Tactics for catching yellow perch in February can be as complex or as simple as you make ‘em. In the piece-of-cake category, we have fishing bull minnow on a bottom rig. But some anglers prefer to fish artificials-only, and some others may have a tough time procuring a bucket of bull minnow in the dead of winter. When you’ll be fishing artificials for yellow neds during the chill, use these three tactics to boost your catch rate.
- Downsize your rod, reel, and most importantly, line size. Most of the jigs which will prove effective at this time of year, like tubes, darts, and mini-twisters or mini-paddles, are quite small; one-sixteenth of an ounce is not out of line and an eighth of an ounce is on the large side. With eight- or 10-pound test these tiny jigs are tough to feel and tougher to cast. Use four-pound test on an ultralight rig, however, and you’ll be able to cast a country mile and feel for bottom with no problem.
- In tidal creeks with strong currents, consider using a drop-shot rig. This will allow you to continue using light, small offerings, but add just as much weight as you need to maintain contact with the bottom in a current.
- Consider adding some scent to your lure. A dab of Pro-Cure, Dr. Juice, or Gulp! Alive spray won’t necessarily get you more strikes. But when the perch do take a nip, they’ll hold on longer. This gives you an added second or two to react to subtle, hard-to-detect strikes.