You have to love the great state of Michigan, it truly is an angler’s paradise. Just think we could live in Ohio and be stuck trolling with only two rods, or even worse Minnesota where only one rod can be used per angler. Seriously people, what does it matter if it takes you 28 minutes to get a limit or four hours…but I digress, this is all about the perch, and nothing but the perch.
It seems like every year I see the same guy over and over again. He has his three rod holders off the back of the boat, think he is using spreaders, but never with a rod in his hand. This is a marvel to me because if I am fishing with two rods and one rod goes off, it seems like 99 percent of the time, my other rod has been stripped.
Right off the bat I would say scrap any thought you might have of using a third rod and think about this rule of thumb. Start off with two rods i f you like to fish multiple rods, it doubles your chances. I like using a rod holder in its highest possible position where if one rod gets bit, I can place the opposite rod in the holder and hopefully lift several feet out of the perch’s strike zone. Hopefully there will still be minnows on by the time I get the other rod back in the water. Then after several minutes if it doesn’t get a hit, you can check your bait.
Now, lets say the bite is going hot and heavy, you just don’t have time to be playing with two rods. Drop the rod down, and the fish bite and then you crank them right up the water column and into the Catch Counter they go, and repeat. Love those kind of days. Consider this, everyone in the boat is doing as good as you are, and there will be times where every rod will have its bait out of the water at the same time. I have this belief if that you are on a roaming school of perch, once their food source is gone, they will move off in search of more to eat. In can happen in seconds.
This is when I will use a second rod, in a rod holder with what I call my decoys. Taking the exact same rigs that I am using on every other rod with once noticeable difference. Instead of live bait, I will use some scented plastics on the hook. This method seems to hold the attention of the fish just long enough for me to get the perch off the hooks, re-bait and get the presentation back down as fast as the 1 oz sinker will make it drop. There is the one big tip of the day for catching more perch and keeping the school in session!