Predator Blog Part Thirteen
Thu 14 November 13
Jigs, Cranks & Drop Shotting for Stripes
I don’t profess of being an expert at perch fishing, but over the many years of fishing for pike I’ve let’s say dabbled with the perch, and also had the odd accidental capture too. I must say I do love this colourful predator, green with black stripes and the orange fins, wow it’s like a clown fish lol, also the perch was my first ever fish I caught as it was to many.
Mostly I would troll small to medium sized crank baits to find a shoal first, once found it’s then possible to mark the area either on the GPS or a thrown H block marker, then by drifting over the shoal and fishing the jigs and drop shot system which is a really great fun method. Here I’ll look at the three types of fishing mentioned above.
They come in all shapes and sizes, the largest crank I’ve ever caught a perch on was an 18cm Rapala floating magnum! That perch weighed 2.8 pounds, and took the lure when I paused the retrieve and then the perch nailed it as it moved upwards! I was pike fishing at the time and flukes like this are rare but do occasionally happen.
When I’m properly perch fishing, seeking out shoals my favourite crank for the job would be the Rapala risto rap in 5cm, 7cm, and the 9 cm, or the fat rap in 7 cm; these little lures never seem to fail.
Colours can be important on any given day. I would normally start off with parrot colour, and switch to hot mustard if I needed to. On some waters where viability is low it’s all about noise and frequency, get this right on the day and its hectic sport for sure. Those little Rapala’s and Storm baits are perfect for the job, although swop and change if the perch are in a fussy mood which they certainly can be.
Line thickness is worth a mention here too, the thinner your braid the deeper your cranks will work and visa versa. Also I have noticed over the years that atmospheric pressure has a bearing on how your lures work too! Once a good perch shoal has been found. I like to mark the spot and jig for them as its great fun.
Perch are very light sensitive fish, and prefer to feed in low light levels, although while fishing murky type water this can cancel out this effect. If your water is of a clear type, then try and go on a dull day or fish the best times when the light levels are low i.e. dusk and dawn. Or another option is to fish deep if possible, and many big perch have been caught this way over the years in 40ft+ of water.
I love jigging, it’s addictive you know, and it’s easy fishing which suits everyone, it’s practised best from a boat while keeping an eye on the sounder looking at the tell tale half arcs on the screen below you and bang, your into another scrapper perch. Like I said earlier perch can be fussy little bugger’s just like the pike. They would have a preference on the day, and these preferences could be minute, a slight change in coloration of the jig, or how it’s presented/moved for them would change the day, some days they like a static jig, others a good movement gets them going! I’ve witnessed days when only one jig in my entire jig box scored, everything else was just totally ignored! So it pays to keep changing until you start getting nibbles. The thing I like about jigging for perch is the fact you can see them on the sonar screen and it’s up to you the angler to suss out what they want and how they want it, like I said that’s great fun and great fishing.
A few years ago now a new method came onto our shores from the continent, that new method was drop shotting, this method is jigging but incorporates a moveable lead weight at the end of the rig and the jig is tied direct to the line a foot or two up from the weight. (See diagram)
It’s a great method that can out fish any other, I know I’ve witnessed this first hand, it’s a more subtle method of jigging, with the weight on the bottom the tip is moved up and down fast but only a couple of inches usually to get the perch to bite. There are many different types of drop shot jigs, and again experimentation is the key to success here again, although now I do have my favourites which do seem to work rather well on my own waters. I love this method just like the normal style of jigging, I’m sure you’ll love it too, it’s very addictive fishing. There are now dedicated drop shotting rods for sale, Shimano sell an awesome DS rod, the number is -SMDS21MH casting weight 1/8-1oz this rod is so well balanced it makes your perch day so much more pleasurable. Happy perching.
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