Slowwwride

White Perch.... what am I doing wrong

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Update.. caught four or five small WP on the shrimp pieces and had a few solid tugs on a jointed Rapala in the fire tiger green/yellow/red color pattern,. At one point my one rod fell over from being tugged on.. I was so excited.... catfish? Holdover bass? Nope driftwood floating down the river and hung up. It was cold. Crazy amount of bird activity going on where I was but I think they were just socializing and hangin' out.

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Thanks for the update Slo, I fish that del. riv. near where ever n.j. and I say bloodworms.My b&t shop doesn't open until late Feb and I don't know anyplace to get them till then.

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If you want white perch drive up to Lake Champlain, which is infested.  There are several videos out there of guys with massive piles of white perch (no limit) caught through the ice.  They are fairly new to the lake, in the last 30 years or so, but have taken over the small fish niche.

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Fish are cold blooded so water temp is their body temp and we can use this to our advantage. Look for calmer waters since fast waters require more energy for the fish to swim in. Right now at our dock I can catch a hundred times as many grass shrimp as I can during the warm months. We have a current at the dock but there are two openings into the channel with one facing west and the other south. So water comes in from two different directions causing the tide to rise and fall but not screaming in either direction. As soon as the waters cool our shrimp population jumps as they come in out of the strong current. In winter fish will always gravitate towards warm water even if it's only a few degrees warmer. Again at our dock there are always minnows to be caught by net or trap year round. When we get a severe cold snap like the one that hits tomorrow they will be gone. Took me a while to figure out where they went and I was surprised when I did locate them. Behind our shop about a hundred yards from our waters is a storm sewer that drains into the back bay. It fills with minnows during the cold snaps as the concrete absorbs warmth from the sunlight and transfers it to the water. 

Find calmer water that is a few degrees warmer and you should find fish.

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Shallow calm waters or flats with dark muddy bottom that get decent sun exposure (as much as u can get in january that is) are where id target. The bait is likely to be in those slightly warmer areas.

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They are a schooling fish and travel as such. When you find one , there are generally more in the vicinity, so it is important to be aware of the conditions, tide stage, depth of water , etc., to be able to predict where and when they will be present in the area that you are regularly fishing. I have fished for an hour or more with no luck on many occasions, and then started to catch them in the same area with increasing success, as they were just arriving there. It seems that you can actually hold them in the area for a while, with your own bait if you fish two rods, but they will eventually move on. Mullica River  and Toms River are both great choices in South Jersey. Sometimes great ice fishing when the Mullica freezes over just off the west side of the GS Pkwy.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Finding bait is a challenge. Overall I was stoked just to pull a few little guys out. River fishing isn’t my forte but I must say the spots I found look good for later on in the year as sort of a back bay affair. I think my technique needs improvement. The high lo rig seemed to drop a lot of fish because  was so late in setting the hook. It’s tough to distinguish between river garbage floating by and real bites. I think the spots I was at had way too much current except for like a 45 minute window when it was slack tide

Edited by Slowwwride

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17 hours ago, buz23 said:

If you want white perch drive up to Lake Champlain, which is infested.  There are several videos out there of guys with massive piles of white perch (no limit) caught through the ice.  They are fairly new to the lake, in the last 30 years or so, but have taken over the small fish niche.

Would love to help cut the population down but I am relegated to nearby waters in Jersey.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Tonorrow looks super frigid but I have the day off. Would love to get out there and try again. Might snag ice floating by

Edited by Slowwwride

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Update, skunked overall today. No takers on bait or lures. Went to one river which was moving 100 mph, so went to another spot which looked good with some current but not so intense and skunk city. Brutal

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