Call us toll-free at 1-800-661-6954

Welcome to The Fishin' Hole Canada's source for tackle and sport fishing equipment. Try us for all of your sportfishing needs...In store, on-line or toll free. You'll get hooked on the service!

Deep Water Perch

 

Last month, in our tips column, I talked about the virtues of catching big perch up shallow which definitely happens on occasion but is most certainly not always the case. Generally most perch like to hang out deeper and catching them requires a different approach. Deep water perch are a schooling fish so, where I find one, I typically find a bunch and it then becomes a matter of getting the critters to bite.

I usually do not like to tout electronics as a necessary tool to catch fish because some of us simply can not afford the luxury of having the latest technology, however, for perch the use of an underwater camera, such as the Aqua Vu is invaluable. The camera lets me cover lots of deep water very quickly. I drive to a spot, drill a couple holes, lower the camera down the 20, 30 or 40 feet to the bottom, do a 360 degree scan looking for movement. Typically the bar markings are the first thing my eyes lock onto and then the eyes. Perch, surprisingly, seem to be very curious and given a couple of minutes many will wander over to the camera to have a look.

This is perhaps the best behavioural pattern we could ask for. We can then quickly and accurately determine the concentration and relative size of the perch hanging about. If no perch show themselves after a couple minutes it’s worth moving and drilling new holes rather than sticking to one spot and trying to wait them out. It is my opinion that searching and hunting for perch is far more effective than sitting and waiting for them.

The cool thing is that when I find them, they are nearly always catchable. I like to drill a couple holes a few feet apart, drop the Aqua Vu down one hole while I’ll fish in the other. This way I can see what’s going on around my hook and react accordingly. If the bottom is literally covered in perch I can get picky and pull the hook away from smaller perch and let the bait stay still when a bigger perch moves in for a look. I can also see what mood the fish are in. If they bolt every time I jiggle the hook, I can adjust and slow down my presentation so they don’t flee. It also shows me the exact moment a fish bites and I can set the hook, even if I haven’t actually felt the hit on the line and believe me, that happens a lot.

My favourite bait for perch is maggots as they are durable and stand up to the pecking of many fish while still retaining their wiggly fish attractant qualities. Minnows and meal worms also work well but I find you have to be more vigilant using these baits as the fish seem to have an ability to peck them off the hook more easily.

Not all of us are going to have the use of an Aqua Vu, but take heart; catching perch can still be accomplished quite effectively. The key ingredient to success will be light line, split shot, maggots off a dropper and faith. Yep, faith. Not being able to see the bait in 30 feet of water means having a lot of faith that I’m going to be able to feel a fish bite. So to catch deep water perch while fishing blind I use four pound mono with a couple of hooks on six inch leaders off my main line as droppers. I tie them a foot and two feet from the end where I attach a heavy split shot for weight. This is critical. On each hook I attach a few maggots and I drop the entire rig to the bottom.

I let out line until I feel when the weight hit bottom and then tighten up the line so it becomes taunt. The two hooks should now be slightly less than a foot and two feet off the bottom. From there I’ll slowly raise the bait and at any resistance, tap, bump, wiggle or tickle I’ll set the hook. If there is any feeling of life, I’ll reel steadily and quickly to the surface to land the perch. I’ll do the drop and super slow lift for several minutes and if I don’t tag a fish I move on. This is the faith component. I have absolute faith that if perch are around they will bite this rig and I will catch them. Otherwise it could get a little unnerving hoping that a fish will bite and hoping that what I’m using will work.

The great thing about deep water perch is that they come in schools. Generally if you find one you’ll find a bunch. Don’t be afraid to sit on them until evening because that is often when the big ones show up. Maggots are the go to bait. Light line and split shots are the way to detect the bites. Having said all that, I think it’s time I head out and give them a go myself.


Previous Fishing Articles

(1) In The Walleye Zone

(2) Zoo Trout

(3) Fly Selection for Beginners

(4) Fly Fisher's Christmas

(5) New Waters

(6) Big Bad Burbot

(7) Looking Back

(8) Out of Africa

(9) Finding Success on Crowded Trout Streams

(10) Mountain Peaks, Fast Streams, Fall Colours And Rocky Mountain Whitefish

(11) The Browns of Autumn

(12) Fly-Fishing Pike Through The Seasons

(13) Walleye Town

(14) River Fun - One Bite At A Time

(15) Fly Fishing Larger Rivers

(16) Going With The Flow

(17) Becoming A Better Fly Fisherman

(18) Swinging The Fences

(19) A View From The Aerie

(20) Dixieland Delight

(21) Atlantic Salmon - The Fish of 1000 Casts

(22) Do It Yourself Pink Salmon

(23) Montana's Cool Missouri

(24) Pretty Is As Pretty Does

(25) Toothy Critters

(26) Hard Water Lakers at Cold Lake

(27) Top Ten Flies

(28) Northern Exposure

(29) Home Water Lessons

(30) Chicken Of The Sea

(31) Sealing the Deal – How to Ensure You Land More Fish

(32) Deep In The Heart Of Texas

(33) Keep It Up!

