Fishing with Gus: Perch considered Lake Norman’s summer fish
by Staff Writer
This lure combination consists of two to six brightly colored feathered flies connected by a length of leader to a jigging spoon. The tiny Sabiki jigs are made of glow-head beads, fish-skin dressing and feathers. They are highly visible in deep water.
Pre-tied rigs are sold in packages and are available in a variety of colors for $2 or $3 per package. Hook sizes range from no. 4 to no.10. A no.6 hook seems to work well when fishing for white perch. Look for them in the saltwater tackle section of any tackle shop.
The Sabiki is designed to catch all types of small schooling fish. It works particularly well on white perch, crappie and herring.
Care should be taken to only use the Sabiki in open water, since the multi-line jig heads will hang up in brush or other submerged obstructions.
When drifting, attach a 1/2- to 3/4-ounce jigging spoon, slinky or eye-drop weight to the bottom of the rig, and let it bounce off the bottom. Rather than reeling when you feel a bite, jiggle the rig a few times to entice other fish to hit the remaining hooks.
If the perch are feeding aggressively, the Sabiki will catch one to six fish on a single drop. When fishing slows, entice more bites by adding a small piece of worm or cut bait to the hook.
White perch swim in large schools and range in size to about 1 pound. They can also be caught with small spinners, single jigs, live minnows, worms, cut bait and shiny spoons.
The white meat is excellent. There is no size or creel limit for these tasty pan fish.
A rod rigged with six Sabiki flies might be too long for a child to handle. Consider cutting it in half and fish with three flies instead of six. The remaining Sabikis can be used on another rod.
Give the Sabiki a try. Youngsters and adults enjoy catching multiple fish on the same cast.
Tips from Capt Gus
White perch shouldn’t be confused with yellow perch, a pan fish popular with northern anglers.
Yellow perch have green and yellow bands that encircle the cylindrical body. The white perch is silver with no stripes and resembles a white bass.
The two are similar in that they swim in schools and are easy to catch on light tackle from shore or boat.
Hot spots of the week
Fishing for bass with top water lures is excellent at sunrise. Try fishing rip-rap points and around fallen trees. Spotted bass are surface feeding on shallow river points throughout the day. Tournament- size bass are hitting soft plastics fished deep around brush piles. White perch are plentiful, with Sabikis being the most productive lure. Flathead catfish and big bass are stalking the perch. Catfishing is good to very good when drifting cut baits over points and deep pockets.
The surface water temperature varies by location but is mainly in the 90s in open waters not affected by power generation. The water level is about 3.3 feet below full pond on Lake Norman.
Capt. Gus Gustafson, of Lake Norman Ventures, is full-time professional fishing guide on Lake Norman. Details: 704-617-6812 or www.Fishingwithgus.com.