Perch inferno: How we maximized our catches
Perch fishing is about catching big perch and about catching quantity. Today we had both. Let me explain our key to a very successful fishing trip.
I am fishing a large, clear, oligotrophic lake, where the perch are usually pretty deep. Schools of perch can be found at the edge of the the underwater vegetation, where plant growth stops and thermocline meets the ground of the lake. With autumn, the fish move further and further into deeper water and gather in larger schools. During summertime, perch is to find in a depth of about 8-10 meters. In October and November, I find them in a depth of 11 to 13 meters, just before fall winds are mixing up the water layers.
If you manage to spot one of these large perch schools, you can experience true biting orgies. The difficulty on the boat is to find the fish, to stay on the fish and not to lose the moving school again while catching as many perch as possible.
On our last fishing trip in late October, we spotted several larger schools of fish on the sonar. But as small lures, a thin line and fine rods are necessary to have pleasant perch fishing, it was quite annoying to wait for roundabout 30 seconds until the bait is at the ground. Then a few jigs can be made in great depth and again a new cast has to be made to keep the lure moving. We saw the fish on the sonar, but had problems to make them strike right under the boat. Nevertheless, we caught some nice perch on the Black Minnow Khaki in 9 cm (size #2) with jighead in 12 grams.
The fishing was okay and we knew that we were at the right places, but it was hard fishing, also because navigating and anchoring is quite challenging with decent wind. Every time we managed to anchor close to a shoal of fish, we caught one or two perch, then the school moved on or stopped biting so we had to release our anchor and look for the fish again. But whenever we found fish, we weren’t able to catch more than a few.
The challenge was to bring the lure to the desired depth and then jig it along the bottom into the zone under the boat, where the signal of our sonar showed that there is fish. The problem hereby is, that once the lure is quite close to the boat, it has to be retrieved and re-casted, to offer it again with a sinking phase. However, the sinking phase is close to the boat very slow and you do not get strikes by vertical fishing only. And furthermore, your fishing takes a lot of time and you run the risk of the swarm moving on.
To increase the efficiency of our fishing, I took apart a small Black Minnow in Color Sexy Brown, which is a quite natural color, and knotted myself a Dropshot rig with Perfect Link in Diameter 0.255; 4.1kg and a 18g lead. The small Black Minnow in 70 was then nose-hooked on the Dropshot rig. Like this, I was able to get to the targeted depth within only a few seconds instead of endlessly waiting for the lure to hit the ground. And furthermore, I was able to fish close to the boat and even directly under the boat and to present the the Black Minnow at the perfect spot. The result was enormeous.
Making the body of the Black Minnow size #1 on the Dropshot rig dance right under the boat, caused strike after strike and even when no fish was hooked after an attack, it was possible to fish on right away, without reeling in and casting out again.
With this method it was now possible to catch up to 5 perch per minute. Bite after bite, we caught lots of small ones, and from time to time also decent ones. The quantity increased massively and also fishing fun increased, as we had plenty of strikes and only reeled in when a fish was on the hook.
After everyone was able to catch some good perch, we started experimenting a little with the lures and colors available to us and found out that the bodies of Black Minnow size #1 are perfect for Dropshot fishing. Furthermore, the long, slim shape of the Mud Digger in 9cm is absolutely suitable for offering it on the Dropshot rig, which made us catch some really nice fish with the color khaki.
Finally, it was a super fun day with roundabout 30 fish for each of us and even more strikes. Adapting fishing technique was really rewarding and again showed the superior quality of my absolute favorite fishing lure. If you know how to tie a Dropshot rig, give it a try with the Black Minnow or Mud Digger.
Always tight lines,
Marvin from Germany
Fishing Notebook :
Month : October
Location : Lake Cospuden, Saxony, Germany
Fish targeted : Perch
Fishing conditions : Sunny and windy day
Fishing depth : 11-13m
Water color : crystal clear water
Fishing technique: Jigging, vertical fishing and finally Dropshot