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Catching Jumbo Yellow Perch - By: Capt. Neil Renouf - Feb. 2004
If you live near Lake Moomaw or any of the tidal rivers and creeks of
Virginia there is no reason to have cabin fever. Ring perch are tasty, hard
fighting and even with possible water temps in the low 30's eager to eat
during their spawning season in February/March. Livebait tactics and
techniques vary a little between lakes and rivers, however the top artificial
bait remains the same. Vertical jigging blade baits puts quality fish in the
boat, day after day during the colder months, period! I prefer a 1/4 oz. gold
Silver Buddy /Riverside Ripper on six/eight pound Berkley XL using a graphite rod to feel the short vibrations as I pull and drop the lure back to the bottom (using this method we have caught perch up to 2lbs 2oz.). In shallow water (eight feet or less) use one or two inch tubes on a1/32 head and six pound Fireline. Tubes should be a mix of vibrant colors (chartruese,orange, pearl, yellow etc.).

Yellow perch spend most of their time on the bottom, if you are fishing
more than three feet off the bottom your chances start dwindling to fill your
cooler, you may still catch fish, but you are not in the concentration of the
school. Perch are primarily sight feeders, eating juvenile bluegill, threadfin
shad, alewives, grass shrimp and small crayfish and unlike the closely related
walleye, perch do not feed at night.**Insert pic2** Good electronics is
important, using my Lowrance X15MT they will mark as short thin lines,
generally no more than 1/2 foot from the bottom. A rule of thumb for any
body of water- big perch like deep water, obviously deep is relative to where
you fish. Productive water depths at Moomaw usually start at 18 feet and
for places like the Chickahominy river eight-12 feet.

The state record up to this printing is 2lbs7oz. caught at Lake Moomaw. It should also be noted that the prior state record was also from Moomaw. I pulled a page from my fishing log of the best yellow perch day last year on the lake-March 28th. Sunny, water temp 52 degrees, caught 21 citations in
18 foot up to 1lb.8z. stopped catching, moved and started fishing in 30 foot, landed four more citations up to 1lb.14 ozs Most fish were caught on live
alewives fished on downlines. A downline simply consists of ten pound XL line,
enough pinch on weight to keep straight down and a #6 plain eagle claw hook,
tipped with med. minnow/alewive. For a trophy yellow perch to qualify as a
state citation, it must measure 12" or longer and have a certified weight of
at least 1lb. 4ozs.


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