To use spreaders or not, that is the question!
In most cases, my answer is a resounding no! But, there is always a “but” to every fishing philosophy. And, in some cases there is a place for spreaders in my perch fishing arsenal. Sometimes the perch themselves dictate that action, while most times it is the style of fishing that guides me.
If you are employing a rod holder, or using multiple rods like you can in Ohio (2) or Michigan (3) they can be very useful. If holding both rods, then I will almost always prefer the rig. Again, let the perch dictate what they want, and in some regards the wind and waves as well.
When the wind is kicking, I like the rig over the spreader. You can use the rod to keep in contact with the bottom with the rig. With a spreader, specially in a holder, then the spreader is going crazy and can end up being a tangled mess when you bring it up to check your bait. On calmer days, while using a holder, then the spreader tends to be much more effective.
This is the one type of spreader you will never find on my boat, or in my perch fishing arsenal. Changing your weights is crucial in order to be effective. Having a standardized spreader to fit all situations is limiting your yellow belly catching potential. Some days when they want the spreader, but are biting light, they want to mouth the bait a bit before taking it all in. If you are using a heavier weight, then they tend to spit it out because they can feel the weight. Another good thing about lighter weights when it comes to spreaders is that the current can be strong enough to push out of that perpendicular alignment. This allows the spinners a little more action, which can attract perch in.
I like to have a variety of weights with me. When it comes to the spreaders though, my range of weights goes to the lighter side. 3/8ths to 3/4 oz gets the job done, with 1/2 and 5/8ths in between, I have just about every possibility covered.
Tomorrow, rigs and why I like them best!