Thumpin’, pumpin’, twitchin’, and trollin’! Four words that will help any angler put more perch in your cooler while fishing Lake Erie. Each one is a method involving your fishing rod, and a specific action that you give it.
Thumping is a very productive method because in a way, you are actually calling the perch in for dinner. There are many reasons why perch hug the bottom in the water column; protection, water temps, …etc. Mostly though it is because of the most basic desire, to eat. By thumping your rod tip, you actually bounce your lead weight at the bottom of the perch rig into the sand and silt. The disturbance you create is a dinner bell being sounded, calling the perch in to investigate.
Pumping and Twitching, both involve you the angler keeping that lead weight (bell sinker) in contact with the bottom. Once you drop the weight down, you can usually lift the back end of your rod up until there is a bend with the tip of the rod pointed down. Again, as I have mentioned before, this is why I like using a ultra light St. Croix, having a tight line is a MUST! Pumping involves you literally pumping the back end of the rod up and down. Twitching, is more of a side to side type action. Each method transmits slight “tweaks” to your presentation below, giving your bait the added attraction of small movements.
Trolling, unlike what the name would normally mean, you are not actually employing the use of a motor to land more perch. Your boat is actually anchored during the process. Trolling is just one of those terms I came up with a couple of years ago for dragging your bait along the bottom for three or four feet. It actually started as a lark, a way to tease the guy fishing next to you, while they had their line out of the water. It started out as fun and games,until the rod tip went thump!!! We quickly discovered not only was it a good method for catching fish, but it also kept the fish interested long enough for your fishing buddy to get his line back in the water. Win, win for everyone involved.
Perch move quite a bit during the course of the day on Lake Erie, so if thumpin’, pumpin’, twitchin’ and trollin’ can get their attention and hold it, you have half the battle won already!