Welcome to the Yellowbelly Fishing Guide Victoria. Golden Perch also known as Yellowbelly have a scientific name of  Macquaria ambigua. Golden Perch 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. Commonly caught between 30cm to 55cm but can grow larger we have seen a few over 5 kilos. The minimum legal size is 30cm with a daily bag limit of 5 over legal size. Rated as a top-quality eating fish, with lovely sweet flesh. They’re often targeted at Lake Hume, Lake Eildon, Goulburn River, Loddon River, Campaspe River and Lake Eppalock.



How to catch Golden Perch

Yellow belly AKA Golden Perch is a beautiful freshwater fish found in this system. With a rich food source available the yellowbelly here grow too thick and plump sizes. 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 so do blades such as the eco gear ZX40 with stinger hooks. Other favourites are the reliable stump jumpers, spinnerbaits, bassman spinners, large grub style soft plastics in dark colours.

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 to can be worked amongst the timber but in general work really well in open water being slow-rolled or trolled.

When it comes to rod selection we generally use a light spin rod around 7 foot 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 are a very popular choice when targeting yellowbelly. Good options include a 3-5 or 4-6 bait caster with a 2000 bait caster reel. When bait fishing a 7 foot light rod paired with a 3000 size reel. Good bait rigs would include a paternoster rig with a small sinker at the bottom or a running sinker rig with scrub worms or yabbies.

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.

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 Yellowbelly baits

  • Scrub worms
  • Shrimp
  • yabbies
  • earthworms
  • prawn

Best Yellowbelly lures

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.

Best locations to catch Yellowbelly

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

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


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Additions or Corrections for this fish species

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