Welcome to the Yellowbelly Fishing Guide Victoria. Golden Perch also known as Yellowbelly. Golden Perch is a native fish species that get its name from its distinctive golden color. They are generally quite heavy and thick resembling the shape of a football and a strange hump shape on their heads that gives them a unique look.  They are a terrific freshwater species to target that provide good eating and fighting qualities for anglers. The most commonly caught sizes of golden perch are 1-2 kilos but they can grow larger.

Thanks to recent stocking programs by Victorian fisheries the numbers of golden perch are set to greatly increase thanks to target 1 million and target 10 million programs. Commonly caught between 30cm to 55cm but can grow larger we have seen a few over 5 kilos. They’re often targeted at Lake Hume, Lake Eildon, Goulburn River, Loddon River, Campaspe River, and Lake Eppalock.


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Golden Perch ( Yellowbelly ) Facts & Catch Limits

  • Scientific name – Macquaria ambigua
  • The minimum legal size is 30cm with a
  • The daily bag limit of 5 over the legal size.
  • Rated as a top-quality eating fish, with lovely sweet flesh.

Best time to catch Golden Perch ( Yellowbelly )

In Victoria, Golden Perch AKA Yellowbelly can be caught most of the year. However, they are more active in warmer months ideally between Summer and Autumn. They are often best targeted at Dawn/Dusk and on tide changes. In the warmer months, you catch them in volumes in cooler months you won’t catch as many but they tend to be bigger size catches. 

Flathead Fishing Calendar

Watch the vid below as FishingMad chase huge yellowbelly ( Golden Perch ) at Lake Eildon

How to catch Golden Perch

Yellow belly AKA Golden Perch is a beautiful and popular freshwater species that can grow to thick and plump sizes. They will take a wide variety of baits, soft plastics, and lures. Golden perch are territorial so it’s key to find where the school is residing. Often this will be close to strucrture. Good lure choices include curl tail soft plastics with the zman 2.5-inch grubz and Gulp 3-inch grub minnow both in black are standout choices. Soft vibes such as the Zerek fish trap, Jackall transams and Samaki vibelicious are great options. lip-less crank-baits such as Jackall TN50 and TN60 continue to be very popular as do blades such as the eco gear ZX40 with stinger hooks. Other favourites are the reliable stump jumpers, spinnerbaits, bassman spinners, and large grub style soft plastics in dark colors.

Soft plastics are worked best on a 1/8 or 1/4 jig head slow-rolled along any structure. This works particularly well when tying your boat or kayak up against trees and working the soft plastic slowly up against the tree and adding some noise to the action by tapping the butt of your rod or by hitting the jig head into the timber. This brings out the predatory nature of the yellowbelly. Take advantage of down scan and side scan technologies on your sounder and spend some time moving between the structure to find the fish. Other lures can be worked amongst the timber but in general work really well in open water being slow-rolled or trolled.

When flicking lures cast towards structures and deep holes that’s where you’re likely to find golden perch hiding. Many lakes have submerged trees which is a great spot to flick lures at. In the mornings if fishing from a boat we like to fish towards the banks and edges.


Rod & Reel Setup for YellowBelly Golden Perch ( Gear Guide )

When it comes to selecting a rod and reel suitable for yellowbelly Golden Perch we recommend

Light spin outfit |  Fishing rod around 7 feet in length in 1-4, 2-4, or 3-5 kilo class paired with a 1000, 2000, or 2500 size reel. Spooled with 8-12 pound braid and an equivalent fluorocarbon leader.

Baitcaster rods and reels | Another popular choice when targeting yellowbelly. Good options include a 3-5 or 4-6 bait caster rod with a 100, 150, or 200 bait caster reel.

Bait fishing | 7-foot 3-5 kilo light rod paired with a 3000-size reel. Good bait rigs would include a paternoster rig with a small sinker at the bottom of a running sinker rig with scrub worms or yabbies.


Best Baits to Catch Yellowbelly -Golden Perch

Bait Choices

Our best bait recommendations include scrub worms, minnows, and yabbies. The are several ways to present baits either a running sinker rig or a paternoster rig. The rig choice will be dependent on where you are fishing, the casting distance required, and the conditions such as tidal strength. Where possible fish with as little weight. When land-based you may need a heavy sinker to cast out as far as you can.

  • Scrub worms
  • Shrimp
  • yabbies
  • earthworms
  • prawn

Best Soft Plastics to Catch Yellowbelly ( Golden Perch )

Soft Plastics

Soft plastics work well too including paddle tails, curl tails, and bug imitations when targeting yellowbelly. These can be cats towards structure and retrieved at a slow steady pace. We also like to retrieve soft plastics hard up against tree stumps, this works particularly well from a boat dropping your soft plastic down the bottom and retrieving it up against the tree. Golden perch-like structure so casting towards snags and submerged trees will improve your catch rates.

Cast in one area for a few minutes if you don’t get any bites then move on. Keep doing this until you start getting some bites. Mix up colours and lure styles if the bite goes quiet. Some days bright colors work great the next day natural colours. For jig head selection it’s a good idea to have multiple weights and sizes with you. This way you can adjust based on the current strength and weather conditions. We generally would have a 1/4, 1/6, 1/8, and & 1/12 jig head in a 2/0 and 3/0 size. Take your time when rigging and make sure the plastic is on straight, this improves the plastic action.

  • Gulp 3 inch minnow grub ( black )
  • Biwaa Deus ( bronze au, Wakasagi )
  • Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
  • Zman 2.5 inch GrubZ
  • Dawia Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
  • Squidges biotough grub
  • Berkley powerbait grub
  • Zman 2.5 inch Slim SwimZ


Best Yellowbelly ( Golden Perch ) Lures

Lure Choices

These predatory fish are not too fussy and will have a go at most lures. You can cast in open water towards the structure or troll from a boat. We recommend using bibbed hard body lures, spinnerbaits, blades, and vibes.  Some good options of these include medium-sized Stump Jumpers, bibless cranks Jackall TN50 or 60 in any color.

  • Spinnerbaits
  • Jackall TN50 and TB60
  • stump Jumpers S3
  • Zerek fish trap
  • Jackall transams
  • Samaki vibelicious
  • eco gear ZX40
  • Savage Gear Fathead crank shallow diving
  • Jackall Chubbies mid/deep diving


Best trolling lures for Yellowbelly ( Golden Perch )

Lure Choices

Trolling from a boat or kayak is a really effective technique when targeting all perch species. being able to cover great distances with a bibbed lure always working in the water here are some of our favoutire tolling lures.

  • stump jumpers S3
  • Daiwa Double Clutch
  • Jackall Chubbies mid/deep diving
  • Duo Realis Ryuki Spearhead
  • Rapala Jack Deep
  • Old mate lures
  • RMG Poltergeist 50


Best locations to catch Yellowbelly ( Golden Perch )

  • Lake Eildon
  • Lake Eppalock
  • Murray River
  • Lake Hume
  • Goulburn River
  • Loddon River
  • Campaspe River
  • Broken Creek
  • Lake Victoria
  • Cairn Curran Reservoir
  • Rocklands Reservoir
  • Lake Boga
  • Karkarook Park
  • Lake Mulwala
  • Lake Ngambie
  • Ovens River
  • Sugarloaf reservoir
  • Wimmera River
  • Melton Reservoir
  • Albert Park Lake

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

Yellowbelly Fishing Guide Victoria – Yellowbelly image supplied VFA and DEPI. They carry out wonderful initiatives locally and we would encourage you to visit their website and support them. Thank you for visiting the Yellowbelly Fishing Guide Victoria. If you feel this 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