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Fishing articles from Walleyes Inc

Too Much for Transition Perch

by Ron Anlauf

By the time January arrives it might be a good idea to get off the walleye wagon (at least part of the time) and start chasing some jumbo perch.   Not just any ‘ol perch though, we’re talking real pole benders.   The kind that can push a scale to a pound or more and are not only great to eat but are downright fun to catch.  Not every lake has ‘em and they’re not everywhere to be found; but they do exist and they can be caught. 
  In Minnesota the big producers of heavy duty jumbos are Winnie, Leech, Mille Lacs and Lake of the Woods.  Of those four; it’s Lake of the Woods that produces some of the largest fish on average while the rest give up more in a lot more areas.   The NW Angle area of Lake of the Woods is where some of the most consistent perch angling takes place on this dynamic border water.  Just about anywhere else and it might be onesie and twosies but at the Angle there’s a chance you can actually catch a limit (if you get on the right spot).  On Mille Lacs, Leech, and Winnie there are tons of perch producing hotspots including shoreline connected break lines and lots of offshore structure like deep gravel humps and mud flats. 
  Whichever lake you head for and whether you’re looking at a shoreline related break or an off shore hump; it’s the transition areas that can hold the lion’s share of giant perch.  That’s where hard bottom changes to soft and there will be no shortage of suitable real-estate.   Professional angler and fulltime guide Tony Roach works the ice harder than anybody I know and shares some of his wisdom to finding transition jumbos: “When perch start setting up on deeper transition areas they can be difficult to find simply because there’s so much of it.  I’ll spread my investigative holes out to maybe fifty yards apart or more and keep moving until I start to see fish.   There’s only so much time and you can’t cover it all so an approach that includes more area is definitely required.  Once fish start to show themselves I’ll dig in and maybe run some holes in a little shallower or a little deeper water until I find heavier concentrations.”   Tony’s approach can mean plenty of moves and quite a few holes drilled before  running down a big school of fish.   That’s the downside; the upside is finding a big school of jumbos and having it all to your lonesome.  

man holding perch

Ron Anlauf knows there’s more where this “transition pe