Author Topic: Should I stay or should I go?  (Read 676 times)

Offline bearnoob

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Should I stay or should I go?
« on: Dec 10, 2017, 12:14 PM »
I never seem to catch perch on my local lakes except though the ice. Most winters I mark huge schools of what turns out to be 3"-4" fish. My question is, do larger perch typically school up with the dinks and, if so, how do I weed through the stunted ones?

When I upsize my presentation I end up with no bites. Should I just move on to the next spot?

Thanks for the help.
Hardwater fisherman since 2014. All opinions subject to change as experience increases.

Offline onestring

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 10, 2017, 12:30 PM »
use an eye of a perch

Offline bearnoob

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 10, 2017, 12:33 PM »
use an eye of a perch

I would but it's not legal here.
Hardwater fisherman since 2014. All opinions subject to change as experience increases.

Offline hardwater diehard

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 10, 2017, 12:42 PM »
Try fishing higher...above the schools....tip downs work well as they draw in fish ...think decoying ..they also will let you know which way the school is headed .If fishing a large flat it can be tough as they will roam ...look for features that will slow them up as they pass through ...weed patches...inside and outside turns etc .Larger perch act like their predator cousins the walleye ...preferring larger prey... minnows ...even their own kind.
Give a man a fish he eats for a day .Teach a man to ice fish he has an obsession for a lifetime

Offline ejdelvo28

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #4 on: Dec 10, 2017, 12:45 PM »
My experience in stunted lakes is that the larger perch tend to be lone rangers.  If I were you I'd fish walleye sized baits under tip ups and spread them out.

Offline 32footsteps

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #5 on: Dec 10, 2017, 09:32 PM »
+1 on the tip up idea. Donít hesitate to use larger minnows. A big perch will take good sized shiners.

How deep are these lakes? You might have a situation where the small fish are grabbing your bait before it gets to the larger fish. Along with the suggestion of fishing higher up you can use heavier baits and let them hit bottom...then slowly lift it up. This approach has done wonders for me in similar situations but itís over water that is 25+ feet deep.

When I run into those smaller fish and canít get into the bigger ones trying the stuff mentioned above Iíll keep sliding out deeper until I do find them.

Offline panfishman13

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 31, 2018, 10:53 PM »
one of the places i go to target perch, it's pretty much a swarm situation; hundreds upon hundreds of fish under 5 inches, with the occasional 8-9 incher, and a slim chance of encountering fish in the 10+ inch range.

small jigs with bait are totally worthless. i spend more time unhooking finger-length perch than i do fishing. i try upsizing, and the bite pretty much shuts off (notable exception, a large jig tipped with a bit of bait fished deadstick a few feet off bottom, and a few feet from my jigging hole often gets bit by larger perch).

so rather than upsize, i've been doing a couple things:

1. use soft plastics rather than bait. small fish may nip at the tails on a soft plastic, but they don't commit and inhale it like larger perch will. i like the bro bloodworm or a tungsten jig tipped with a makiplastics maki.

2. upsize, but add a dropper fly about a foot above the lure. a woolly bugger, pheasant tail or hare's ear are all fantastic options. don't add bait to the fly, and pay close attention for light bites. that'll usually be a larger fish skipping the crowd of small ones that come to investigate your lure, and just sucking in the little fly.

3. smaller, but more aggressive lures. i'm fond of the smallest jigging rapalas and salmo chubby darters in gold, silver, glow, or perch colors. maybe tip the center treble with a single maggot, or some other small morsel for a bit of scent to seal the deal. flashy jigging spoons are good too, and you wanna be pretty active. pop-pop-pause... lift-pause... tap-tap-tap-tap-drop-pause... set the hook when you feel a tap or when you all of a sudden feel like your lure has gone mushy. most often, i get hit on the pause.

 



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