Want to catch more perch when ice fishing?
Who wants bigger panfish? You?
Hey everyone, I have already been on the ice several times this year and on a few trips I have caught some awesome big perch.
- The key is to know where the perch are roaming and what they are eating during the winter
- You want to be able to move a lot to find where the schools are
- Charts… Do you know what your lake looks like?
So What Is My Secret?
Using The Right Gear
In the winter my go to bait is a bibbit (custom ice jig for those not in the Northeast) tipped with a wax worm. This seems to be just the right bait for the season. Plus wax worms are easy to carry, fit nicely in your jacket, and last a long time!
Finding The Right Location
So where is the right place to find the fish?
Know the body of water where you are fishing and study the lake maps. On the lake maps, you want to look for big mud flats.
- Look for contour lines on the maps spread apart.
- Look for areas that are flat from 28 – 42 feet.
- These mudflats are where the perch are feasting on wigglers, freshwater shrimp and worms that live in these flats.
- Have you ever caught perch on these flats and they cough of bugs?
These flats you need to look at for your next fishing adventure. I also see many fishermen that are afraid to fish big baits for these perch especially in deeper water. This is key to have a variety of lures as you will be surprised just how big of a bait a perch will take where someday they on want tiny baits.
Almost always I use a 2 pole system. Where I have one pole rigged up with a rattle trap, yes the same rattle trap you use in the summer for bass fishing, just to call the fish in then have a another pole ready to go with usually a dropper rig or heavy tungsten lure to get the bait down fast to the fish with spikes or mealworms on the hook,
I prefer wax worms over spikes for bigger perch. Now I am not saying these the only way to catch monster perch but it could improve your day if you give it a shot.
Having The Right Presentation
You will want a combination of bibbets in different colors like hot orange, chartreuse, white with bloodline and green/ brown when they are eating snails and fresh water shrimp.
I normally use a lite weight soft tip 30 inch rod with 6 pound mono. Water depth ranges from 6 feet to 30 averaging 12 to 16 for most of my trips although when going deeper I put on larger baits as deep water perch are usually bigger in size
So what is the size of perch we target? Normally 8″ to 11″ with many jumbos ranging up to a pound and a half when you are on a large school. When you find a school in a feeding frenzy they take the bare bibbit fished near the bottom really well. When the bite is on quite a few per minute can be caught because the bibbits are barbless and dunking the fish in a bucket or on the ice releases them. Great for fishing with gloves on a cold day because you don’t have to handle the fish. That style of fishing is common on the northern end of Champlain.
Wrapping it up
Hope this helps you all catch bigger fish out on the ice
- Big perch roam the mud flats and sometimes the deep flats
- Make sure you have a lake map to quickly find these areas.
- Move around! You want to be able to move a lot to find where the schools are located.
Want One Last Ice Fishing Secret?
It is fishing into the darkness. When the sun sets and you are on the mud flats you will find some of the best fishing of the day (or should i say night 🙂 ).
At night fish are just as active and they are easier to lure, especially if you are using the LDO 10 & 20 green led fishing lights. The lights draw in the bait which draws in the big fish!
Hope this helps! Comment below if you have any advice you want to share!