For many fishermen, the first fish they ever caught was a perch. What a beautiful fish with their stripes and red fins. Their aggressiveness too! Perch are known to chase down minnows, hunt in a pack like wolves, and feed with reckless abandon like there’s no tomorrow. And hardbaits for perch are so effective, let’s figure out the lure choice dilemna!
What a better opportunity for us to catch dozens of fish in a short time. Perch is the perfect fish to teach young ones the ropes. They can be caught on any number of lures but today we will focus on hardbaits for perch which really are the easiest.
Crankbaits come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Even though perch will on occasion hit some of the largest lures, the best size is about 5 centimeters or thereabout. This will allow the opportunity to catch numbers and big perch. I like to start with medium divers that will hit the 2 meters mark on every cast. Perch are known to cover great distances to hit our lure and that way I know even if some fish are deeper they will most likely come and take the bait running above them.
Another alternative is to fish a lipless crankbait and let it sink to about one meter of the bottom. Regardless of the type of crankbait, a fast-paced cadence is best both to trigger bites and cover water. Perch are sometimes hard to find but easy to catch. The prime benefit of crankbaits is to locate them by making a lot more cast than other hardbaits for perch.
Again whether crankbaits are lipped or lipless, I will always favor lures that contain rattling BB’s. Perch are definitely attracted by sound and this helps cover more water and attract fish from further away.
However, after catching a few aggressive fish, the bite can slow down even though the fish are still here. Perch are aggressive but not dumb, they will wise up to the trick. It can be a good idea then to switch to a silent lure to keep catching them.
Color wise I tend to divide my lures into three categories, bright colors, translucent, and mirror. The latter means chrome or similar that will automatically adjust to the prevailing color in the water. I choose that pattern for clear but colored water.
Indeed some water are mostly clear but will have a color whether it’s tannic, whitish-blue, or something else. I use bright colors for stained or muddy water and transparent for gin clear water.
Early morning summer days or autumn or anytime perch can be observed chasing minnows, topwater lures offer the most exciting and thrill-packed session you can think of. And even if nothing could suggest a possible topwater bite, I will always give it a go for about thirty minutes before switching to deeper running lures.
The best topwater lures for perch are stickbaits about 8 to 10 centimeters. Again, speed is of the essence here, make a long cast and walk your lure at a good clip. Long casts are important not just to cover water but because perch are notorious for missed strikes and following the lure all the way to the angler
Whether it’s about size or color, you should always be aware of the prevailing bait fish. You surely have heard of match the hatch, it’s a good rule of thumb to follow.
Some days perch will hit better a popper. Choose one between 5 and 8 centimeters and work it on a steady pop, pop, pop retrieve. That sound imitates other fish feeding and will draw competitive perch to the crime scene.
While bass fishermen will alternate long pauses between pops, it is rarely necessary for perch as they can easily lose interest during a pause. I tend to favor poppers when I can see them busting and chasing minnows and small fish. You need to be quick and ready to cast right where they are to catch fish. Perch are highly mobile and will be here one moment and gone the next.
During the hottest and coldest days of the year, perch can find comfort in much deeper water than the rest of the year. And even though they will come near-surface on calm morning and evening, they can remain deep most of the day. That’s when blade baits really shine.
Make a long cast and let the bait fall all the way to the bottom. Watch your line as your bait might get hit before reaching the bottom as perch can be suspended mid-depth. Crank your bait a few meters before letting it drop to the bottom again. Very easy, yet very effective, and you will catch a big zander every now and then as a bonus!
Hardbaits for perch are indeed effective both at catching and locating fish. But there are many other techniques to catch this European peacock. Stay tuned for other tips and tricks on how to catch these water zebra!!