Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The White Perch Option

I'm still fishing with all this ice and snow around.  With few stripers in my winter spots, I have turned my attention to white perch. 
These are a mystery fish around here, but they can suddenly appear in places in good numbers.  The most likely spots to find them are in brackish river systems that enter estuaries and bays.  Both the east side of the Bay as well as the upper Bay and even the oceanfront are loaded with places that fit that description.They often hang out in the very same places where holdover stripers are found.
Before catching any, you have to find them as they often travel in schools in early winter looking for food. Once you find them, you'll quickly discover that they will aggressively take small lures and jigs fished on or near the bottom.  I like to either use small bucktail jigs (1/4 or 1/8 oz.) or small jigheads spiced with plastic curly tails (see photo).
These fish generally run from 8 to 12 inches, although I have landed some real big ones in the past that have gone 14-15 inches.  Light tackle is ideally suited to fishing for these.White perch are just one more options for open water winter fishing here in RI.