Updated: Feb 9
When it comes to targeting big beautiful perch there is one method that comes to mind, lure fishing. Whether it be in the form of drop-shotting or the tried and tested jig head, we have all seen the proof of how devastating this approach can be on our local waters. From lakes to murky canals and rivers, lures continue to deliver these vibrant predators right into the back of our nets.
The question that many anglers ask when it first comes to getting into the sport "is what lures are best to use." In my opinion, you can’t go far wrong. All of the lures on the market today are tried and tested but there are a couple of key types that stand out to me.
In this article I will be breaking down the top types of lures you will catch me and thousands of other anglers using on the bank. The goal is to help whittle down the endless choice out there and put you on the lures that will catch you fish time and time again.
Micro Shads - A Personal Favourite of Mine
The humble micro shad is a personal favourite of mine. They are both simple to use and extremely effective at catching perch. Working just as well on a cold winter's day and a hot summer's evening when the canals are alive with predator action, you can rely on shads to trigger those aggressive instincts resulting in a vicious take and the rod bending double.
I can go on about how realistic shades look or the incredible vibrations generated from the paddle tail for days but instead, I want to talk about fish safety. With small perch shads, you can fish with a single hook jig head which makes de-hooking super easy for anglers. If I could only fish with one type of lure for the rest of my life it would be shads.
Crank Baits - Almost To Effective
The crankbait is by far the premium option when it comes to targeting perch. Boasting a super realistic profile and aggressive swimming action I have seen first hand how devastating these lures can be on my local stretch of canal. There have been times where I have had to put my crankbait away as it's far too effective and the pike were hitting the lure before the perch even had a chance!
I can understand as a beginner angler spending £5-£10 on a single lure can be a bit harsh on the bank account. Those who may have a relatively low lure budget recommend a cheaper option such as shads but if you're looking to diversify your tackle and your lure fishing skill it's a worthwhile investment. On a simple straight retrieve fished in the right location you can pick out some of the largest perch in your chosen water.
Creature Baits - The Perfect Winter Tactic
Over the past couple of years, my confidence in creature baits just seems to grow and grow. Sometimes on the hardest days, it takes a delicate approach such as a creature bait fished slowly across the deck to make a big perch think “ahh might as well.” Perch fishing on lures is not always huge follows to the bank and lures getting slammed on the drop, often it takes this added level of finesse to get it done on a difficult session.
The winter is usually a time where these types of lures come into their own. Offering a slow and subtle presentation that mimics that of a small crayfish or freshwater prawn the perch just can’t seem to resist. It's also crucial that to take into consideration that during these colder months the food perch feed on will switch over to these crustaceans so creature baits are a great way to match the hatch.
Note: Even if your local water does not have crayfish present these lures can still work. I have tried and tested this theory before and trust me the perch will still bite even if it's not exactly what they are feeding on.
Worm Lures - Embrace The Noddy
We have all seen the damage match anglers can do with a simple maggot or worm approach so why shouldn't lure anglers adopt this into our arsenal. Every year some of the largest perch get caught on worms so it only makes sense to have a couple of lures in the tackle box which match this bait. Please note, this tactic is not for the faint-hearted, it often involves long pauses on the deck which can send active lure anglers like me crazy.
Hopefully, you have found this article helpful and it has given you a better idea of which lures you should go out and buy. As I said at the beginning you can't go far wrong, find a lure that is small in size and bold in appeal and I'm sure it will catch your fish. That's all for today, keep your eyes peeled for next month's post.