Hunt for White Perch
One fish that has been on my list of fish to catch has been the “White Perch”. These white perch on Lake Winnipesaukee, get to a rather large size, up to over 3 pounds is possible with many in the 2 to 3-pound range and they are following the smelt schools around. Fishing with someone that understands the lake and the fish’s patterns is a huge plus for getting onto these fish.
When you hook into the bigger fish, they put up a great battle, all the way to the top of the ice. These fish travel in schools and once they come in, you try and keep them there, as it can be fish after fish once that school has been fired up.
Looking for the deeper holes is where to start looking for these fish, as you can catch them from 30 feet down to 50 plus as well. They tend to hang near the bottom and will come up to investigate your bait. If there is several of them, there will be competition between the fish, and this is the flurry you are looking for.
The Clam Blade Spoon tipped with nightcrawlers was the smelt imitator that was working the best and you had to make sure there was enough meat on the hook as well. Also, the Clam Leech Flutter Spoon work very well once these fish were fired up.
These fish chase the smelt and certain locations are key to narrowing down your search. Isolated deep holes, these fish will stay in these holes chasing the bait around them. Inside deep contour turns, the white perch will push the bait into the corner turns and if your setup on them, you will intercept these schools.
Deeper saddles as well, these acts as funnels or highways for the bait to travel and many fish varieties will follow them through these areas. Many of these areas will yield you smallmouth bass as well as Lake Trout, so when setting the hook, you never know what you may be bringing up.
These large lakes can be intimidating at first, where do you start and how long do you stay at one location. Time on the ice is critical and the more time you spend, the better your confidence level will come. These fish are always on the move, run and gun is the name of the game, searching out new locations or just trying to stay ahead of the school.