Author Topic: How do you set the hook on perch when they only lightly tap your lure?  (Read 1623 times)

WalleyeAdventurer

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Hey guys,
I'm a little confused with perch again.  I was fishing the Perch Talker and was drawing in at least 10 perch within 40 minutes of using it.  I'd see them come up and hit the lure as I was jigging it and I would try and set the hook.  The problem was that they weren't hammering it, but taking small nips at it.  Rarely would I feel anything when they would hit it because they would do it so softly.
I'm thinking that I'll upsize the hook and add a trailer hook to it to increase hook ups.  Any ideas or thoughts about what to do?  Thanks

Idahogator

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You didn't mention any bait ??
      

panfishman13

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with the perch talker, adding a trailer hook is asking begging for tangles. and upsizing your hook is only gonna increase the amounts of "tappers"

when you're getting a bunch of curious fish that are willing to bump a bait but not actually eat it wholesale, the perch talker is a good style of lure to use, the baited hook is separate from the lure itself, the fish are attracted by the flash and rattle, and see a nice, tender, helpless morsel hanging just below.

now you didn't specify if you were using a camera or a sonar, so i'm gonna assume sonar since that's what i have experience with. correct me if i'm wrong, and i'll refine my suggestion from there.

more than likely the fish you're attracting are very small perch. when larger perch decide to eat a bait they very seldom hesitate, they're big enough and perch are a naturally aggressive fish, so the bigger ones usually don't have any objections to grabbing a lure once they've decided to grab it. they don't normally "taste test" like bluegill and crappies sometimes do.

now you said you attracted roughly 10 perch within 40 minutes of using the perch talker. that's... okay i guess. when you're fishing for perch you want to be in an area with as many perch as possible. this creates competition for food sources, which gets you more bites and often bigger fish because they can muscle their way past all the little lookers. when you're fishing to small groups of perch, they don't have that competition, so they can pick and choose what they eat and when they eat. bad news for you.

so, with that, i'd say you have a few options:
1. downsize your hook. fish that peck aren't looking for a big meal, they want something tiny. that smaller hook will get you more hookups.
2. replace your hook with a small vertical jig. often a little bit of color will help fish commit to eating something.
3. change your bait. last time i was out perch fishing, in the morning the hot bait was bits of nightcrawler; in the afternoon they wouldn't touch a hook unless it was tipped with maggots. bait choice matters, and can mean the difference between a great day or total skunkage.
4. move. you could be on a small group of tiny fish, or the wrong species entirely. move 100 feet and drill 10 holes roughly 5 paces apart in a big 'L' shape. drop a line in each hole, if you're not marking fish on your sonar or seeing fish on your camera within 5 minutes, go to the next hole. if you reach the end of your 'L' without marking fish, get the heck out of dodge and move 100 YARDS or so before drilling your next 'L'. if you're only catching a fish or two in a 15-20 minute period, move to the next hole. lather, rinse, repeat until you find a large school, then catch the heck out of them.

location can play a part as well, this time of year if you're looking for perch in shallow water with big weeds, you're in the wrong place. find a mud flat in about 15 to 30 feet of water and drill, drill, drill.

i know this sounds like a lot of work, but usually i find a good school in the first 'L'. the most 'L's i've had to drill before i found a good school was 3, and then i found a school in the first hole of the last 'L'.

that was a long read, but i hope it helps!

WalleyeAdventurer

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I was using minnow heads at the time.

Thanks panfishman13.  That definitely helps me out because that makes a lot more sense.  I didn't think of changing bait so I'll have to try that next time as well as moving a lot more.

TNT5859

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Wow that's great advice. Thank you for sharing!

legend

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panfishman13, you helped a bunch of people with your post. i for one  was glad to read your advise and will try it ! i too have loads of tiny taps, thank you !
I am haunted by waters...

panfishman13

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hey, thanks for the kind words. it's really good to know i can convey this information in some kind of understandable manner. i'm in the process of starting up a youtube channel to make this kind of thing something i can do for a living, so hearing this kind of stuff really means a lot.

merkleyb

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when you feel the tap, just swing from Mississippi.
Anyone can be a fisherman in May...E.H.

brown-time

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Lots of good stuff there. This time of year we try to have mealies, waxes, night crawler, maggots, raw shrimp when we fish for perch.  Start with shrimp, then move and follow the schools if needed.  After the first perch is caught, remove the eye balls and try those. One rod deadsticked with a baited horizontal like a Genz worm 6" off bottom, the other just 2 feet away with a vertical jig like a Hali lifted, held and jiggled until you get the cadence for the day.  What worked last week or last year may not work now so change it up until you get their approval. If they feel resistance at all they spit it, so a tiny bobber or noodle rod helps with no heavier than 4# fluoro, I use 2 and 3. 

Townie

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Great scouting post Panfishman13;  why the "L" shape hole grid? I often use a "T" Triple sight paths
Bulls, Jumbos & Slabs Oh My!

panfishman13

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efficiency, really. it's a shape that covers a lot of water, and i don't have to to walk long a terribly long ways with the auger without drilling holes.

basically, i can drill out that L, then leave the auger at the end of the line and fish my way over to it.

don519

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Good stuff I'm going to try the L Saturday and see how it works I just drill 8-10 holes in a circle about 5-10' away from  each other sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't

 


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