Perch Fishing in the Western Basin is Heating up

Phil and Zander Ruth and a double. Zander’s smile says it all.

After many charter trips this season for walleye, it was a nice change of pace when a customer called and wanted to go after some of Lake Erie’s “gold” instead. I absolutely love perch fishing, and I was excited to finally be able to go “perch jerk’n”.

We launched out of Mazurik’s boat access this past Sunday at 8 a.m. and headed to a spot between Kelleys Island and Gull Island Shoal, in about 40-42 foot of water. My electronics were showing good marks on the bottom with what looked to be perch, so we anchored upwith my Terrova trolling motor’s Spot Lock feature, baited up the hooks with some emerald shiners and started catching perch right away.

Whether you use the traditional spreaders with one hook on each side of it, or my favorite, the crappie rig, which is basically two hooks inline with the main line, both using a 1oz to 1 ¼ oz weight to take it down to the bottom, you’ll catch some fish. Of course, there will be a smorgasbord of white perch, sheepshead and white bass in the mix, too.  

If you have children, perch fishing can be a great way to entertain them, and/or introduce them to fishing. When you get over a school of biting perch the fun is fast and furious, and their smiles will tell you that they are having a good time. 

Send your bait down to the bottom and keep the line taught. Then lift and drop the weight a couple inches at a time to stir up the silt on the bottom of the lake. This will attract the perch to your spot. Once you have them below your boat, you should be able to just drop the bait to the bottom and let it sit for a few seconds and you’ll feel the “tap tap” that tells you a fish is biting. 

Go fishing for perch; its fun for the entire family, and they just plain taste great!

Captain Juls can be contacted by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or by phone at 419-835-7347. Her website address is

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