Perch Fishing in Lake Stevens
As the weather begins to warm here in Washington, the fishing begins to heat up in our local lakes. The perch are schooling up and they are hungry. For those who have not experienced perch fishing, I am going to break down a few basic XFactor tackle rigs that will help put more fish in the boat for you. Perch fishing has a few great upsides; not only are they delicious to eat, but they are plentiful and provide lots of action once you locate them. So let’s dive in and take a look at some techniques for catching perch at Lake Stevens. I do want to note that these techniques will work at any lake not just Lake Stevens.
Lets first talk about tackle. Perch are generally small around 8 to 12” so your gear should be sized accordingly to get the most enjoyment of the fight. Personally I love using ultra light gear for perch. But any 6-8 foot light action rod will do. The beauty of perch fishing is you do not have to go out and purchase a bunch of gear to catch fish. The small rods you already have will be perfect. There are also ready to fish combos that are a perfect fit for the new angler. (I have been known to break out my Spiderman rod from time to time). For reels, I like using a 1500 sized spinning reel loaded with 4-6lb test.
On the business end we will have our baits and rigs. When I am fishing in less than 15’ of water I like to use a bobber or slip float to help suspend my XFactor miracle worm. A float provides two great aspects; one a visual bite indicator and two the ability to fish above the weeds and not hang up. There are so many bobbers/floats out there to choose from, but I have come to love the smallest Cleardrift floats in the 1/8oz size. They are a slip float that comes in 3 great colors and casts great. The slip float gives the advantage of not having to cast 10ft of line, but rather move the bobber stop to the desired depth. Once I have the float rigged on the line I like to tie a barrel swivel to help eliminate the line twist. Above the swivel (just above the knot) I like to add a couple small split-shot to help sink my offering to the fish. I will tie on a 2-foot fluorocarbon leader to a small bait hook. At this point you can add whatever bait you want. Live bait works great with worms or larva, but I have found that the XFactor miracle worms do just as good if not better. These soft plastic worms are spot on replicas of a real worm and their durability is top notch. They come in a multitude of colors to fit any water condition or picky fish. I love the natural color as it is the closest to a real worm, but the peach is also another great color choice. Thread that onto the hook like the picture below and you are ready to go.
I should make a quick note here that if I am marking schools of perch in water deeper than 15ft I tend to switch my tactics up a little bit. You still can use a slip float and adjust the bobber stop to the correct depth, but at this point I take the float off and just use the split shot and Miracle worm (Right side picture above). You can cast this out to just before it hits the bottom them slowly reel and every once and a while twitch the worm. Another great way to fish these worms is to rig them on a micro jig head and twitch them along the bottom. Perch are predators by sight and the more life like movement you can create the more fish you can attract to your offering.
So now that you have your rigs all ready to go we should look at locations to fish. There are two main boat launches at Lake Stevens with multiple docks for fishing access. Docks are a great place to start for perch especially if you are just limited to shore. You will find the perch located around some form of structure whether is wood, pilings, docks, or weeds. The best part is that the entire lake has all of these structural features available. The main boat launch in the town of Lake Stevens has a great public dock that extends into some good looking fishable water. But if you do have a boat I would suggest exploring the cove just out from the main dock in town. You should explore the area with your electronics and find where the perch schools are located. Don’t be afraid to try near the docks or even go find other areas to fish. It may change from day to day but keeping in mind fishing near structure is going to get you into the fish.
Perch provide a great opportunity for anglers of all ages to get out and enjoy catching fish. You should bleed the fish right away and put them on ice to keep the meat as fresh as possible. There are many lakes here in the northwest full of perch so get out and enjoy the fun fishery. Tight lines and I will see you out on the water. God Bless!