This week’s Grand Rapids Ice Fishing Report brought to you by Tom Neustrom, owner of MN Fishing Connections professional fishing guide service. With the colder weather upon us there are positive things to be thankful for. The slush that has formed on the area lakes due to recent snowfall has made travel a bit sketchy. Needed cold weather to seal up the lakes will make travel a lot easier.
Perch fishing has been pretty consistent all season and there probably isn’t a better eating fish available. When anglers come from other states to catch perch it’s because of their fondness for table fare. Years ago in many states Friday night fish fries were dominated by yellow perch. Once found they are not that tough to catch. A soft tip rod similar to the one you would use for crappies that will telegraph the slightest soft bite. Small jigs and spoons with euro larvae, wax worms or a small minnow head will entice the most finicky of perch. Many times when you locate a school of hungry perch you can’t get your bait down fast enough for another bite. Drilling several holes in the same area can help stay on the fish.
Good electronics, and moving around, can be some of the best advice needed. Depths and locations can vary from lake to lake, but deep or shallow they will bite when you find them. Rock piles, gravel bars, edges of weeds near deep water are all good locations to check. Perch can be located anywhere from 8-40 feet and it depends on food sources to hold fish Most often trying depths of 12-18 feet are good locations to target. There is a preference of rocks or weed beds for their sources of food and these should be first choices Small crayfish, minnows, and bloodworms all make up a perch’s diet. Some of the good perch lakes in the Grand Rapids area are Big Winnie, Bowstring, Pokegama, Cutfoot, and Round.
Stop at one of the area’s bait shops and get a map of the lake you intend to fish. Look for shoreline points, rock piles, and transitional locations that have mud joining gravel or rocks. These are prime spots to search out perch and there may be a few other bonus species to boot. A couple of bait shops to consider are: Thousand Lakes Sporting Goods, L&M Fleet Supply, Ben’s Bait, West End Market Bait Shop, River Rat Trading Post, Fred’s Bait,
Nearly every lake in the Grand Rapids area has a population of perch available to catch. Great action and great eating. What more can you ask.