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.