Let's say you’re out jigging with six-inch plastics like BKDs this fall and you see tons of marks just over a shell bottom, but get only short strikes. Finally, you hook a small striper and reel it in… only to discover it’s actually a very large white perch. If you’ve dedicated the day to light tackle jigging for rockfish, maybe it’s time to pull up stakes. But if you want to take home a few of those fine-eating fish for dinner (we say you’re nuts if you don’t - white perch taste great!) it’s time to shift gears for a moment.

white perch caught on a spoon
This little blue and silver spoon did the trick, fooling that white perch.
  1. Replace that jig with a one- to three-ounce jigging spoon about three or four inches long, with a hook of about 2/0. Choose the smallest one that's heavy enough to fish vertically. Blues, greens, silvers, and those three colors combined in any pattern are often top picks. Don’t add bait to the hook in this scenario; you’re looking for a visual reaction strike and bait will only interfere with the spoon’s action.
  2.  “Pound” the spoon on bottom by jigging with very short, quick strokes of just a foot or two, allowing the spoon to tap bottom on the down-swing before beginning the up-swing.
  3. Hits will usually come as the spoon falls, so be on a hair-trigger. If it seems like the spoon touched down too soon, it’s a sure bet one of those fat perch grabbed it and stopped it from sinking all the way – set the hook immediately.