They’re one of the tastiest fish in any water, and when you find them, you’ll often find many. However, Mustad pro Dennis Bom-Bom Skou knows that winter offers excellent opportunities to find not only quantity, but also quality.
An accomplished angler based in Denmark, Skou focuses his cold-season efforts on brackish areas, where perch gather in more limited areas such as bays and small streams. These are the areas in which he expects to find the perch worthy of bragging rights photos.
“To me, that’s a very special time of year, and I spend almost every hour I have available trying to catch that trophy perch,” says Skou. “I think (their gathering) would have something to do with them slowly getting ready to spawn.”
“In the winter, I normally only fish for brackish perch,” Skou said. “I find them mostly in areas with a depth between 50 cm and 3.5 meters. So, relatively shallow compared to where I would normally find them in the freshwater lakes I fish.”
Skou favors a dropshot, but he stresses a short leader, no more than 10 cm. Small curly tails, creature baits, worm imitations, the smaller Mezashi Z-Tail Minnow ) and the Mezashi Rock Lobster will tempt perch.
“For colors, I always go with natural ones like black, motor oil, red, brown, etc.,” Skou said. “They seem to work better where I fish.
“Sometimes, bigger fish respond better to a larger bait like jig heads with 10- to 12-cm bodies. What the fish will want on a given day is impossible to predict, so I like to show them different looks.
“Every time I go to the water, even if I’m shore fishing and move a lot, I always bring at least two rods with me — one is rigged with a jighead and one with a dropshot,” Skou said. “I would say that if the water is running fast and the current is pushing a lot, I would start with a dropshot to keep the rig from rolling in the water, while keeping it on the bottom.”
An accomplished competitive kayak angler, Skou will occasionally paddle to his perch areas. Most of his winter spots are accessible from land, and that’s ultimately his preference.
“I think being on solid ground makes it easier to finesse fish,” he says. “Standing totally still enables you to make those tiny little twitches that you’d need when dropshot fishing.
“Those fine little movements that would make your bait dance the way you want it to. I’m not at all saying it’s not possible in the kayak; I just think that sometimes it has to be almost not moving to get the finicky perch biting.”
At the moment of truth, Skou stresses preparation — no slack in the line, and always maintain full contact with your bait. An essential, here, is the right rod.
“I use the Mustad Detector Rods for my perch fishing,” Skou said. “I have great control, and the sensitivity is top. I feel every little hit on the bait.”
“Don’t use a heavy rod. You want to go with light gear, as light as possible, but still fit for the job.”
Each fish is different, Skou notes, but he expects hard strikes. A big fish will leave no question, and that powerful bite and heavy pulls are what keep him coming back for more.
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