(34) River Fishing for Fall Walleye

(35) After the Flood - A look at Southern Alberta rivers and streams one year after the flood

(36) Reindeer Lake - A Diversity of Opportunity

(37) Hawg Holes

(38) Saltwater Salmon

(39) Early Season Dry Fly Fishing

(40) Down a Lazy River –
A Fly-rodding Adventure on the Lower North Saskatchewan

(41) The Fly Fishing Season Ahead

(42) IN SEARCH OF SPECKLED FOOTBALLS

(43) FISHING CANADA'S PRAIRIE CITIES

(44) Bright Fish from the Land of Silver

(45) Canada's "Other" Salmon

(46) Fall Walleye

(47) Wet Flies

(48) Versatility the Key to Success

(49) Grayling of the Boreal

(50) Teaching Kids To Fly Fish

(51) Size Matters

(52) Fly Fishing Small Streams

(53) Chasing Winter Whites One Lake At A Time

(54) Manitoba's Fishing Jewel

(55) The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas

(56) The Point Of It All

(57) Fishing With Friends-Big Weather Seizing The Day

(58) Fall Fly Fishing

(59) Personal Pontoon Boats 101

(60) Big River, Big Fish

(61) Bottom Bonanza

(62) Fishing Small Flies

(63) So Many Choices, So Little Time

(64) Four Seasons of the Bow

(65) Favourite Lakes - Some Like it Hot

(66) GEARING UP FOR SMALL STREAM TROUT

(67) Trout Hunting - New Zealand-style

(68) Don’t Leave Home Without Them –
10 Lures That Should Be In Everyone’s Tackle Box

(69) Edge Walleye

(70) FLY FISHING STRATEGIES FOR HIGH WATER

(71) Smallmouth Bass – An Oft Overlooked Challenge

(72) Four Corners – Four Waters

(73) Chasing Pothole Trout

(74) Springtime Stoneflies

(75) The Torrents of Spring

(76) Drift Boat Fly Fishing

(77) Bust Them With Bait

(78) Cure the Winter Blues with a Good Book

(79) Hot Strategies for the Cold Months

(80) Cutthroat: The Angler's Trout

(81) Terrestrials

(82) Fly In For Fishing Fun

(83) Rocky Mountain High

(84) Reading the clues

(85) Where the Trout Are
The art of locating feeding trout
in rivers and streams.

(86) K.I.S.S. and Tell Fly-fishin

(87) Fly Fishing 101

(88) To Catch a Big Halibut, or Ling Cod

(89) The Bountiful Bones of Ascension Bay

(90) Grayling in the Eye of the Beholder

(91) Fly Fishing for South Fork Clearwater Steelhead

(92) Manitoba's Red River - North America's Catfish Capital

(93) Eliminating the Spook Factor

(94) Trust Your Electronics

(95) The Most Important Hatch of the Year

(96) Early Season Nymph Fishing for Trout

(97) Finding Success for Ice Trout

(98) Walleye can be Humbling

(99) The Secret to Landing the Big One Finally Revealed

(100) Winter Flyfishing

(101) North Saskatchewan River - An Underutilized Gem

(102) Hot Fall Pike Action

(103) Tips and Tricks to Save the Summer Slow Down

(104) Reading Trout Stream Waters

(105) Frequently Asked Questions

(106) Streamer Fishing for Larger Trout

(107) The Lure of Big Walleye at Last Ice

(108) Deep Water Perch

(109) Post Spawn Brookies

(110) A Fisher's Life

(111) The River's Last Stand

(112) The Big Ones Come out at Night

(113) Coho on the Coast

(114) Chasing and Catching Halibut

(115) Summer in the Mountains

(116) Peak Walleye Season

(117) Slow and Steady Wins the Race

(118) Last Ice Rainbows

(119) The Burbot Event

(120) Tackle Matching

(121) Ice Fishing Strategy #2 - Going Light

(122) Ice Fishing Strategy #1 - Location

(123) The Lure of Brook Trout

(124) The Shallow Water Hunt is On

(125) Hot Backswimmer Action Happening Right Now

(126) Fishing Among Giants-Pursuing Lake Sturgeon on the Prairies

(127) Adventure at Davin Lake Lodge, Northern Saskatchewan

(128) The Vesatile Plug

(129) Bead Head Flies, Plugs and Shot and other Spring Favorites for Pothole Trout

(130) Planning your Upcoming Angling Adventures

(131) Good Fishing at Last Ice

(132) Maximize the Odds - Use Multiple Presentations

(133) Daily Fish Migrations

(134) Fish Migrations - Following the Spawn

(135) Lake Whitefish - An Ice Fishing All Star

(136) Pick Your Favorite Brook Trout Lake...and Go Fishing

(137) A Look Ahead to Great Trout Fishing

(138) Wrestling White Sturgeon on the Fraser

(139) The Fun in Ultra Light

(140) Flyfishing and Leadcore Lines

(141) Embrace the Spirit of Adventure

(142) Never Stop Learning

(143) Ice Fishing is Getting Hot

(144) Jigging through the Ice

(145) An Ice Fishing Unsung Hero – The Setline

(146) Rainbows on Ice

(147) The Season of Ice Begins

(148) Red Hot Fall Pike Action

(149) Hitting it Right with Water Boatman

(150) Facts On Cats

(151) West Coast Adventure

(152) June Walleye Frenzy

(153) Aerated Lakes are Big Trout Factories

(154) "First Fish of the Year - Pothole Rainbows and Browns"

(155) "Northern Exposure"

(156) Sometimes There is More to Fishing Than Catching Fish

(157) Early Season Pike On The Fly

(158) Man Overboard