Louisiana Sportsman
Trent_BuxtonProfile Photo
Freshwater Fishing in Louisiana




White Perch Fishing

Well guys I havent been to the site much latley mut have received about 40 emails in the past few weeks about my white perch set ups and tactics. So I thought Id post this agian to help you guys out....good luck.

I have had different type ‘honey”hole brush piles up here on Toledo for 30 years and have caught every kind of fish on them. There is a secret to it I have figured out through trial and error with every different type of brush you can think of. Once you establish a habitat like this its there for life with almost no maintenance. Start by finding an area in 15 to 30 feet of water near a creek or drop off not necessarily on the edge of it… just close. Being close to deeper water gives the fish a sense of safety that they have deep water to retreat to. You need an area about 60ft to 80ft. in diameter of good bottom with not a lot of snags or brush.

Start with three to six plastic drums depending on how many you want to use. For this were going to say six for a big area, take two barrels and cut nickel to quarter size holes in them all over the sides and top. Make them look like Swiss cheese. Poor about two or three gallon of cement in the bottom of all six barrels and let it set up hard. The cement helps them sink and stay on bottom. Place these two barrels on the bottom on the outer edges of the plot. This gives your small bait fish, grass shrimp, and hatchlings plenty of safe haven. Take two more barrels and cut holes the same way in it but this time the size of the top of a coffee cup or say 2 to 3in. across… place them on opposite side from the other two barrel's in the plot. These two barrel's will provide a place for the older hatchlings, small bream, and other bait fish. Take the last two and cut large 5 and 6 inch holes in it and place one on opposite end from each other. This will provide cover as they get larger.

Take about 10 to 15 five gallon buckets cut in half and fill the bottom half...half way with gravel. Place them in groups of 5 to 7 fairly close together in two different areas well away from each other. This makes a great place for your bluegill and goggle eye to start beds. Which in the long run they will move gravel out of buckets and make there own beds around yours to form huge beds sometime 100ft across.

Now in the middle of all this that you have been placing around perimeter of your plot you want to put several PVC trees various heights. Here’s how you make them. Take a gallon bucket and stand a 3” piece of PVC pipe upright in it with cement in the bucket till it hardens. PVC can be any length your comfortable with from 4 to 12 ft tall depending on the depth of the water your putting it in. After cement has dried, drill holes in it across from one another to slide ½” or 1”PVC horizontally in through the pipe till it stick out equally with about 3 to 4 feet sticking out each side. Do this all up and down the 3in. PVC till it looks like a tree. After you have made the trees, place them all throughout the middle of the plot standing vertical like trees. If you let them down preety fast the bucket of cement will do down into the silt and mud and help them stay standing vertical. White Perch love these trees. They stage at diff depths around them. They spawn in and around them and it provides a natural forage for them.

The key to keeping large amounts of white perch in an area for a long period of time is easy; FOOD, SHELTER, and a place to SPAWN. You just made all three and don’t know it yet. The one key I have learned in 30 years of white perch fishing is a small word that means a lot......ALGAE. If you have a good supply of algae you have fish year round. White perch love grass shrimp, small minnows, photoplankton and small creatures that all feed on algae. You just placed all kinds of plastic drums, buckets, and PVC trees that don’t ever break down in nature and do nothing for the rest of your life but serve as a home for algae to grow forever and as thick as hair. Which in turn bring plankton, grass shrimp, and minnows forever.....and you just gave all off those creatures safe havens in the drums to reproduce. You’ll have white perch and other fish there forever. In time you’ll fish the outskirts around all of this habitat for huge Bass, nice Catfish, and Bream bigger than your hand. You never have to worry about re-baiting a hole or brushing it up. You’re done for life. In less than a month you’re catching limits with little effort. The hardest thing to do is keep people from seeing you on your spot from now on.

