Golden Perch ( yellowbelly ) local fish species facts and Limits. Golden Perch or yellow belly is a native fish species that get their name from their distinctive golden colour. They are generally quite heavy and thick resembling the shape of a football and a strange hump shape on their heads that give 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 kilo but they can grow between 5-10 kilos. 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. There often targeted at Lake Hume, Lake Eildon, Goulburn River, Loddon River, Campaspe River and Lake Eppalock

Scientific name:

Macquaria ambigua

Size & limits:

Commonly caught between 30cm to 55cm but can grow larger. I have seen a few over 5 kilos. Minimum legal size is 30cm with a daily bag limit of 5 over legal size.

Bait recommendations for golden perch

Scrub worms, Shrimp, yabbies, earthworms and prawn

Lure recommendations for golden perch

Lures can be cast in open water towards the structure or trolled 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 colours. Soft plastics also work well too including paddle tails, curl tails and bug imitations when targeting yellowbelly. These can be cats towards structure and retrieved with 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.

Golden Perch eating Rating

Rated as a top quality eating fish, with a lovely sweet flesh

General tips for Golden Perch fishing

Golden perch are quite territorial so its key to try and find where the school is residing. When flicking lures so cast towards structure 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 and rig setup for golden perch

Baitcaster rods and reels are a very popular choice when targeting yellowbelly. 3-5 or 4-6 bait caster with a 2000 bait caster reel. However, we really enjoy using light spinning gear to target golden perch. We generally use a 7 foot spin rod 2-4 or 3-5 kilo class paired with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 size reel. Spooled with 8-12 pound line and a quality 10-14 pound leader.  When bait fishing I use a 7 foot light rod, 3000 size reel and would go for a paternoster rig with a small sinker at the bottom. The paternoster rig will generally be baited up with scrub worms.

Best times to target golden perch

Golden Perch can be caught all year round. They are quite active in the cooler months and will school up near submerged trees and structure. In the warmer months, they are often found in the deeper colder sections of the water system. They can be caught during all times of the day. Surprisingly the biggest ones I have caught have been during the middle of the day.

Recreational fishing guide

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

Additions or Corrections for this fish species

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