by Chris Frith
Golden Perch, or Yellowbelly are the prime target species of western NSW impoundments. These golden gems of the inland occupy the majority of my time on the water. In previous months I have been lucky enough to experience some hot fishing on Dams such as Pindari, as well as some more shut down bites on Windamere and Burrendong Dam, the one constant has been my use of the Atomic Semi Hardz Vib range to secure quality fish on every outing. In fact, you will hard pressed seeing me on the water without at least one of these tied on. They work that well!
This is essentially, a general overview of how I fish the Semi Hardz Vib range, with more specific reports on particular techniques and experiences to follow.
A huge advantage of the Semi Hardz vib range is the versatility of the lures, available in three sizes; 40mm, 50mm and 60mm meaning that there is always a Semi Hardz Vib to suit any conditions whilst targeting Golden Perch. The 60mm are typically my first choice, this model is perfect for picking off aggressive and often the larger specimens in an area- they’re great for maintaining bottom contact and possess a subwoofer like vibration to call fish from a decent range. The 50mm models come into play when the fish are finicky and less aggressive. The 40mm are a real life saver when they simply won’t bite anything else, they have a unique shimmy action when worked through the water and are great during a tough bite!
“A huge advantage of the Semi Hardz vib range is the versatility of the lures”
The range also boast a broad spectrum of colours, which can be applied to imitate any number of freshwater bait fish, I have found Dark Shad, Muddy Prawn and Ghost Wakasagi to be stand outs on inland dams. I generally opt for the colour that best resembles the primary bait fish of the waterway for example, Ghost Wakasagi is a perfect Bony Bream cameo, while Ghost Gill Brown and Muddy Prawn are a great Redfin cover.
The Semi Hardz Vibs can be fished in a variety of methods and at any depth; slow rolling, hopping, vertical rolling and bottom tapping are all options. I primarily use a vertical presentation if I can identify fish on a sounder, otherwise hopping over prominent points or spawning flats always proves fruitful.
Rod selection is important to fishing any lure, I opt for two main rigs when fishing Semi Hardz Vibs. When using 60mm vibs, and particularly when fishing around structure, the Samurai B351 is well up to the task, it’s sturdy enough to effectively jig the 21g models, and muscle fish out of thick, unforgiving territory whilst remaining light and ergonomic enough for comfortable use.
When fishing the smaller models, I opt of the B251. The real advantage of the B251 is it’s soft tip, which allows finicky goldens to mouth the lure without feeling any resistance until they commit to bite or suck it in. Despite a feather soft tip, the B251 packs plenty of grunt when needed, on a recent trip to Burrendong Dam, NSW it hauled numerous fish over 50cm (one measuring 57cm) out of some thick timber.
If you are a keen Yellowbelly angler, and you’re not using Semi Hardz Vibs, I recommend you check out what you’re missing out on!