The Perch is fast becoming a very popular Species to fish for. In the UK over the last few years, the Perch population as a whole has vastly increased in size. Therefore catching the eye of the specimen hunter. There are certainly many different ways of how to catch a Perch, but lure fishing for them has got to be one of the most exciting and enjoyable ways. Here are a few of my Perch fishing tips and tricks to hopefully help you put a few more on the bank.
1. Cover Some Ground
My first tip would be to make sure you cover some ground. If the fish aren’t there you are not going to catch them. Perch, in general, like to shoal up. If you find the shoals, you’re in with a chance of catching some Fish.
Be prepared to walk around a bit and don’t get lazy and wait for them to come to you. Perch love snags and structures, Always look out for fallen branches, overhanging bushes, concrete structures reed beds, etc.
They will quite often be hiding away tight in the undergrowth. So when casting it is worth getting the lure right up to the snag/structure, in order to entice the Fish out.
2. Overcast Conditions are Good
Perch generally don’t like bright conditions, they feel vulnerable due to being in full view. Not always but a lot of the time dusk and dawn will usually produce more bites than in the daytime, especially on bright days. Overcast days are usually more productive in tempting wary perch onto the bank.
3. Perch Like to Hang out Near Boats
If fishing on the canal or certain rivers that allow boats, Perch tend to hang about underneath them where they will feel safe and ready to ambush any prey. In the colder months, if you are fishing a venue that has barges that are lived on, these will be letting off some heat into the water. Therefore enticing the baitfish to congregate there. so it’s always worth a cast near a moored boat or barge. If lures are not working on the day, it’s always worth trying Worms, prawns, caster, and red maggots. Although there are lots of baits that will catch them, these to me are my favourite ones.
4. Look for Signs of Fish
It is always worth looking out for baitfish. If you can find the baitfish you will almost certainly find the perch. If possible cast just to the side of all the commotion. Birds like Cormorants and Grebe are also worth keeping an eye on. These birds’ main diet consists of fish. If they are coming up with baitfish in their beaks chances are the perch won’t be far away.
5. Drop Shotting is Worth a Try
Drop-shotting has become very popular over the last few years and with good reason. This technique can prove deadly when other techniques are failing on the day. The beauty of drop-shotting is you are very mobile in your approach and can fish places more thoroughly than most other methods. Most tackle dealers now sell drop-shotting gear and are well worth a try. You can even buy drop-shotting rigs already made up. So no excuses, get out there and give it a go, you may be very surprised at what you catch.
6. Take the Right Unhooking Kit
Make sure you take the appropriate unhooking utensils with you, Perch are notorious for swallowing the hook deep in their throat. Have a disgorger (if you’re bait fishing) and forceps at hand. Barbless or semi barbless hooks are advisable due to the fact they tend to swallow the hook so deep. Barbless or micro barb for bait fishing. And barbless or semi barbed for lures.
7. Maybe Take a Damp Rag
This is a good perch fishing tip if you are inexperienced at handling Perch, take a damp rag with you, their spines can be a bit sharp if handled incorrectly. The chances are you won’t need it and if you don’t then all is good. But I would say a rag is definitely handy to have if you are teaching kids to fish for perch. The last thing you want to do is drop the fish.
8. Try Different Methods for Perch
When trying to entice the perch to bite, they don’t always like playing ball. This is when trying new techniques comes into play. When it comes to lure fishing for them there is a few different ones you can try. The Dropshot is probably my favourite. But you could also try the Cheb rig, the Ned rig, jigging, or spinning.
All these techniques can be deadly. It is just a case of finding out what the perch want on the day. Some days they favour certain techniques over others. Don’t give up and keep going till you suss them out.
9. Strike Early
I primarily fish for perch with lures. I just find the mobile approach suits me and the buzz of a take on a lure just can’t be beaten in my opinion. But bait fishing for perch is just as popular.
Baits such as worms, prawns live bait casters and maggots will all successfully catch perch but be prepared to strike early. Perch are notorious for deep hooking. They are greedy buggers and will engulf the bait straight down. Avoid this by striking early. This is a very important perch fishing tip.
Perch are a good hard fighting fish that are awesome to catch on rod and reel. Hopefully, some of these tips will help you bring more to your net. Just keep experimenting and trying different things and the fish will come. Most importantly of all is to have fun trying!