by Jarrod Day
Last week in part 1 of Perch Puzzles we looked at The structure and where they can be found. this week we dive a little further looking at how weather plays a role in being successful along with which lures and gear to use.
During the summer months, perch are most active.
Weather dilemmas: EP’s are one very frustrating fish, always changing their feeding patterns depending on the time of year and weather patterns. Anglers seeking EP’s often refer to them as Southern Barramundi and if you understand Barramundi then you’ll know just how easily these fish can switch from on to off. Another similar trait to barramundi is that they feed similar.
By that, although they do hide amongst structure, they can also be caught where channels or small drains will funnel bait.
Working the water during the right times will lead to success.
While they are heavily affected by barometric pressure, the summer months are often very productive. Hot mornings and nights when insect hatches and other bug life begin to move around on the waters surface really stimulate the fish to feed. For an angler, this is the right time to hit the surface for some real exciting fishing. But don’t just think this is the only time to catch them. During the heat of the day when the barometer is high you can still catch them but they may require a different approach such as a lightly weighted soft plastic or suspending hard body twitched over the snag.
On the other side of the coin should a storm be approaching and the barometer falling, they will often go off the bite very quickly but providing you’re willing to put in a little hard work, you can still effectively catch fish, though they will not be as prolific and as explosive as when the barometer is high they are still worth targeting.
Ensure you have a good lure selection when targeting perch.
Different lures will work in different situations and it is up to you to find out what is going to work.
When surface activity is high a small floating surface lure can be employed. This should be case just beyond the snag of as close to the bank or structure as possible and worked back with a slight pause. It is while the lure is resting in its 'vulnerable' state that it will most likely be hit.
Lure choice: Lure choice is one of the most critical factors in being successful on perch. With the need for such a finesse and versatile approach, anglers will need to be able to switch tactics quickly to further their success. This means having a wide selection of lures to cover all bases.
A basic tackle kit should include a selection of soft plastics ranging from 80mm to 100mm wriggler tails, DOA 3' shrimp and Zerek 3' shrimp. While hard body lures should include 50mm to 70mm shallow and diving minnows such as Duel Hardcore minnows, Yo-Zuri Eba Shads, SX-40’s and top water lures such as Strada Dance 55’s.
While there are hundreds of different lures readily available, these have been proven worthy and have caught a fair share of fish over the years.
Gearing up: Perch do pull quite hard when hooked, especially when snag fishing while will require the use of specialised gear. While you don’t have to ask the bank for a loan, most outfits that are rated 2-4kilos will suffice. This could be anything from a $99 rod to a $499 rod; it is entirely up to your preference. For me, it is the use of a Wilson 'Blade n tails' Ultra Light with a mounted Shimano Rarenium reel.
This outfit has the capability of casting such light weighted lures but can put the hurt on a sizeable fish when the time comes.
Mainlines should reflect the lures being fish which means using 6 or 8lb braid strengths. Joined to the mainline should be meter or so length of leader in which it is imperative that fluorocarbon be used in 5lb strength.
Estuary perch can be a frustrating species to target and catch but once you crack the code, they can be highly addictive.
* For part 1 of this story - click here.