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Winter perch in the mud


2-08


In late February, a few more people have started chasing perch in anticipation of the traditionally-good "late season bite". It may still be a touch early, but a few decent ones are beginning to show up around then. Most of these fish are "mud-related" - I don't necessarily mean that they're found on the mid-lake mud flats (although some are), rather around the soft, silty bottom adjacent to many of the deep rock points and gravel bars. These silty transition areas often hold bugs - specifically immature mayfly waiting for that bright June day when they can become pests. The perch will root around in these areas and pick the bugs out of the silt/mud. So what? When an area holds feeding fish, that's where you want to be!. Drop a 1/8 to 1/4 ounce jigging spoon (Hawger Spoon, #3 Pimple, Gem Spoon) into the silt and disrupt the bottom a little - as you SLOWLY lift your presentation through the stirred-up silt, you'll often see a "mark" on your flasher. Continue to lift slowly, staying above the mark. At some point the fish will either slam your bait or retreat back toward the bottom. A "single" mark will often lead to better results than a bunch of thin, "flashy" marks. Repeat this until you find the trigger - sometimes it's a faster lift, other times a violent rip part way up. You'll still need to move around to get on the active fish. This approach will often work better with waxies, Eurolarva or shrimp vs. minnows.

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