Gippsland Fishing Personality
Brett has been fishing for flathead, bream and estuary perch in the Gippsland Lakes area for over two decades and has amassed over 6000 dusky flathead captures since he started keeping a diary in the early 2000’s. Spending 120-150 days per year getting up close and personal with the local fish population, he has plenty of insights to help everyday anglers get more from their lure fishing.
Brett’s Top Estuary Perch Fishing Tips
- Estuary perch are present throughout Gippsland rivers and estuaries but are rarely caught unless specifically targeted. They can be found well upstream in the freshwater to the mouth of the estuary and have even been caught occasionally by surf fishers in the area.
- Estuary perch are usually thought of as being snag dwellers, but Brett also finds that they school up in fairly open water.
- Perch can be targeted all year round and will take surface lures all day and all year!
- Finding estuary perch is the trick as they are unpredictable and don’t seem to have patterns that coincide with tides, moons, weather and so on. Once found, they usually bite quite freely and Brett has had plenty of cricket score days.
- When catching perch, if you find that the bite slows down once you’ve caught and released a few fish, slow everything down dramatically. If using plastics, switch to lighter heads to slow the sink rate.
- Data from Brett’s tagging suggest that the bigger fish are all females, though it doesn’t seem that they go through a sex change as other species such as barra do. Male fish seem to stop growing at around 38-40cm.
Brett’s Perch Fishing Tackle
- Standard bream tackle will work fine for estuary perch fishing. Brett likes a 7ft rod in the 1-3kg line class, with a matching spin reel (1000 -2500 size), 4-6 lb Berkley Fireline and a 12-16 lb Tortue mono leader. He finds that perch aren’t leader shy and prefers to use the heavier leader to reduce the chances of leaving a lure in a fish’s mouth.
Brett’s Estuary Perch Fishing Lures
Brett’s first lure choice for perch would be the Hurricane 65mm Sprat soft plastic. He fishes these on 1/8 to 1/16 oz jig heads usually and will rig them weedless on a standard jig head, which allows him to work the lures through heavy timber, rocks or weed without getting hung up. They are also sometimes very effective when fished unweighted.
The TT Lures 2.5” GrubZ in motor oil, amber or pink is Brett’s next “go-to” lure. He fishes this lure in much the same way and with the same as the Hurricane Sprat.
The Hurricane Lures Switch 66mm Bent Minnow is a great lure with an incredible wounded baitfish action. Experiment with twitching the lure back with short stabs with the rod pointing down close to the water until you get an extremely enticing, erratic action. Work the lure at different angles and speeds, throwing in plenty of pauses.