Where to look for “striped”?
As practice shows, in the reservoirs near Moscow, large perch, weighing up to a kilogram and more, rarely goes into the coastal zone. In the vast lakes and reservoirs, its typical habitats are underwater hillocks, indented heaps along sunken river beds, rocky ridges interspersed with snags, deep-water areas adjacent to the islands. Smaller perch are usually found on overgrown shores bordering deep water. In addition to fish fry (the main food for perch), there are many other food items: various crustaceans, insect larvae, mollusks.
In rivers, it is most appropriate to look for a striped predator in calm pools and in reaches, especially where there are snags and sunken fallen trees, as well as around capes and in overgrown bays. Such a feature has also been noticed: in small ponds and lakes, often visited by fishermen, perch behaves very secretively, practically not coming to the surface, but hunting for small fish in the bottom and middle layers of the water. Where he is little disturbed, he betrays himself with a characteristic fight during the hunt.
Fishing with live bait (fry)
Perch is a predatory fish. But do we always take into account when we hunt for him that he feeds mainly on small fish? In any body of water, it is his usual, most affordable and tasty food. Taking into account this peculiarity of the striped predator, for a long time, both in open water and in winter, fishing with a float rod for small live bait (fry) has been widely practiced. Nowadays, with an abundance of artificial lures that imitate small fish (mini-baits, twisters, plastic fish, wobblers, etc.), at first glance, such fishing can be qualified as a kind of anachronism. Nevertheless, she has many fans among modern fishermen.
Advantage over spinning
As you know, the choice of one or another method of fishing and the reception of presenting the bait is largely determined by the conditions in the place of fishing. In recent years, for example, stepped wiring has been widely advertised among spinners. However, it is only good if you fish in areas of a reservoir with a clean, gristly or sandy bottom. Similar conditions can be found on navigable rivers, backwaters, sand pits. Perch, on the other hand, most often have to be caught among water thickets, in snags and other strong places. Here you can, at best, guide the bait in the upper or middle layers of the water, which is not always successful. And I am sure that any spinning player, having left a dozen expensive baits on underwater snags in the morning, will remember with a kind word the times when, when fishing for perch, he used an ingenious tackle – a float rod with live bait on a hook. I often give preference to live bait, not only when fishing in snagged rivers, but also in reservoirs, where stumps, fallen tree trunks, and shrubs went under the water during flooding of river floodplains. And what “objects” one has to encounter on the old flooded channels. These are bicycles, hoses, chains, wires, car tires, parts from combines and mowers! That is, in the role of underwater “traps” here everything that was once dumped out of unreason into the river, often the only one in the district.
Adapt to circumstances
In addition, we have many reservoirs where perch, due to the current circumstances, is best suited for live bait. It happens that in such bodies of water the neighbors of the striped predator fall into a daze during periods of barking, and the perch, meanwhile, is active. Let me give you an example. Once at the end of August, I gathered at a small paid pond, where, in addition to carp and crucian carp, in recent years perch has multiplied. Taking into account the sharp cold snap and the north wind, just in case, already leaving the house, I put a cage and a lift into my backpack. On the pond, while the crucian and carp anglers were complaining about the bad weather, I caught about three dozen verkhovki near the shore and retired in a narrow bay near the mouth of the stream, where the depth was up to three meters, and in some places snags sticking out of the water. Soon the shores were empty. By 12 o’clock in the afternoon, remaining in splendid isolation, I “groped” the perch’s camp and until the evening, albeit with interruptions, successfully caught it on the verkhovka. I finished fishing when in the coming twilight it was already difficult to distinguish the float. Any novice fisherman can quickly master perch fishing on live bait. But here, too, there are some nuances that are useful to know.
What fish species are best used as perch live bait? First of all, these are verkhovka, gorchak, bipod, minnow, bleak, smelt, small perch and ruff. However, underyearlings of asp, ide, and chub can also get into the lift. They must be carefully released. Do not forget that in the future they can become your worthy trophies. Small perch live bait is usually not prepared for the future, since it is less tenacious than large, pike. When fishing, it is best to store fish in a plastic or metal cage, from time to time refreshing the water. They put live bait on a single hook by the upper lip or nostril, sometimes under the dorsal fin or by the tail with the sting of the hook outward. During periods of perch zhora, when fishing in the current, you can use a dead live bait or its pieces.
author V.A. Kazantsev
Open Water Fishing (Complete Fishing Guide)