The perch were hot yesterday! I took a buddy of mine out on his second ever ice fishing trip (we got skunked the last time) to a spot that I love to fish in the summer for huge numbers of nice bluegills. What I had heard at the bait shop and read online suggested that we should try fishing tight to weed edges in 7-10 feet of water. We drilled a bunch of holes (maybe a dozen, but through 3 feet of ice, it felt like more) trying to find our target depth and structure, but we eventually settled over a mud bottom in 14 feet of water.
We were still drilling holes and setting up the Eskimo when I dropped a crappie minnow on a plain hook under a bobber down one of the holes, and it was instant perch action. We popped a few more holes around it and set up on them. It took a little bit to refine our presentation on the active rods while the set lines got consistent action. The hot item ended up being a 1/8oz Custom Jigs & Spins Slender Spoon in silver with blue or chartreuse tape (those were the only ones in my tackle box; tape color probably didn’t matter) tipped with a crappie minnow head. I was surprised that the perch were uninterested in wax worms.
Fishing action was as you would expect with perch. For a few minutes it would be one after another with the fish being just as aggressive as they could be. Then for 5-10 minutes, the school would vanish and there would be nothing, but when they came back it was like they never left. Occasionally a big mark would come in on my MarCum a couple feet off the bottom and the perch would vanish. I’m guessing this was a pike looking for a nice meal. I’ll admit, I’m kind of bummed it didn’t hit my slender spoon. That would have been a blast on panfish tackle.
A little over a dozen perch ended up making a nice dinner for the family. Everyone enjoyed the fresh fish which made all the work worth it. I love taking new anglers out on the water for the first time and seeing the look on their face when they pull their first fish up the hole.