Pearl Perch are a fisho’s delight. They’re easy to catch and they taste great. For most spearo’s they’re a little out of reach and generally considered a deep water fish. Tim McDonald and co have made Spearfishing Pearl Perch their own. During our interview with Tim he told us how the rest of us can improve our chances of shooting one of these fish.

1. Find the school first

Like a good fisherman Tim will look for a school of Pearl Perch with the Sounder first before getting in. Tim stresses that finding the fish first is the best way to go.

“we find them on the sounder before we even jump in the water”

2. Small Ground

Tim says that big structure isn’t needed to hold a school of Pearl Perch but rather small bommies or rubble patches. Something he calls small country.

“ honestly if you want to find big ones you need find somewhere not a lot of people are fishing”

Spearfishing Pearl Perch

3. Farming

To find big Pearlies Tim recommends finding out of the way spots that may not be on everyone’s radar and keeping those spots quiet. With Tim’s spots that hold Pearlies he only takes a couple every now and then so as not to deplete his schools. He refers to this method as farming and it ensures he can continue to harvest a feed of these great tasting fish.

“Pearl Perch would be the easiest fish in the ocean to approach”

 4. The forgiving fish

Behaviourally Tim says that Pearlies are a little too dumb for their own good and if you aren’t hammering the school they won’t become overly flighty and scatter. A trait that may be responsible for them only being encountered at depths.

“They’re easy to catch on a line they just eat everything”

5. Get away from the crowds

Tim says that most of the Pearlies he shoots are in deeper water. He says the further into QLD you go the deeper the Pearlies are. If you are looking to shoot Pearlies in shallow water he recommends going into NSW and finding an isolated area. Tim says his best fish came from Coffs Harbour in an out of the way spot in relatively shallow water.

I can’t see myself shooting a Pearl Perch anytime soon but maybe Tim’s advice can help you to find your first Pearlie. The video above is a Perlie being shot. It’s no surprise there isn’t a lot of footage of these fish being targeted. If you’d like to listen to more from Tim Including Job Fish and Barramundi use the media player below.

Targeting Species Spearfishing with Tim McDonald

the best spearfishing book ever written is available here

Cheers, Turbo

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