Well it’s that time of year again, the yellow perch spawn on the east coast. Except I’m about a week late. I hate being late, considering yellow perch are really fun to target this time of year. So lets talk about some tips on how to catch them.
How To Catch Yellow Perch
I’m writing this right after class so I may be a little distracted. But equipment wise I think the most fun way to catch yellow perch is on a light, or ultra light fishing rod. That way they’re able to put up a better fight. They are not particularly big fish, but they can fight pretty good if given the chance. So along with an ultra light rod I also use pretty light line, and use the drag to compensate for it. Pretty basic stuff, though I’m probably going to make some more in depth explanations in another post.
Now onto what rig, and lures to use specifically for the spawn. You could do very well on just a basic sinker at the end of the line hook about eight to twelve inches above it type of rig. But we want to catch as many as possible, as fast as possible. As well as over as much water as possible because the schools of fish rotate fairly often. I get hand tied rigs from my local tackle shop. I think they tie them using eight or ten pound fluorocarbon line. Essentially it’s almost as described as above. However this rig has two hooks instead of one, and at two different heights. Using this rig I can cover two places in the water column with the possibility of catching two fish at a time. Which can be fairly common during the spawn.
The best bait for this time of year are minnows, though they can be hard to find if your bait shop closes. However mine will get you what you need even if they closed down for the winter. You could also use small plastics that resemble minnows, if you fish for crappie at all then you probably already have some on hand.
Some Other Useful Info
Another valid technique that is also a lot of fun is using lures. This is a bit trickier in my opinion but it is a very fun and sporting way to catch yellow perch. During the spawn yellow perch absolutely gorge themselves on small baitfish. Therefore all you have to do is mimic a small baitfish. The last time I fished the spawn an old fishing partner, and I tried to experiment. One of us used lures, and small plastics, while the other used live minnows. To my expectations the minnows worked better than plastics.
There could be a few reasons why that was the case. First and most obvious reason being that fish are smarter than we realize, not by much, but still. A fish can tell when something is off, or does not seem natural. However when hungry, or in a frenzy like spawning perch tend to be, they will absolutely eat without concern. Another reason could be that there is no scent or vibration from your plastic, or excessive scent and vibration. Fish need certain indicators before they can be enticed to eat. Especially if they’re not able to see their target well. So this can be two or more of these indicators; fast movement, proper scent, adequate vibration/noise, proper appearance. That is transferable to most fish though, in my experience you only need to hit two of those indicators. But that can be subjective.
Any who, I hope some of this was helpful advice. Like I said before I’m going to make more in depth posts about the technical side of fishing. So if you are interested in that sign up to my newsletter, or follow my blog. Have an excellent Morning/Afternoon/Evening guys!
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