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Cudz

Why perch will hit big lures

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I catch tons of perch fishing for smallies. I catch them on almost any lure I throw. I am (as many of your are as well) always amazed at how big a lure they will actually hit. So I started thinking (that is the second time I spelled thinking as thingking); why would a 5" fish hit a 4.5"-5" jerkbait? I started watching closely. Simcoe is very clear water so I watch what they are doing. The perch follow the lure in packs of 5-20 fish sometimes. As soon as you stop the bait they at least 2 will try and take a swipe at it. Now I am not saying that the fish 'hunt in packs' but what i think they do is realize that your bait is not a healthy minnow and therefore will be an easy target as food. The minnow immitation looks like a fish BUT there are some hooks hanging off it. These hooks are what the perch actually hit. That is right. I have been watching it very closely lately and the perch almost NEVER HIT THE LURE. They specifically single out the hook and take a swipe at it. That goes for smaller crankbaits as well. They actually hit the trebble hooks almost 100% of the time.

I am not sure what they think but I have a few theories.

 

Theory 1: They hit the hooks because the hooks look like some food hanging out of a fish's mouth and the perch can just pick it off easily.

 

Theory 2: The lure is an injured fish and the hook is perhaps the reason it is injured, like entrails hanging out of a fish.

 

Theory 3: Maybe they do hunt in packs a little more than we think and if one fish can start biting pieces (hooks) off an injured bait fish then the whole pack can help take the fish down no matter what the size (within reason) a la pirahna style. lol. I may be grasping a bit.

 

My theories may be flawed indeed but I do know that perch target the hook almost all the time when caught on cranks and jerkbaits.

Edited by Cudz

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Those are indeed some interesting theories. I dont know much about fish behaviour or about perch. But maybe they are swiping at the hooks just out of sheer interest. The hook itself is most likely something novel that they have never encountered before, and so they swipe at it in an attempt to investigate it further. Just raw animal instinct to investigate something that is new. I guess they get overly curious and you know the saying....curisoity killed the cat....they get hooked!!

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Ive noticed that when I fish with a spinner bait that I get tonnes of blue gills and perch trying to get the skirt.

 

They will nip at the ends of the skirt hahah I had a couple nice 8-10" perch chasing down my spinnerbait yesterday but I couldnt get them to commit ! hahah

 

I think the hunting like pirahnas is a good guess.... next thing you know, you'll have to watch where you put your toes in the water..... DEADLY PERCH !

Edited by Lunker777

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Makes sense; I was beginning to think that they were Kamikaze fish making a suicide attack?

Thanks for a feasible explanation.

 

Dan.

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Not just perch. I caught a little bitty rock bass in the slop on a Yum frog (toad - whatever) and he had absolutely inhaled the lure feet first. The frog's nose was at the little guy's lip and as I said to Garry after "The feet had to be hanging out his butt." That's some serious attitude going on.

 

JF

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I've landed some jumbos on 1/4oz spinnerbaits. It's quite funny to me and I don't really know how such a big hook could get inhaled by a perch. It's entertaining none the less.

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It could be a hunting territory type deal. Perch have found a viable feeding ground and attack your lure thinking it's another fish moving in on their dinner.

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The hooks are smaller than the rest of the bait, easier ( for the the fish ) to chow down on ( because its smaller, thinner, etc. ).

 

That piranha for example... you put a live mouse in the tank with a school of hungry piranha's, they will grab the arms, legs, tail first most of the time. Why? Easier to fit in their mouths.

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Rich and Dozer both have good theories.

 

I think they just like shiny objects, plain and simple. I have seen them go after split shot and swivels and clips. As long as there is something that can catch their eye then they think hmm, lets get a taste of that, after all they haven't hands like we do so they can't play touchy feely first.

 

I heard a comedian comment about how tropical fish in a tank will inhale the turd dropped from a fish above, spit it out , swim away, come back and do it all over again, same turd, same fish, same fish tank. Witnessed them do that too when I raised tropical fish. Stupid fish, that's maybe the answer?

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I thought it was because they were territorial fish so my lure was intruding on their property. Also maybe they realize that my lure is trying to attract pike and bass (vibration, sound, flashing) so the perch don't like the extra attention being drawn to the perch. Kind of like if your platoon is hiding and one guy stands up waving his arms, yelling and shooting off flares, easy for the enemy to spot them now.

Edited by Syn

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Guest gbfisher

once in a while everything gets real hungry....... :)

Edited by gbfisher

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Small perch are good at frazzling a big worm. They grab on and thrash bits off. Going after an "injured" lure and striking the hooks is probably the same kind of reaction.

 

"Let's see if I can tear off an edible piece!" :D

Edited by Jocko

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I have seen perch take minnows about 2/3 even 3/4 of their own length. I have noticed that the smaller perch hit the minnow really hard before taking into their mouth. I think this is to "stun" the minnow so they can gobble it down with more ease. What really is interesting is seeing a 6 inch perch with a 4 inch goby half disolved in it's mouth and it is eating other minnows around it because it is starving?

 

Whenever I catch at small perch on a large minnow I am amazed at the tenacity of them.... I mean sometimes it would be the equivalent of me sitting down and eating a whole side of beef in one sitting LOL.

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Nice theories, I have one as well. The hook shines and is more reflective than the body of the bait, which imitates the silver glitter shine of a minnow. This is what they are familiar with (silver shine) and is the reason the will hit it first.

 

I like GCD's theory more though.

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Nice theories, I have one as well. The hook shines and is more reflective than the body of the bait, which imitates the silver glitter shine of a minnow. This is what they are familiar with (silver shine) and is the reason the will hit it first.

 

I like GCD's theory more though.

Most of my lures have black hooks and many have red as well.

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Most of my lures have black hooks and many have red as well.

 

Interesting, maybe it has to do with the fact that they are the moving parts of the lure?

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Interesting, maybe it has to do with the fact that they are the moving parts of the lure?

moving / dangling.

I just find it interesting that for the most part the perch do not even attempt to strike the body of the lure but will actually focus on the hooks only.

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Maybe we are giving the perch too much credit....

 

OHHHH SHINY HOOK!

 

end of story

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Well, sure, its curiousity if you break it down to its simplest form.

 

Perch thaught process = What is that? Can I eat it? What part can I rip off?

 

...and the only reason why you see sometimes 20 fish chasing it is because each fishes movement entices the neighbouring fish to beat the other one too it ( the moving bait ), then who ever has the "biggest set" attacks first... they wait for another to bite first, then attack.

 

I'm not saying this is what happens with perch, but I've worked with fish for over 5 years now and that the pattern I've noticed from feirce predatory fish, to big fat nearly 3 feet long koi, and I've noticed this with all fish.

 

You should snorkel with a bunch of perch, really fun, bring some worms and you'll have a blast. I've fed them by hand before.

 

It can be anything, shiny or not.

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