5 tips for catching jumbo perch throughout the open-water season



The hardest part about catching open-water perch is finding them. During the open-water season, they travel in schools, roaming the lake in search of prime feeding spots. And once they find a suitable location, they congregate and put on the feedbag.


The key to finding these groups of feeding perch is to focus on structure, where they can ambush prey and feed aggressively while staying protected from larger predators. Some of the best open-water perch structures include rock piles, submerged weed beds and transitional areas where rock meets mud or gravel meets sand. Man-made structures, including bridge pilings, dock legs and riprap breakwater walls, are also perch magnets. Keep in mind that perch inhabit a wide range of depths, so productive structures can be found in anywhere from five to 30-plus feet of water.

Perch love to gobble crayfish on rocky bottoms

Also target crayfish beds, which are among my most productive open-water perch spots. These beds are typically found on rocky bottoms or rock piles; from my time on the water, I’ve learned that the best ones are on the north side of a lake. During the late morning and early afternoon, the sun shines full force on these areas, causing small aquatic creatures to become active. That triggers the crayfish into action, in turn luring in the perch.