The perch fishing season is starting to get into full swing, and with that many anglers will be hitting Lake Erie in search of yellow bellies. One of the most popular rigs out there is commonly referred to as the tighline rig. Much like the original concept of the dropshotting technique for bass fishing, the hook is placed directly on the line so the anglers can feel the bite.
Some manufactures will use crimps to cinch up the hooks, but when I make my own I use 5 mm beads. I double loop the line through the bottom bead to hold it tight in place, and then single loop another bead above the hook in order to get that tight fit. Does the color of the beads matter, not really, but if I had to say I had a favorite, anything that glows will work to catch the perch’s attention.
I have three different set-ups for perch fishing, and if the bite is hot, will fish one rod at a time, if the bite is slow, then because I live in Michigan and mostly fish MI waters, I may employ all three at once. For the more traditional crappie style rigs, I will use my St Croix Premiers, in 6 ft Ultra Light or 6’6″ Light action. For the tightline rig, I break out my Avid casting rod, a 6’9″ Medium Light, Xtra Fast action and tip. It makes sense since it was developed as a dropshot rod.
Here is the big tip after the lead up. Best all around sinker size on Lake Erie is a one ounce bell sinker, and instead of holding it tight to the lake bottom, I want it to fish just a hair above the bottom. The reason why is because in order to feel every bite, the line has to be tight, no slack involved at all. When you fish the sinker on the bottom, your line might become a little “loose”, and can result in lost fish. Feel free to occasionally pound the bottom, and stir up some silt, perch like that because they think its being created by some type of prey. It can drive them into a feeding frenzy and when they get called in by the disturbance, they find your presentation and get on the hook!