No. 1 – The Elusive Jungle Perch In Clear Tropical Rivers Of Northern Australia
We start our Top 10 Exotic Sports Fish Of Australia with the secretive and awesome Jungle Perch or a ‘JP’ as its known among dedicated fisherman who stalk these fickle fish in what has to be some of the most pristine and spectacular scenery in Australia. These native fish live in freshwater rivers and creeks , typically in far north Queensland from Mackay to Cairns but rumours of fish as far south as Byron Bay in NSW do exist.
The dedicated hardcore JP hunters know where the fish are and can in the right conditions and with the right lure presentation bag scores of these in a session, however given their habitat and uncanny ability to be easily spooked they are a prized sports fish for the dedicated and a single fish is a worthy celebration. Whilst the average size JP is around 30cm or so, they fight hard and are pound for pound very good fighters with trophy fish typically being regarded over 50cm. They really need to be stalked, with the rocky pools with back eddies and overhanging structure making for perfect JP ambush locations, where a well presented fly or lure will get smashed. Given they are very specific eaters, be sure to try and “match the hatch” in the creek your fishing and don’t fish too big a lure as this will put the fish off . They will feed on what is hatching or jumping off vegetation at any given time of the year but will take both surface and subsurface lures, including frog profiles !