So, you want to fish the fresh? by Jesse Choy

Freshwater fishing around Perth is not something often talked about, but it continues to grow in popularity as more and more uncover this relatively untouched form of fishing. While the species you can find around our dams are not particularly big, they provide a lot of fun and can be quite user-friendly, especially when it comes to people wanting to learn fish in freshwater.
Part of the reason many people love going to go these places is to immerse themselves in serenity. The land is generally very beautiful to look at, filled with picturesque landscapes. If you are fortunate enough to watch the sunrise at one of the many dams, it can be quite a spectacle and particularly rewarding if you enjoy photography or just nature in general.
When heading out, you need to be mindful that all redfin perch should not be returned to the water.
A licence is required for freshwater fishing, and there is also restrictions as to what sort of vessel you can take onto particular waters. Visiting the fisheries web page or giving them a call just to keep up to date before you head out will ensure that you don't accidentally break the law, especially if you are heading somewhere new.
If you have done any sort of light inshore fishing, you more than likely have an outfit that is adequate enough to land you some of fish from the fresh. Whether or not you're heading out for a family camping trip or you decide you want to give it a proper crack, you can usually get away with what you have in the shed. You can go as far as to buy purpose-built rods and reels for the job, but realistically, they are not needed and should be looked into as a way of refining technique more than anything else.
Although many see it as unnecessary, avid anglers to take it one step further and invest a little bit more because of the enjoyment that fishing brings them. A rod with a soft tip and medium-fast action, paired with a small finesse reel is a preference for those who spin for freshwater fish on lures. Not only are these rods able to feel tiny bites with their extra sensitivity, but the lightness will allow you to fish comfortably all day without any pain or discomfort.
In terms of lines to use, the old saying 'go light to get the bite' will apply. In general, if you are fishing a lighter line, the fish are going to be more willing to take your offering, although many freshwater fish are caught on alternative lines, braid certainly works exceptionally well when it comes to freshwater applications. A rod length or more of fluorocarbon is preferred, especially if you are going to fish lighter to enjoy the fight a bit more. You don't really need to go heavy, so 6lb is fairly adequate for what you may encounter. If you do find yourself wanting to fish lighter or heavier for some reason, lengthening your leader is always a good option.
This longer leader helps to keep you connected if you hook a decent fish that is aiming for some rock or a pile of reeds. Lack of stretch from braid paired with the abrasive resistance of fluorocarbon is a very useful combination, since trout are always willing to put on an aerial display, which can result in hooks being spat due to loss of tension.
Fishing from the land can sometimes be difficult, and it is certainly preferable to have a boat or kayak. Anglers fishing from the shore are still not left out of the equation, but generally you need think a little bit smarter and adapt to conditions you're faced with. Although this is applicable to any sort of fishing, as a land-based person fishing out fresh, you may want to get to your location and observe the environment well before beginning your adventure.
If you are able to spot a bank or a stretch of banks that look to be getting a bit more wind, you should definitely try fishing it. Quite often you will find that the windblown banks provide better fishing. Bait tends to get pushed back into these corners receiving the majority of the wind, which means the trout and redfin perch will station themselves nearby. Opportunistic feeding in these sorts of circumstances means that for little expenditure of energy, the fish are able to get a good feed.
It certainly pays to cast or troll past visible structures that have a pocket of slack water, even though these fish are lovers of turbulent water. Sometimes the trout will choose to sit in the slack water, saving their energy while not starving themselves of oxygenated water. On occasion, when the time is right, a fish will dart out from this slack through the fast-moving water in order to pounce on what has caught their eye. Whether or not it is a tree or a rock point, it is all worth trying, and a lot of the time if you have a bit of success, you can find further success by repeating what you have done!
Being active in fishing and being aware of changes, just means that you are always adaptable to the situation, however it may change on the day and it is best not to get too stuck into one way of looking at the situation. Although you may not always find success, it is important to keep trying new things, and you will usually at least get a few tasty redfin perch.