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Yellow Perch Jackpot

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Yellow Perch Jackpot

Gord Pyzer experienced what he called the “most extraordinary yellow perch fishing” on Lake of the Woods the other day, using the unique 2 prong technique described below. • Credit: Gord Pyzer

Fishing tips that are sure to have you hitting the yellow perch jack pot



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Gotta' confess, I am still in a delightful state of shock after ice fishing for yellow perch on my home waters of Lake of Woods in Northwestern Ontario.

For two days I didn't go longer than five or six minutes without catching a fish. And they were gigantic. Matter of fact, I doubt if more than a handful were as small as 12 inches in length. The majority averaged a stout 13 inches and I landed so many 13.75 to 14.25 inch giants, nudging the 2 pound mark, that it gave new meaning to the term jumbo yellow perch.

Now, I grew up in the heyday, ice fishing on southern Ontario's world renown yellow perch palace known as Lake Simcoe. But what I experienced the other day was quite possibly the most extraordinary yellow perch ice fishing ever. And from the reports I've been receiving from fellow anglers ice fishing other Northern Ontario perch hotspots, including Rainy Lake, Eagle Lake, Lac des Milles Lacs Lake, Lake Superior (Black Bay), Lake Huron (North Channel) and Lake Nipissing, they've been on fire as well this winter.

In my case, however, it wasn't just the number and size of the fish that was so impressive. It was the most unique way that I was able to catch them.

It was so rewarding because once I figured it out, it was like hitting the jackpot every single time that I pulled down the handle.

As I always do, I started the first day fishing aggressively with a W40 silver and gold coloured Williams Wabler spoon with the Nu-Wrinkle scale pattern. The W40 spoon, by the way, measures 2 1/4 inches in length and weighs 1/4 ounce. I should mention, too, that I tipped the treble hook with a spot-tail shiner head.

Elevating the spoon up about 3 feet, I'd flick my wrist at the top of the lift and then let it flutter back down to the bottom. And within a few minutes of developing a cadence, I could clearly see several bright red bands on the Ice 55 sonar screen signalling perch.

If you want to catch giant trophy yellow perch like these magnificent 13- to 15-inch jumbos on your next Northern Ontario fishing trip, be sure to try the attracting / triggering technique that Gord Pyzer describes here
(Photo credit: Gord Pyzer)

If you want to catch giant trophy yellow perch like these magnificent 13 to 15 inch jumbos on your next Northern Ontario fishing trip, be sure to try the attracting / triggering technique that Gord Pyzer describes here.

But, here is the thing. Only about 1 in 4 of the fish decided to hit the spoon when I paused it in front of their noses and lightly jiggled it ever so slowly

That is when I decided that if they wanted a more finesse presentation, I'd drop down a 1/8 ounce pink and white coloured Reel Bait Flasher jig adorned with a tiny salted emerald shiner.  

But there was another key to the puzzle. I presented the jig using one of the new Rapala R-Type Centerpin reels spooled with 6 pound test Sufix gel spun line. The reel is an absolute game changer because of the natural way your line comes off the spool. It never twists, coils or develops memory. As a result, when you drop your lure down the hole, it remains dead still and doesn't spin.

Nevertheless, the perch drifted away, by and large, so while I caught a few on the jig, it was no more than I did when I used the spoon.

That is when I got the brain wave.

By the number of perch immediately showing up on the sonar screen when I aggressively jigged the Williams Wabler, they were obviously attracted to it like moths to a light on a hot summer night. So, I wondered what would happen if I augured two holes extremely close together -- within a foot or so -- and jigged the spoon aggressively in one, while deadsticking the stationary jig in the other.

I now know how Archimedes felt when he stepped into the bath tub, saw the water rise, discovered Archimedes Principle and went running naked down the street yelling Eureka!

Okay, so I didn't run across Lake of the Woods without my clothes, but you get the point.

The number of jumbo perch that were attracted to Gord Pyzer’s gold and silver Williams Wabler spoon, dressed with a minnow head, was reminiscent of moths being attracted to a light on a hot summer night
(Photo credit: Gord Pyzer)
The number of jumbo perch that were attracted to Gord Pyzer’s gold and silver Williams Wabler spoon, dressed with a minnow head, was reminiscent of moths being attracted to a light on a hot summer night
(Photo credit: Gord Pyzer)

The number of jumbo perch that were attracted to Gord Pyzer’s gold and silver Williams Wabler spoon, dressed with a minnow head, was reminiscent of moths being attracted to a light on a hot summer night.

Pick any adjective you like -- incredible, unbelievable, astonishing, extraordinary -- it is how the action unfolded for the rest of the two days. Jigging the gold and silver Williams spoon clearly attracted the perch, aroused their curiosity, called them in and concentrated them beneath my hole where they proceeded to pounce upon the stationary shiner-draped Flasher Jig.

If I removed any part of the equation -- the centerpin reel, gel spun line, silver and gold spoon or jig -- then the action was plain Jane, ho-hum ordinary. But employ them as a team, in a synergistic manner and it was lights out, the fastest fishing for the biggest yellow perch that I have seen.

Give it a try wherever your next Northern Ontario perch expedition leads you this winter. And you may come home pleasantly shell shocked as well.

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