Since he spends a lot of time chasing white perch on the West Pearl River, Brian Baldwin has compiled a laundry list of tips that helps him put together a nice box of fish just about every time he goes.
In no particular order, here are his best bets for catching West Pearl white perch:
1) Tupelo trees line the West Pearl backwaters, and Baldwin knows white perch stack up around them when they are breaking the current.
However, he said they are just as good when there is hardly any current because of the wide swath of shade they produce.
“On one side or the other you’re going to have a little bit of shade,” Baldwin said. “If that shade is on the down-current side so much the better.”
2) Tie on white perch jigs with a loop knot to get them to lay horizontally in the water like a real minnow would look. They might hang straight when you tie one on, but once in the water it will look much more natural.
“That or some kind of snap,” Baldwin said. “You don’t want your bait vertical in the water, and that’s what you get when you cinch a knot down on the eye. With the loop knot, no matter what happens in the water — I get snagged, I miss one — that jig’s going to lay right regardless.”
3) The deeper the fish the more a jig pole comes into play. When white perch are shallow, Baldwin prefers to cast a jig under a cork so he can stay back off of them because he feels like his trolling motor will spook more fish than he will catch.
The only exception seems to be when the fish lock into the spawn and won’t spook so easily.
4) Use an erratic cadence when popping your cork.
“I never want to move it the same way twice,” Baldwin said. “I may give it one pop, then a quick two pops. Then maybe I give it three little pops in a row. Let it sit, then maybe give it one then another two.
“Just imagine you’re fishing a topwater for bass and you’ll be good to go.”
5) Even though he’s fishing in current, Baldwin still believes in a little scent, so he uses the Berkley Nibbles whenever he can.
“It may not work to attract them in the current, since they only have a split second to make a decision before they’re meal is gone, but I think they taste a little something and they hold onto it,” he said.
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