Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The "Magical" Yellow Perch

The Yellow Perch is chased all around the upper states of the US threw the ice.  The characteristics of these fish make them fun to chase down, they look gorgeous and are pretty tasty too.  These unique fish live in quite a few Iowa lakes and are thriving in the Upper Mississippi River Pools along the NE State border.  Finding these fish are the hard part during the winter months.  Long walks to out of the way backwater areas are the first step, but that just begins the quest.  Once you get to a perch location, your walking has only just started.  If you want to have a successful day on the ice for perch, you have to put in the miles.  Perch move.  No matter if you are in Iowa, South Dakota, or Minnesota, if you are expecting a good day of perch fishing, a lot of walking is what you will need to do.  Perch move.  It is highly unlikely that you will land on a school of perch and not have to move around to stay with them.  My experiences have shown that needing to find several school of perch each time out is necessary.  My favorite baits are spoons for these fish.  You can drop down quickly on the fish, and the treble hook no doubt helps hooking up too.  I like a 36-inch rod, my favorites are the Clam Dead Meat series.  These are set up very well for a variety of spoons, and the length is key to hole-hopping quickly.  Never sitting down or kneeling on the ice keeps you moving and will get you more perch.  Perch move.  A good, quality reel is vital for these fish, I use a variety of Quantum reels in the "15 size".  The Smoke model is by far the best, while the Throttle and Drive work well too.  The larger spool helps with line management, and allows the baits to fall faster.  Being able to move quick is key, packing light is part of staying of mobile, a couple of rods rigged up, auger, Vexilar and your food/drink for the day is all you need.  Too many items will slow you down, the perch will not slow down.  Perch move!  

I love these fish, they are fun to chase down, and at times impossible to chase down.  If every fishing trip was perfect, I think the allure of the fish would die.  The chase...I love the chase.  Stay dry my friends, another month of frozen water left...hopefully.

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