Do you love big bluegill?
Found a good way to catch White Perch the other day .The 1/8th oz.Blue Fox Flash spoon or Kastmaster (like Musky Mod uses for Bull Gills) tipped with 1/2 a baby nightcrawler .A certain retrieve only produced White Perch as they are often more aggressive on a faster presentation .The idea was to get it to the bottom and jerk and scoot a horizontal swath and kick up some puffs of dirt. . I call it the 'Raising Sand' tecnique. They banged it when presented this way while Yellow perch wanted a slow drag / lift /drop on and near bottom and Gills wanted a slow lift /drop up more in the column. The on bottom and quick scoot retreive was very specific for the White Perch ! I have noticed White Perch often are found with these other fish ,including Crappie but can only be caught with a faster speed of presentation than what is catching the other species. This has proven to be the case many times and now I always pick up the pace when targeting White Perch no matter what the season or month .They always seem to be in higher gear than the other pannies .A faster troll with crankbaits or spinners near stream beds also seems to select the White Perch out from the other fish.I generally slow the boat down for the Gills ,Bass,Crappie and Yellow Perch while trolling .
I recall a Spring day fishing from shore that illustrates the activity level the White Perch has compared to other species .I was throwing a Beetle Spin and after steady moderate paced retreiving mid depth in about 5-6 ' I caught several small Bass ,Yellow Perch and Bluegills .I then tried crawling close to bottom and only caught Crappie . Lastly I tried a faster retreive and action and that's when the White Perch cooperated! It became a game of billiards calling the shot .Those fish were retreive speed and depth specific!
Beautiful explanation, John. I have never targeted white perch. But I'll remember this.
Thanks David ,now I'm hoping for confirmation from other anglers!
The folks here who make a business of fishing think of white perch as, "mini-stripers."
The faster speed makes sense.
I hear they also make good catfish bait where they are prevalent.
Gonna have to try them as Cat bait .I'll bet the Channels I catch would like some white Perch Cut bait .I know the lake I catch Channel Cats in has a lot of White Perch too!
David I now call that tecnique for catchin' White Perch ,the 'Raising Sand ' Tecnique .
You got it, John. Catfish are opportunists - where white perch exist they form part of the forage base for the cats.
REPOSTING DAVID HUTTONS WHITE PERCH INSIGHT FROM THE 'FISHING BOOK LIBRARY' GROUP THREAD: "I found a couple things that might be useful.
1. White perch eat ALOT of insects.
When stomach contents are examined, larvae and their adult counterparts are significantly represented.
2. They are, essentially, deep water fish. 20-30, is not uncommon.
They spawn in shallow backwaters but the larger ones are found in deep water the rest of the year.
3. They are open water fishes. Traveling in large schools, they move from structure to structure, like humps, submerged points, etc.
4. They are hard to pattern. Being mobile opportunists, you can spend more time looking for them than fishing. If you have a consistent method, stick with it.
5. Don't plan on catching them on flies, except in the very small window around early spring breeding season."
HERE'S MY REPLY:
Great account of the white Perch David ! I usually catch the most trolling over deeper water but have hooked a few of my best sized ones shallow in Spring . I'm reposting your comment here over at 'Piscatorial Pursuit of Perch' group!
Spinners and cranks account for the majority of my Whites but perhaps my recently found "Raising Sand" bottom technique with spoon and crawler piece should be employed more .Trolling with spinners and cranks to find and follow the schools and then locating a structure where they are at and using the "RS" technique is the plan for me to target Whites when they start showing themselves . I am surprised flies don't work better than you suggest since they eat a lot of insects!