Thought I would share some of mine, in the hopes of maybe learning something new from you guys.
Most of my perching gets done on Quinte, with relatively, low pressured fish. But I've had the same sort of stuff work on Simcoe and another small lake I go to occasionally.
Chartreuse and lime green are the 2 most productive colours I find. If you incorporate that with glow or silver and you’re set. Orange is a close second and gold is almost as good as the silver…almost.
Most people use small baits when targeting perch. I have found bigger is better, especially for the jumbos, although I usually start smaller at the beginning. One of my favourite “big” lures it the large buckshot rattle-spoon. The treble is too big for most perch, so I switch it out for one off a Forage Minnow. A little bigger split ring helps them “suck it in” but I don’t think it’s essential at all. I’ll tip it with a minnow head, or a tail. I prefer heads generally.
Same hook strategy for other lures like the do-jigger, sidewinder and pimple have all seen action and landed fish.
When they are being “finicky” I have found scaling up the lure size some days will out fish some of the fineness stuff. Which begs the question are they finicky at all? But that’s a different debate.
When they get finicky, the traditional small pan fish gear like this little jig with a small minnow head can be dynamite. I haven’t had a whole lot of luck with maggots or other artificial products. I find the perch in chasing more often then not want meat.
Those little jigs at the bottom of a set line rig have also iced fish on slow days. I use the head/jig rig as mentioned above then 5-8 inches above it I’ll stick a lively minnow on the line. I have had more success with fake maggots on this set up, then just jigging them.
For the upper hooks on a set line I have tied marabou and a little crystal flash on a hook. I’ve tried it in orange, pink and chartreuse. The chartreuse out fishes the other colours I’ve tired. The perch love it. I’ve also seen some positive results from crappie and brookies on it.
The other set up I like on a set line utilizes a floating jig head. I’ll stick two or three split shot on the line about 3 inches up the line from a floating jig head. Then 5-8 inches above the split shot, a single hook with marabou. It’s good if they are active and you need to get the line down fast, you can just add more weight. I’ve tried the weight, the floating jig, followed by the single hooks, but the floating head at the ends works better. Again, chartreuse or orange for the floating head.
Probably the most important improvement I have ever come across is one of the most simple. Add some small gauge wire on to the rod tip.
It’s A LOT more sensitive than even my ultra light rod and it registers anything that’s going on at the other end. It just bends when you fight the fish and has never caused a tangle yet. It also knocks the water off the line before the guides and I found that I ice up less frequently and when I do its easier to fix.
The weight of pretty much any lure bends it to some degree. This allows you to see if a fish picks up the bait but doesn’t pull. It’s also pretty useful on the setlines because you can see the minnows flopping around. This applies to more then just perch. Often you will see the minnows get more frantic before a fish hits. It also lets you know when to jiggle the line and wake them up or if you get robbed and didn’t see the hit.
You can go buy specific wire, but the 2nd last string (B string) on an acoustic guitar is pretty much perfect. Wrap it on with some Kevlar string with your bobbin if you’re a fly tier or some 4 or 6lb line works in a pinch. I suppose thread would work as well. Cover in epoxy and go fishing. A little paint is nice and a bead over the spot where you twisted the wire to make the loop will bring the ladies running.
Anyway those are some of the tricks I’ve picked up over the last few years.