There are two more advantages. One is PVC doesn’t bounce back on most modern sonar so people can’t see it as readily as with the older type depth finders. Second you’ll never get your hook hung up again…it just slides right off of PVC. I can’t tell you how many boxes of hook and bags of sinkers I have lost on Christmas tree, bamboo, and regular brush piles. I do occasionally drop a sack of range cubes,cotton seed cake, or dog food into my habitat just to feed them and attract some fresh fish into the area but I have noticed it isn’t necessary.
February 06, 2009 at 7:17pm
YoungTravProfile Photo
Posted February 06, 2009 at 8:21pm
Old timer

I cant wait till they get on the beds.. sooooo sweet

•   View Reports by YoungTrav
super  duckProfile Photo
Posted February 06, 2009 at 10:30pm

how do you get the buckets of gravel down will they just sink and remain upright or do you use a rope or something

•   View Reports by super duck
Trent_BuxtonProfile Photo
Posted February 06, 2009 at 10:48pm

use long rope....do not tie it to bucket....just loop it through handle....ease it down to bottom let go of one end of rope and pull it all through handle back to you...or use dive gear and place them just exactly where you want them...

•   View Reports by Trent_Buxton
super  duckProfile Photo
Posted February 07, 2009 at 8:09am

thanks i am trying to build a bed but in your article you said cut the gravel buckets in half. all the 5 gallon buckets i have the handles at the top half, was why i am asking how to lower it

•   View Reports by super duck

JRProfile Photo
Posted February 07, 2009 at 11:49am

Excellent, excellent article

•   View Reports by JR
huntin foolProfile Photo
Posted February 07, 2009 at 11:57am

do those buckets with pebbles do they work good on the river??

•   View Reports by huntin fool
Trent_BuxtonProfile Photo
Posted February 07, 2009 at 8:12pm

never had anyone try in river an report back but worth a shot. Works everywhere else even in private ponds

•   View Reports by Trent_Buxton
huntin foolProfile Photo
Posted February 07, 2009 at 8:44pm
are you a guide?

are you a guide out on toleda?

thanks for the tips aswell

•   View Reports by huntin fool
Trent_BuxtonProfile Photo
Posted February 07, 2009 at 8:49pm

Im a guide for the grand kids thats about it. I help out and show some people a few places from time to time but to old to try and take people on a guided trip.

•   View Reports by Trent_Buxton

huntin foolProfile Photo
Posted February 07, 2009 at 8:51pm

you know anyone up there by the name of Jack Adams? he is a guide and a friend of my fathers from what my dad says he is a very good perch guide and bass guide

•   View Reports by huntin fool
Trent_BuxtonProfile Photo
Posted February 07, 2009 at 8:54pm

Cant say that I do...what area of the Lake he guide from. Its a big lake you know.

•   View Reports by Trent_Buxton
huntin foolProfile Photo
Posted February 07, 2009 at 8:55pm

im not exactly sure what part im sorry.

we went last year around march in a skeeter bass boat weather turned bad quick started taking waves over the front while runining so we pulled over in a cove. and trailered eventually talk about cold!

caught nice bass tho.

•   View Reports by huntin fool
That_just_HAPPENEDProfile Photo
Posted February 08, 2009 at 8:58pm

I can attest to this...IT WORKS...I have built some and have fished with OT on a couple of his and its insane the fish you catch around these things.

•   View Reports by That_just_HAPPENED
S a l t yProfile Photo
Posted February 08, 2009 at 9:15pm
Uh Oh!

Here we go agin......

•   View Reports by S a l t y

stumpjunper85Profile Photo
Posted February 08, 2009 at 9:29pm

I agree with that. Also we have problems by our camp with old trot lines and people leaving catfish cans in the lake. People litter.

•   View Reports by stumpjunper85
That_just_HAPPENEDProfile Photo
Posted February 08, 2009 at 9:57pm

Dont know about a permit or anything but the LDWF are very aware that I put them in the lake as well as OT and others. As I am very well aware that the LDWF also make them and put them in the lake and have GPS markers on them for the public to fish. Its common place to see folks making and sinking them with help from the LDWF. Makes great artifical habitat and is encouraged.

•   View Reports by That_just_HAPPENED
S a l t yProfile Photo
Posted February 08, 2009 at 10:25pm

OK Dubya, that settles it. :)

•   View Reports by S a l t y
iron manProfile Photo
Posted February 08, 2009 at 10:52pm
good idea

one my buddies is workin on his right now, hes at the gravel beddin stage in a 100yard x 100 yard pond. i think his set up is a lil different though. i hear great things from other people.

•   View Reports by iron man
catfish369Profile Photo
Posted February 09, 2009 at 5:47am
This is great info

This old man knows what he is talking about so pay attention. Also I agree with old timer. It provides habitat for the fish to thrive, logs don't last forever but that plastic will.

