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  1. #1

    Default Perch fishing truth

    My question is this. I fished in and around the pack of 500 boats Wednesday west of Catawba toward the cans and south passage on Thursday. Dropped off my nine perch at Marblehead fish cleaning. All those boats fishing for perch and nobody was cleaning fish at 4:00. They said I got lucky catching what I did. I moved 6 times and fished 6 hours using crappie rigs and a mix of Goldie's and emeralds. I'm no expert and I know some of you know this lake pretty good. But really what is going on. How do you guys catch a limit in a few hours when me and 500 other boats can't catch 10 fish. Leaves me baffled.

  2. #2


    I won't say I'm an expert either but I love to perch fish and do it as often as I can living 3 hours away. First thing, a giant pack of boats doesn't always mean they are catching them. You will rarely see me in the middle of a giant pack unless I'm already on fish and they move in around me. I try to stay off the edges of the pack or go my own way. Second, and I think is most important, is I don't stop and fish unless I mark what I think is a good number of fish and then I try to stop right on the school. Having a trolling motor with spot lock is a huge help with that. I can also make small moves easier. Sometimes 50ft can make a huge difference in my success. And last, if I'm not catching anything, I don't sit around and hope they show up to eat. I go looking for something better. I don't always find it tho. And don't get discouraged. It's a big lake and someone is always catching them somewhere. And someone is always struggling... I've been on both sides plenty of times. Good luck.

  3. #3


    Were you running your engine? Did you have emeralds? Did you use Sabiki rigs? I am not very good at catching perch, yet have caught several limits this year & have caught over 10 10 times. Ditto on what swhorider says. You must be on an ACTIVE school

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    N W Ohio

    Default My Young Jedi perch catcher in training

    Yoda says you must complete your training my Young Perch Jedi.
    Been fishing a long time and spent a full year on head boats to see if I would like to fish on the lake before I purchased my own boat and enjoy fishing to the extent that I do.
    So, on that note just because you did not catch your limit is in no indication that others have "truth" issues in reporting.
    I have seen percher's move to my spot after I leave to get on the perch, and it happed today.
    It is called fishing for that reason, it is not catching and many times I have been out and been "skunked".
    So my advice to you is to ask for help and you will get it on this web site.
    Become a student of "fish talk" and visit this site to get as much advice as you can.
    However, there is no "get my limit in 2 hours" guarantee.
    I have caught my limit in 2 hours or as long as 5, it is fishing and not just catching.
    Hope you find this information helpful and you will continue in your education of the "fish force".
    ~Water Dog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015


    Do not let the dark side of the force influence your perch catching young Jeti.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    N W Ohio


    Quote Originally Posted by itsbob View Post
    Do not let the dark side of the force influence your perch catching young Jeti.
    Yes, do not give in to the hate, but to the LOVE OF FISHING, and you will be changed forever~!
    ~Fish On , tight lines and watch that light bite ~~!!!
    ~The Dog

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    NW Ohio


    I fished alone in and around that pack on Wednesday. I started near the green bouy. Moved around a little with the electric and once with the main motor, toward the WNW. Never was more than 1-1/2 miles from the state ramp. Started just after 8 left with 30 just after noon. Emerald Goldie mix. I clean my own fish. I think a fair number of people do and there are a lot of places that clean fish in the area. I was guessing the pack at 75, maybe 100. I could be way off but that was the number in my head when I was out there. I've had plenty of crappy days when it seamed all the reports were great. Hard to gripe, could be last year.

