Golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) are a small to medium sized Australian native fish. Like the Murray cod it is an iconic freshwater species primarily linked to the Murray-Darling River system and a popular angling target on both lures and bait. Other common names used for the golden perch are yellowbelly and callop (South Australia).
The golden perch has a wide range of availability from the inland rivers and lakes of South Australia, into Victoria, throughout New South Wales and into South East Queensland. Many lakes, dams and impoundments are stocked in all of these states for anglers to target them.
No closed season applies for golden perch, but licence, bag limits and size regulations apply in each state so please check your local rules and regulations.Most angling methods apply when targeting golden perch. The preferred baits used by anglers are garden or scrub worms, freshwater shrimp and small yabbies. The best locations to use them are near structure (timber, weed, rocks etc) close to deeper water. Fish them using an appropriate sized hook and as small a sinker as possible, as near to the structure as possible. It pays to keep moving around until you find fish.
Golden perch are a popular target for lure anglers. Golden perch will tend to use the above mentioned structure to hide in or under and wait for food to swim past. Trolling around this type of structure with hardbody lures is a popular way to target them (it pays to have lures that dive different depths when doing this). Casting the same style of lure, spinnerbait, mumbler, lipless crankbait or vibe in and around the same areas will also be the undoing of plenty of golden perch.
Golden perch can grow to over 60cm and many fish caught in the stocked lakes are very heavy for their size so it pays to have the appropriate gear when fishing from them.