structure so don’t be afraid to cast right into the structure. With surface lures mix up your retrieval techniques. Sometimes long paused are required, some of our best catches have come by just letting a surface lure sit on the surface.

Fishing for EP’s requires finesse and control to the target structure. Therefore your best option is an ultralight fishing combo. We recommend a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo graphite spin rod around 7 foot in length. Coupled with a 1000 or 2000 size reel spooled with 4 pound line and roughly a rod length of 6-pound fluorocarbon leader. When bait fishing uses a 2-4 kilo rod that’s around 7 foot in length. Coupled with a 2500 size reel either a float or small running sinker to a swivel and very fine leader.

Often EP’s are more active right on dawn and dusk then through the night. During the day they will often seek shelter deep within the local structure.

locations to catch estuary perch in Victoria

Great locations include

  • Maribyrnong River
  • Bemm River
  • Werribee River
  • Melton Reservoir
  • Albert Park
  • Devilbend Reservoir
  • Erskine River
  • Moonee Ponds Creek
  • Mitchell River
  • Yarra River
  • Patterson River
  • Marlo
  • Lake Tyers
  • Hopkins River
  • Mallacoota
  • Gippsland Lakes
  • Nicholson River
  • Mordialloc Creek
  • Tambo River

You can obtain a free Victorian recreational fishing guide from the Victorian Fisheries Authorities web link

Additions or Corrections for this fish species

If you feel this Estuary Perch Fishing Guide fish species guide is missing key information or needs any corrections. Then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au with specific details in the email. Thank you