  8. #8


    I have come up a couple times this year. I'm not expert by any means and I ask a ton of questions on here. People probably get sick of answering them but they always do and it's always great advice. It's a little over 3 hours for me to get up there towing my boat. Came up about 2 months ago and followed water dogs posts for 2 weeks before I went up. Went out of catawba right around g can. We ended up with 40 that day. Two of us. There was another boat anchored about 50 yards from me and we were both out of the pack. The two guys on that boat were bringing them in left and right. Doubles. We were 50 or so yards away and were struggling to get bites. But I also think we missed a ton of fish because that bite was so light. Once you get the feel for it it's a little easier. Second time I went out by the intake. Stayed outside the huge pack of boats and moved around a couple times. Guy i ran into getting bait in the morning was just north of the intake maybe 1/4 of a mile from us. Him and his buddy got their 60 to our 14. We ran into them at the cleaners. Hoping to come back up in 2 weeks. Its frustrating at times but I love fishing. I'm going to bring my 5 year old and his grandpa and my wife this time. I think they will all enjoy it and hopefully I can get into them. Leaving the boat running is like ringing a dinner bell. If the bite slows I will start it and let it go for a while. Always seems to pick up when I do. Good luck. Keep the reports coming.

  9. #9


    Damn, I thought somebody would say it was the spinny water flea. The insects were bad around the camp, thought maybe that had something to do with it. Guess there is always next week. By the way a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work. But then again I don't have that problem anymore. All I do is fish. Thanks for all the comments.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Reside in Columbus, OH. Have place in Perrysburg, OH.


    I like many others on this site have been fishing the Lake for at least 30 years. When it comes to yellow perch fishing, by far the most important thing, other than having perch under the boat, is learning
    the catching technique.

    I can't count how many times I've been out with others on the boat and out caught them 5-1 even 10 -1. It's just as much an art as it is a science. Learning / developing the "feel" takes a lot of experience for most anglers. Like any activity some people pick it up a lot quicker than others. Perch don't usually "strike" the bait, like a largemouth bass or northern pike. They typically "suck" it in, and often very lightly. The rigs used (spreaders, crappie rigs) also often leave slack line, they don't keep a tight line to the bait like walleye fishing. It is real easy to miss yellow perch bites.

    The basic technique is as follows: Drop your bait down to the bottom at a moderate pace until you get within a few feet of the bottom. Then slow down so you can feel the weight just touch the bottom. Then reel up about a foot of line, an amount to keep your bait just off the bottom (depending on what rig you are using). As the boat rocks, the bait will move from on the bottom to above it. Slack line at the bait when the rock is going down, tight line at the bait when going up. The perch typically "hit" the bait when the bait isn't moving, when there is slack line at the bait. You have to learn to time this. Just when you think the slack line period is starting or just after, very slowly raise your pole about 8-10 inches and "feel" for any kind of additional weight or resistance on the line. If you feel any, do a quick very short hook set snap on your pole (use your wrist, not your whole arm). Only about 6-8 inches up. If you then feel the perch (a little more weight) on the line, real up. If not, slowly let the bait back down and repeat. If the bite that day is real light, sometimes I will very slowly raise the pole during the slack line period and feel for that tiny bit of extra weight.

    What you are really doing is controlling how hard the rig lead weight is hitting the bottom on the up and down movement. You don't want it slamming the bottom, just touch it. The lighter you can make the lead weight hit the bottom, the better. With experience you can even learn to keep the weight just off the bottom on the down motion, not actually touching it. It's all about setting up the slack line period of a second or two and then feeling for the soft bite.

    Over time you will learn the difference between the feel weight of no perch on the bait and the feel weight of a perch bringing the bait into it's mouth. Sometimes it is so... so... subtle and light. There are times I really don't feel anything, I just "know" there is one there.

    If you have decent waves, you need to balance out the up / down motion by moving the pole to absorb most of the wave action on the bait. You need to establish that same short time difference of slack line and tight line while keeping the bait on or near the bottom. You don't want the bait going up and down with the waves, that produces too much movement. The idea is to present the minnow for a second or two with slack line so the perch will "inhale" it. Then get some tighter line so you can feel it.

    All this will take time to learn. You need to really pay attention all the time if you want to learn. Experiment. Eventually you'll get the "knack" and will continue to improve and master it.
    Last edited by West Basin; 09-25-2020 at 06:50 PM.

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