With the temperature dropping and the days getting shorter, it's time to crack out the light lure rod in search of Perch! Winter Perch fishing can be hit or miss, depending on what you use of course. So to help you, we're going to give you a run down on you can improve your chances of catching a few good Perch this Winter.
Choosing the Right Colour
Before you even hit the water, it's recommended that you have a healthy variety of colours in your arsenal. There's no right or wrong colours of course, but the way you choose your lure colour on the day, should be based on the temperature of the water and the overall clarity. Here's a good recommendation for selecting colours and these also apply to likes of Crankbaits, Jerkbaits and Shads:
Autumn clear waters: Bright colours, vibrant and striking, allowing for easy detection. Colours such as: Firetiger or Red Headlight
Autumn coloured waters: Dark colours, producing strong silhouettes in the murky waters. Colours such as: Motoroil or Glitterbug
Winter clear waters: Bright colours with more realistic patterns. Colours such as: Roach or Shad Minnow
Winter coloured waters: Dark colours again, producing strong silhouettes in murky water. Colours like: Dirty Roach or even Dark Perch
Now that you have understanding of the colours you might need, it's time to look at all the available options you have when it comes to lures and there are a few to say the least! Let's start with the most common lure that we see anglers using: The Shad.
Shads are fantastic soft lures and they come in a variety of sizes, models and colours. There are a variety of soft lures available out there such as Creature Baits, Swimbaits and more, but shads will be your go-to lures, especially if there's activity on the water: Fry darting about avoiding predators. The best part about shads is that you can rig them in a variety of ways! You can use the traditional jighead method, feeding the hook through the nose of the shad and jigging it across the bottom or you can go more elaborate and try a Cheb rig, this essentially a weedless setup and allows you to fish into those weed beds where fish can be waiting!
One important factor to shads, is their size. Typically between October and November you can use lures between 6-9cm, but as you approach late November - Early December, you want to downsize to roughly 4cm. The reason for this is due to how cold the water temperature will be. This cold snap will make the perch a little less active and they'll tend to hug the bottom. So using a smaller lure, jigging it across the bottom can be incredibly productive, especially if you find a shoal of Perch grouped up around structure.
One particular style of shad we recommend is the Fox Rage Micro lures! These 4cm/5cm Micro lures come in an assortment of colours and are just the thing you need to catch those Perch this Winter! The Micro Spikey Fry Shads are one of the favourites!
Cranks / Plugs
Next we'll talk about Crankbaits or Plugs! These small hard lures are a favourite amongst many Predator anglers, but when it comes to Perch, they love them as well. The ideal size for crankbaits is between 6-9cm and the ideal model is one with a stumpy body that produces a really fast wiggling action. As well as Cranks/Plugs, there are also Jerkbaits and Swimbaits! Jerkbaits are lipless hardlures like the cranks, but the action of these lures is created by you working the rod and reel! Swimbaits can be lipped or lipless lures, but they all feature some sort of jointed construction, this allows for some diversity in action! For some reason, either because these lures imitate a fleeing minnow or something else, the action drives Perch crazy and they instinctually chase and attack! Because Perch will be somewhat spread out in the Winter, Crankbaits or Plugs are excellent for detecting them, pulling them quickly through swims.
We have a huge assortment of Crankbaits at FishingMegaStore and you can view all of them on our website. However, we recommend the range of Salmo Hornet Crankbaits! these crankbaits range from 2.5-9cm and come in an excellent range of colours, including Sinking and Floating models.
For the next lot we will be talking about both a bait and a technique because if these two are paired together, you will be catching Perch everywhere. first we'll talk about the bait: Creature Baits. Creatures baits are similar to shads in that they are made soft and can be rigged in various ways. the difference is that they don't have tails, like paddle or T-tails. Instead, you rig these in a way that allows them to jig along the bottom and allowing the appendages that they feature, to create the "swimming" action.
One of the current favourite creature baits is the Molix Freaky Flex! The special appendages create micro-vibrations during the swimming action which, combined with the floating characteristics of the material, guarantee a stand-up effect of the bait while it is jumping off the bottom!
We also got to chat to Jordan Ackers from Molix who has been out lately catching Perch on the Freaky Flex as well as other Creature Baits and using other techniques to amplify his chances to catching more!
The Dropshot Rig
The paired rig is called the Dropshot rig! If you don't know about this technique, you must give it a go because it can help with targeting Perch laying close to the bottom of a canal, river or loch. Instead of making the Perch chase the lure, the dropshot rig allows you to present the lure to the Perch without much effort. To set up a dropshot rig, all you need is some fluorocarbon, a nice wide gaped hook and a dropshot weight. Below is a diagram on how to create the rig:
If you don't want to go through the process of creating these rigs, then we have something to help you out! Ready made drop shot rigs from Savage Gear! These rigs are similar to the ones you can create but you get everything you need in one neat package!
Trotting a Worm
Finally, it's only right that we finish off with one of the most used techniques when fishing for Perch in the Winter. Dangling a worm or maggot. This doesn't use any lure or fancy rig, this is a simple, straightforward way to catch Perch that are sitting waiting on a meal drifting by their faces. Using a loaded waggler float, followed by a few split shot to keep the line straight in the water and ending with a small hook loaded with a wriggling worm. This may not be lure fishing, but it's a method anglers young and old have been enjoying for many years and with great success.
We hope that this information has been helpful in getting you sorted for the Winter. Remember we stock everything that we mentioned on this post, the lures, the terminal tackle and baits! Also note that FishingMegaStore runs a Fish of the Week competition, so get out there catching those perch and enter your catch into the competition, you could win £150 worth of Diawa Gear! Good Luck!
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