Crystal Creek Jungle Perch

by Vinnie Versfeld | Australian Lure Fishing

Tweed River Mangrove Jack Map
Vinnie Versfeld

Vinnie Versfeld

Fishing Guide, Presenter And Social Media Personality

Vinnie Versfeld has fished all over the world but has been a keen fisherman, guide, television and social media personality in the Townsville area for 14 years. Over that time, one of Vinnie’s favourite ways to unwind has been to head for the rainforest streams in search of Jungle Perch.

Vinnie’s Top Tips For Targeting Jungle Perch

  • Look for jungle perch in Queensland coastal streams north of Bowen. This species needs access to the saline estuary from breeding, so systems that don’t have any barriers to fish movement between the fresh and saline sections are best.
  • Jungle perch are very flighty. You’ll need to move quietly and place accurate casts to be consistently successful. Once you’ve caught one fish from a pool, the rest of the pool will shut down. Keep moving to new pools and you’ll keep catching fish.
  • This species is a reaction feeder and is used to competing with it’s mates for food that’s moving quickly past on the currents. The right lure placed in the right spot is usually snapped up quickly.
  • Rocky bottoms in faster flowing parts of the creeks are good places to start looking. Other spots include areas beneath overhanging trees, where insects and other food items may fall into the water. JP’s like flowing water and eddies.
  • By-catch when fishing for jungle perch can include sooty grunter, mangrove jacks, barramundi and snakehead gudgeon, so be prepared!
  • JP’s are a year-round option and can be caught anytime you can get out. Winter months are more comfortable.
  • Jungle perch often share their home with some big lizards. Be croc safe whenever you are fishing north Queensland streams. Snakes and stinging trees are other hazards you might encounter when walking remote Nth Queensland streams.

Vinnie’s JP Fishing Outfit

  • Vinnie uses a 6 foot Okuma LRF glass tip rod in the 2-4lb line class. He couples this with an Okuma Helios 20 reel loaded with 5lb braid.
  • Fluorocarbon leaders are preferred for their abrasion resistance – JP’s have raspy teeth that can rub through fine leaders. Vinnie uses 8-10lb leaders in the brackish areas where the water is tinged with green and 6lb leader in the fresh where the water is gin-clear.
  • You may wish to fish heavier in systems where the chances of tangling with barra, jacks or sooties is high, but the trade off is likely to be less jungle perch hooked.

Vinnie’s Best Jungle Perch Lures For Crystal Creek

  • 2.75″ Z-Man Frogs are a small profile, hard leg frog that Vinnie fishes on 2/0 SWS ChinlockZ 1/12 oz hooks. Vinnie experiences aggressive and spectacular strikes using this combination and he reckons this is a go-to for JP’s. Walking upstream, cast long to the head of the pool and wind at steady speed with the rod tip up high.
  • ZMan 3″ Minnowz on a 3/0 TT ChinlockZ hooks work well when the fish are not so active on the surface and tend to take a larger class of jungle perch. Keep the lure in the top metre of water depth and put plenty of twitches and pauses in the retrieve
  • 1/4 oz Spinnerbaits or TT Jig Spinners with a size 3 Colorado blade with 2.5″ Z-man Grubz in greasy prawn colour. Use a gold blade in coloured water and a nickel blade in clear water. These lures have the advantage of being weed and snag resistant, allowing them to be worked in and through cover.

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Vinnies Sponsors

Tackle Tactics provide Vinnie with TT jig heads, Fish Inc lures, Z-Man soft plastics and Okuma Reels.

Platypus Lines and leaders are Vinnies preference for tought species like GT’s.

Vinnie uses and recommends Spotters sunglases