5 Tips for Catching Perch

Planning a fishing trip and have your sights set on catching perch? I have a few perch fishing tips that I can share. Here are five of them:

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1. Anchors Away

Drop your boat's anchor in a mess of thick weeds and then drag the anchor a bit to stir up the lake bed. Hopefully in doing so you'll cause water bugs, small fish and other items attractive to the perch to be released into the water. In a sense, you are chumming the waters the natural way. Once that's done, cast your line and pray that the perch show up to the impromptu, underwater, buffet table you've just created.

2. Map It

When my grandfather was teaching me to fish he refused to use fish finding devices. He called that cheating. Instead, he'd grab a map and spend time studying the depths and structures of the area we'd be fishing in search of perch hot spots. You can sometimes get depth maps of lakes and other water bodies through your state's fish and game website or local outfitter. He was also known to strap on the waders and go searching on foot for slopping bottoms, shoreline breaks, weed beds and reefs with his wading stick. Any area that he thought would be a good perch hiding spot he'd make a mental note of and that's where he'd take his boat the next time out. I've had much success over the years by following his lead, so you may want to give it a try.

3. Buoy Marks the Spot

Another perch fishing tip I picked up from my grandfather was to mark the area of your last catch with a marker buoy. Once he had the area marked he'd position the boat up stream by a few feet. He'd usually go up about two casting distances away and then anchor the boat and start fishing again. His theory was that being upstream from the fish would make it easier to tell if the perch were nibbling on your bait. I have to say, it did seem to work. He'd always return home with a large string of fish every time he'd go out fishing.

4. Get It in Gear

Grandpa was also a stickler about his perch fishing gear and he passed that penchant for proper equipment on to me. He took great pains in selecting the right line, rod, reel, bait and lures. When it comes to perch, I've had the best luck with an ultra light tackle set up and a low-stretch line. Small flies and sharp, small hooks also seem to work well.

5. Better Bait, Better Luck

I've found that bait is also important when it comes to catching perch. Night crawlers, grubs, minnows and crayfish are the types of live bait that I tend to have the most success with when it comes to snagging perch. If live bait isn't an option, I've also had luck using spinners and jigheads.

Killeen Gonzalez enjoys fishing with her family and has traveled extensively.

More from this contributor:

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The St. Mary's River is Southeast Georgia's Best Spot for Redbreast Fishing

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Updated Monday, Feb 20, 2012