Jumbo perch March tactics
I love targeting jumbo perch in March via spring bobbers
and waxworms. Use a No. 12 ice lure, a panfishing lure, for tougher
bite finicky perch. And don’t be afraid to bring the maggots!
This winter, I’m using a standard minnow head on a small jig or
vertical jigging spoon. I’ll vary the distance we pinch off the
minnow head as a factor on every rebaiting. When using minnow
heads, never use a knife or scissors. Pinch it off. A straight cuts
eliminates entrails (read scent) and decreases the flash factor of
If you anticipate a tougher bite because of weather conditions, use
a dead stick rod with a bobber. Tail-hook your minnow so it’s
struggling and appears injured. This attracts predatory fish
because it looks interesting to fish. This also simply changes from
the all-too-common natural profile to hooking near the tail.
Perch can be similar to walleyes, so it helps to work near the
bottom, say a foot to 18 inches. This will vary a lot for the
simple reason that perch relate to food sources. They can be
anywhere in that entire water column, so if you won’t relent from
your belief in fishing an “arm’s length” off the bottom, and fish
are 8 feet of bottom, you won’t catch them.
My final thought for March is this: Respect limits and don’t
overharvest panfish. Too many guys take panfish for granted this
time of year and think overlimits are OK. I’m hearing a lot of guys
concerned about others taking too many perch, and there’s a lot of
concern about overharvest among the rank and file.
Also, as you pull your fish houses and gear from the ice one last
time, make sure you clean up after yourself. Anything left on the
ice ends up at the bottom of the lake, and that’s terribly