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powerfish

Smallies and yellow perch

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Hi Everybody, I fish a lake in oregon full of yellow perch, I mean millions of them. the lake is about 3 miles long and 1/2 mile wide so not very big. Fall is approaching and the bite should be hot. I have a spot on the lake where the bass reside in the fall and winter, and as I went over it last week my graph was black with balls of perch thousands of them. I know the bass are there but cant hardly get through the perch to the bass, 3-4pound bass are common and when I do, NOTHING! I covered the lake from 1ft to 60ft of water. The perch are everywhere and cant keep them off 1/2 oz spinner baits, 5 inch jerk baits, senkos, jigs, top water, Tubes to C-rigs and ect. Small baits are useless also. . The bass wont eat! Is it because they are gorged on the perch? water temp is about 62 degrees. Kinda baffeld. Any Ideas? Thanks

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It might just be a "target rich environment". They use this term in the military to describe situations where there are so many targets that they simply cannot be serviced all at once.

What you might have here is a situation where there are simply so many fish for the smallmouth to gorge on, that the chances that they will pick up your bait, are very diminished. I have heard of situations like this happening to people that come up on huge schools of shad, with bass popping them everywhere up top. There are just so many targets for the bass, that lures can go un noticed. In your case, the perch are large enough to where at least you are catching some type of fish  ;D

It might sound stupid, but maybe your chances will increase if you go to a spot that doesn't contain such big schools of perch. Counterintuitive yes, but if that was me, that's what I would do.

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When you run into this kind of situation, throw something completely crazy. Find a crank or soft plastic in a really odd color (like a hot pink or very bright color). You want to give the fish a target to see and try and make it something they haven't seen before.

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If neither of the above ideas work and i would definitely       try them first. Try throwing something that looks like the primary forage. Get a perch colored crank or jerkbait.

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If all else fails, catch as many perch as you can (legally) and enjoy a fantastic fish fry.

Dredge perch in buttermilk and Drakes batter

(the key is wet, dry, wet, dry, FRY)

A few lemon slices

Ice cold Beer.

Enjoy ;)

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I ran into the exact same situation about three weeks ago.  The smallmouth were stuffed with 1-3/4 inch yellow perch frye.  When you hooked a bass they would regurgitate 3 or four frye.  The bass would not hit a fast moving bait like a crankbait, rattle baitm jerk bait and Lord knows the spinnerbait was a dud.  The saving grace was we hit several fish in 10 to 17 feet of water on a Carolina rig with a green pumpkin Lizard. It was an easy meal for fish who must have been resting or it ticked them off.  Hope this helps. :)

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Carolina rig the outside edges of weed beds with green pumpkin/red baits.  Smallies herd the Perch balls up against the weeds. 

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Thanks guys. Tried the lizard nothing but perch, However I threw a top water till i was ready to throwup, started to catch a few, need to fine tune the size, color speed ect. but starting to get on them. Thanks for the help.

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I'd go witha heavy fast falling bait like a Hopkins Spoon or a Cicada. Cast or just let it drop through the perch and look for bass feeding below the perch. If a perch grabs the spoon you end up with live bait.

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