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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentines Day Perch

"Get a bait down quick", Kim instructs as she lifts the camera slowly from the water below. Finding a bio-mass of perch is one thing but keeping them in the area awhile can be a challenge to say the least. It takes fast moving and teamwork. After all were talking about the most nomadic species of them all, the jumbo perch. This was the start of Valentines Day and my wife and I wouldn't have it any other way.

We left home at about 5am, coffee in hand in search of jumbo perch gold. Trailer lights in good working condition I had a good feeling about the day. While other couples spend the day shopping or dinning we would drive up and down break lines probing the depths with the underwater camera. Searching for our next pod of fish. The part we enjoy most about fishing perch (aside from the golden delicious fillets) is the fact these fish are willing afternoon bitters and provide some of the best action of the season.

The strategy was simple drive down the break-lines in 12-14 fow and drill, check with camera and repeat. I like the camera for searching these mid depth flats over the flasher. The narrow cone angle at these relatively shallow depths doesn't show fish. When you stick the camera down it's all black stripes like peering into a jail. Once you've found the bio-mass of fish grab your flasher and get a bait down quick to keep that competitive nature going. These fish will race each other up the water column to your bait. Aggressive jigging will pay off. It's nature versus nurture, and i don't have the time to nurture them.  As soon as you start to get "lookers" instead of "bitters" it's time to move. You've lost the amount of fish necessary to compete. The few fish left are not worth your time. Get into search mode again and find the bio-mass where fish compete and the action is fast.

Bait selection is simple, anything that gets down fast. I am a spoon and minnow head or eurolarve proponent. Kim is much more adept at finesse fishing with soft plastics and hair jigs.

Community spots are for the crappie crowd. When chasing jumbos the spots burn out quick. I recommend leaving the wheelhouse at home and replacing your boots for running shoes. Don't let the winter doldrums get you down. Go out prospect for jumbo, make that sumo perch gold! Once you've found them get ready, a 100 fish day may be in your future;)

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