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Post Info TOPIC: Let's go perchin'!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Let's go perchin'!!!!!!!!!!!!


If you're new to late ice perch fishing, I recommend in the winter, smaller lines are less visible. (2# to 6# test) Also, they allow for a truer depth if using bobber than a thicker stiffer line, allow the jig to act more naturally, and also allow the fish to "inhale" the bait easier. Remember: With perch, lighter is always better.

I recommend an 18" to 36" ultra light (noodle) rod. Another option is to buy a stiffer ice rod and put a "spring" bobber on the tip. As for the rod, try to find one with larger guides. The real small guides found on some ice fishing rods are great in a heated house, but freeze up in the colder weather if fished outside. The trick is to find a rod with a very light tip and some backbone half way down. This allows a fish to bite with little tension while giving the angler the backbone needed for a good hookset.

Most anglers will typically use 1/8th to 1/32 oz jigs when ice fishing for perch. These are then tipped bait and fished with a slip bobber. Most local anglers also use spoons or other ice jigs such as Kastmasters, Casada's, Ripple Tails, Ivan Slammers, Jigging Raps, & Rattle Snakies. For perch, you can modify all of the above hooks. Anglers remove the treble hook from these. They will then tie on about a 3 to 6 inch piece of fishing line and then a small treble hook. (Stinger hook)

Most perch anglers consider this one of the most important tools of any ice fisherman. When it comes to ice fishing electronics, let me recommend the Marcum, Vexilar and Zercom units. If we had to choose, I'd probably give the Vexilar a bit of an edge. (Although the Marcum has come a long way in the last few years.) This three color system and excellent bottom/hook separation put this unit above the rest. A depth finder allows two main things. First and foremost, it allows the angler to know if fish are present and to what degree. Secondly, it helps the angler concentrate on their hook when fish are present and figure out patterns to get them to bite. When using the Vexilar unit, set the sensitivity so it can just pick up your small jig. The green color indicates a weaker signal. Yellow color is a medium signal. And, red indicates a stronger signal. By setting the sensitivity to show the hook/bait green, if the signal then turns yellow or red, a fish is probably checking it out. (There just isn't enough to be said on the importance of these units for jigging.) 

When ice fishing, an angler is often out in the middle of a large, flat, span of ice. GPS systems allow angler to find their old hot spot, depth, breaks, rocks, or other structure with a minimum of drilling with their auger. Before GPS systems, anglers often had to guess and drill until they got to their spot. Now, once in the GPS, anglers can return to the coordinates they are looking for and be quite close to the spot. Most GPS systems ultimately do the same thing and as such don't recommend any one brand (Lowrance and Garmin both have good systems). However, we do recommend a "map" chip. Especially the new models that allow an angler to load maps from a CD via their personal pc. With Mille Lacs Lake being like a big dish, these map units allow anglers to find old spots, breaks, rockpiles, and transition areas, etc. Considering how fish relate to structure, these units can be extremely helpful.

The recommended baits for perch are small minnows, waxworms, spikes, helgamites, mousies, & eurolarvae. With minnow, most angler will use only the head if they are working with a jig such as a Buckshot, Kastmaster or Rattle Snakie that has a drop line. Minnesota doesn't allow the use of perch eyes, but when fish are biting on them they are often the choice bait. Perch eyes are typically quite tough and don't require the constant re-baiting experienced by most of the live baits. (Too bad we aren't supposed to use them.)

When the perch are bitin' it's about as much fun you can have on the ice.........



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