•   View Reports by catfish369

skeeterkillerProfile Photo
Posted February 11, 2009 at 8:59pm

Not to be a smart azz or anything, but the plastic barrel
in the picture has white paint smeared on it. Is color something important or not, just curious. I have been building artficial reefs/habitat for several years now but I think this is a great concept. Thanks for sharing Old Timer, great post.

•   View Reports by skeeterkiller
elle-esse-eweProfile Photo
Posted February 11, 2009 at 9:18pm

I read old timers big article in LSM last year and I think the white paint helps to speed up the process of algae growth. Most barrelss are dark and it take longer for algae to get started growing on it. It makes the real small minnows show up faster to feed on it and kicks starts the food chain in your reef habitat. Something like that maybe he can straighten out what i missed. But thats the basic concept

•   View Reports by elle-esse-ewe
SilverHunterProfile Photo
Posted February 11, 2009 at 9:25pm
Don't forget

Be sure to use lead paint and cotton poison drums.

•   View Reports by SilverHunter
elle-esse-eweProfile Photo
Posted February 11, 2009 at 9:54pm

Jeremey W read down to TJH comment....its legal and the LWDF are aware, help build and do the same. What par say is so wrong with it??? How is it pollution??? arent bouys and boat lane markers made from PVC that are put out by authorities????

•   View Reports by elle-esse-ewe
spencelsuProfile Photo
Posted February 11, 2009 at 10:25pm
what does your water run through

hey jermy what does your water run through to your house and your sewage is buried in the earth. so whats the big deal I get your point on litter but man. dontcha think thats a little out there. What about off the coast of florida where they sink those ship for artifcal reef. do you think that is pollution.

•   View Reports by spencelsu

iron manProfile Photo
Posted February 11, 2009 at 10:35pm
the easy way

the easy way to put holes in your barrel is.....screw the drill, break out the 12 gauge slugs!

•   View Reports by iron man
crabbing swlaProfile Photo
Posted February 12, 2009 at 2:54am

it is illegal to introduce any plastic items into our waterways

•   View Reports by crabbing swla
SilverHunterProfile Photo
Posted February 12, 2009 at 6:26am
Read the law

Go to www.municode.com. Read the law! It's plain english. It is illegal to dump debris in LA waterways no matter who you are.

•   View Reports by SilverHunter
cullinProfile Photo
Posted February 12, 2009 at 6:33am


Wouldn't this be the same thing?

•   View Reports by cullin
rednckroosterProfile Photo
Posted February 12, 2009 at 6:53am

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries does this same thing every year on teledo bend.

•   View Reports by rednckrooster

  CountryProfile Photo
Posted February 12, 2009 at 7:05am

The wildlife and fisheries proudly build reefs out of old plastic pallets. They ask for your help when they do it.
I think you guys need to let it rest. and try to re educate the jack o laterns that through garbage, their cans, ice bags, and anything else in the water. Old Timer is not dumping garbage. Do you fellas even fish. Who are yall with? Greenpeace or Peta? Im with PETA myself. People Enjoying Tasty Animals.

Secondly, Old Timer is not advocating dumping or throwing trash. He, through alot of time and effort, has come up with a way to help proliferate the species he wish to chase. It creates an entire eco system for them to flourish.

I spoke with a very good friend of mine who has been with Wildlife and Fisheries for 30+ years. Building structure for sacalait or crappie has been going on for as long as he can remember. He says that even they have built reefs and structure using plastic. Even showing how to do them. The long term benefits of using the plastic instead of tree top and limbs. That this is far superior and not having the need to "re-do" it every few years. He also stated he doesn't know of anyone that has built a structure like this or with the pallets that wildlife and fisheries uses to have been cited or forced to remove them.

If you guys want to worry about trash, go to Dularge.com
Look at the forum and see they are having a Trash Bash coming up soon. They would love to have some serious supporters of your caliber come down and help remove all the Hurricane debris and trash along the bayou and marsh.
I think it is scheduled for April 4th. Quit talking about trash and help pick it up.


•   View Reports by Country
cullinProfile Photo
Posted February 12, 2009 at 7:13am

I bet most of the people on here saying that it is "Litter" are saltwater guys. I don't think they truly understand. Anytime you hire a guide anywhere freshwater for crappie, bass what ever, you will be fishing man made tops/structures.

