Tips to More Ice Perch
By Tim Allard
Late Ice Opportunities
By Tyler Dunn
by Pete Maina
Ice Out Trout!
by Steve Robowthan
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to Ice More Perch Part One
By Tim Allard
Getting into steady action from a biting school of jumbos is every
perchers dream. Ultimately, the more diverse of an angler the better
prepared you'll be to handle whatever fish throw at you. Here are
five important tips to keep in mind when the bite gets tough.
Gear Up to be Mobile
Perch roam and so should you. For those on foot, a tall pail to hold
your sonar and tackle along with a rod case, backpack and a small
sled in combination with a layered clothing system is perfect for
scouring structures on mild winter days. Shelters offer more in
terms of comfort, just don't get too lackadaisical; if the fish
aren't biting and move till you find active ones.
Drill Lots of Holes
Nothing spooks shallow-water perch faster then popping fresh holes
over their heads. Instead drill plenty of holes before the prime
bite periods, such as dawn and dusk, and give fish have a chance to
settle after the noise. Also, having plenty of holes in all
directions helps your fishing party track the direction of a roaming
school. Once the bite slows, spread out and fish the pre-drilled
holes. Odds are someone will hook one and the rest can follow.
Gain Confidence in Flats
Although perch inhabit an array of areas in winter, flats often top
their list. Shallow flats usually contain a mix of cover but deep
flats in what appears to be the middle of nowhere can be
intimidating. Of course, these areas aren't void of perch-attracting
features. Food, oxygen, and the low-risk of being ambushed by
predators are reasons they school on flats. Think of flats as
underwater plains for grazing perch. If you're not comfortable
fishing flats, gaining confidence in them will boost your
Master the Various Types of Spoons
The flash, vibration and optional rattles of spoons makes them
perfect to cover water and trigger perch. Carry an assortment of the
Straight spoons have the least action but still put out plenty of
flash. They're effective to quickly reach bottom in deep water or to
target less aggressive perch uninterested in wild, fluttering
spoons. Good options are Northland's Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon, Bay de
Noc's Swedish Pimple, or Acme Lure's Kastmaster.
Bent spoons deliver more flutter and flash; the bigger the bend the
more action. They provide more hang-time on the fall and their wild
action appeals to competitive and wound-up perch. Examples include:
Northland's Fire-Eye Minnow, Custom Jigs and Spins' Slender Spoon,
Acme Lure's Phoebe, and William's Wabler.
Glider spoons like Bay de Noc's Vingla or Lindy's Techni-Glo Rattl'n
Flyer form another category. They fly out to the side on slack line
and cover more horizontal space beneath the ice. Letting them fall
to bottom, and then slowing dragging them back to centre with a slow
arm raise, kicks up silt and attracts perch.
Late Ice = Jumbos
Late ice is the best time to search for trophy catches as females
balloon to jumbo proportions from egg production. Fish deep edges on
sand or gravel flats near spawning areas, or in their mating habitat
of shallow bays, shorelines and tributaries featuring vegetation
and/or wood. Perch feeding activity peaks pre-spawn and they're easy
targets for savvy ice anglers. Remember to practice selective
harvest during this time. Releasing big fish helps the fishery
continue to offer consistent action for years to come.
Drilling plenty of holes and being mobile are two critical parts of
winter perch success, especially when working extensive flats which
often hold jumbos. Spoons are one of the deadliest baits out there,
so learn the different types and how to use them. Lastly, remember
last ice often provides the best action when it comes to trophies,
but remember to practice selective harvest and let bigger fish go so
they can spawn in spring.