•   View Reports by cullin
CaptJSProfile Photo
Posted February 12, 2009 at 7:15am
These are the reefs in the lake

http://www.saveourlake.org/pdfs/Final%20Site%20inspect+deploy%20Reefs%20L1,H1,%20H3,%20H4%20and%20N1%20final%206-.pdf Look the same as the ones in TB

•   View Reports by CaptJS
CaptJSProfile Photo
Posted February 12, 2009 at 7:17am
Ok how about this

Put a rope on the barrel and then it would be the same as the million plastic bait buckets people put over every day.

•   View Reports by CaptJS
The SportsmanProfile Photo
Posted February 12, 2009 at 8:51am

I thought it was a great article. I actually saved it in a word document for further use. Thanks OT for the info!

•   View Reports by The Sportsman

Slick_one30Profile Photo
Posted February 12, 2009 at 9:10am
Lake P

Dubya, ya might not want to go fish Lake P with the fellas cause they got them there artificial reefs out there too. Oh and they are made of cement, and we all know how corrosive some of the agents in cement are!!!

•   View Reports by Slick_one30
eman(R)Profile Photo
Posted February 12, 2009 at 5:20pm

There's an artical in the feb La sportsman ( i believe) That talks about LDWF sinking sac a lait attractors
Made from ( GASP ) PVC PIPE!
It is not illegal and is used by most states to build fish attractors.
Now some places do have rules on how much depth you must have between the highest point of the attractor and the surface. But it is legal to use pvc pipe for fish attractors

•   View Reports by eman(R)
skeeterkillerProfile Photo
Posted February 12, 2009 at 6:11pm
Artificial fish condominiums

Gotta luvum. I think the only thing to really worry about is the plastic drums. They must be rinsed or steam cleaned thoroughly to make sure no residue of chemicals exists. The good thing about plastic is it does not absorb any chemicals. For those worried about toxics, there is more pesticide in every treated wood piling around a lake than that.....and two cycle engine oil film on the water from our outboards. Cleaned and built properly, the fish will be hangin out like homies in the hood. If you build it... they will come.

•   View Reports by skeeterkiller
cullinProfile Photo
Posted February 12, 2009 at 6:18pm

You my friend are 100% correct! I never thought of that. Motor oil from outboards and treated lumber to build piers!! Good point!

•   View Reports by cullin
Trent_BuxtonProfile Photo
Posted January 30, 2012 at 2:24pm
back to top

Figured I would bring this back to the top...its been a while and I still get people asking questions and positive results with it

•   View Reports by Trent_Buxton

Trent_BuxtonProfile Photo
Posted January 31, 2012 at 8:57am

one more time for those that emailed me that you cant find it

•   View Reports by Trent_Buxton
woodvillehillsProfile Photo
Posted January 31, 2012 at 3:10pm

about how long does it take for one of these to start holding fish? or should i say how long before you can really start fishing it?

•   View Reports by woodvillehills
Trent_BuxtonProfile Photo
Posted January 31, 2012 at 4:50pm
woodville hills

if you first sink it with some cotton seed cake in the are you can fish it within a week. But id say a solid month before the algea has grown enough to really kick off the food chain process. start now and after the white perch spawn youll be set....

•   View Reports by Trent_Buxton
Trent_BuxtonProfile Photo
Posted March 06, 2012 at 8:40am

bumped back to top for catfish369 and other emails

•   View Reports by Trent_Buxton
AllisonXR-01Profile Photo
Posted March 06, 2012 at 10:34am
Great info Trent !

One thing, actually two,,,, one- can't please everyone, that's for sure by reading the above posts.........two - You did not include the GPS coords to yer honey holes . ! ! ! LOl !

Great information! And thanks for sharing with us.

•   View Reports by AllisonXR-01

Trent_BuxtonProfile Photo
Posted March 06, 2012 at 11:27am

your right you cant please all. but i have several set ups like this in Toledo...kids can catch fish all day and night and thats all that mattera

•   View Reports by Trent_Buxton
papa-pProfile Photo
Posted March 06, 2012 at 11:36am

I can not beleive anyone would compare this to throwing trash in Lake.

•   View Reports by papa-p
Trent_BuxtonProfile Photo
Posted April 25, 2012 at 2:01pm

One more time to the top for the two gentelmen that cant find it.

•   View Reports by Trent_Buxton

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