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Mostly Harmless
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2,169 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Guys,

These sound like my kind of fish: abundant and tasty. My boat has most of the kinks worked out for now so it is time to expand my range beyond the little scrub smallmouth I've been dorking around with on the upper Potomac.

Most of the stuff I read about white perch simply says they are everywhere. Surprisingly, this isn't very helpful. What depth should I be looking for, what type of structure, how much current do they like, what artificials do they like, what do the bigger ones do differently than the little guys, etc? I don't need the GPS coordinates of your special spots, just some general information.

Nate
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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136 Posts
are you looking to chase them in the bay? or the tidal portion of the potomac?

In the bay proper you can find them on any of the shoals, man-o-war is particularly productive, you will get a better bite on moving tide and clearer water. open water look for drop offs and humps you'll also find spot and croaker in the same area croaker(hardhead) is better eating in my opinion its a smaller relative of the red drum. i use fishbites synthetic bloodworm or actual bloodworm for smaller perch/spot to live line. gulp mullet works well for croaker but you could use any jigging technique you wanted, small road runner lures are productive for perch as well as joes spinning flies and really any small inline spinner (mepps)

as far as the tidal potomac and other tidal rivers goes they relate to blowdowns and any structure they can find same lures apply.

tons of lakes have thriving populations as well, lake marburg in PA is full of them and you can put a boat in with a 20hp limit also has walleye, trout, bass (large/smallmouth) every panfish you could imagine and MUSKY!

if i want good size perch i go to the bay, in the very early spring late winter we have a great run of white and yellow perch that move into the tidal rivers to spawn.

let me know if i missed something
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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If you want a general location that is not too far away on the lower Potomac you should hit up the St. Mary's River. There is a nice free ramp at Piney Pt. The perch have been running large in there this year. In a small skiff you might want to avoid a south or southeast wind if it gets over 10knots in there, but otherwise a great spot. Further up the Potomac, the Wicomico River is also full of white perch and there are several good ramps available. Small clousers or grass shrimp patterns work well if you want to fly fish for them.
 

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Mostly Harmless
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2,169 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
This is the type of stuff I was hoping to hear. I'd consider poking my head out into the bay proper on a very calm day, but will generally stay in more protected areas. I'll probably start down in the tidal Potomac and tidal Patuxent. Those ramps Cedar mentioned sound promising.

Thanks,

Nate
 

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I'm probably sanding something...
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450 Posts
Nate, pick a weekend and come on down to my place. I'll show you around the middle Patuxent as I do spend a lot of time on the water between Sheridan Point and Broomes Island. Free ramp behind my house if you want to bring your boat, or we can just jump on mine and I can show you around.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Nate, you could certainly use a 4 weight for perch but there are stripers, blues, croaker, and sometimes reds, trout, or flounder around. I use an 8wt to cover all of the above with an intermediate or sink tip line. This year with the lower salinities, some of the above species have been slow to show up though. Good luck.
 

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Mostly Harmless
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Discussion Starter #8
My goodness! I figured my 8 weight would be way too much rod for these things, but I see where you are coming from. I have both a 7 weight and an 8 weight already. Honestly, I am new to this fly fishing thing and have heard it is easier to learn good technique using a light weight rod with a slower action versus a heavier, fast action rod that basically requires double hauling to load the rod. Since my previous sessions with the fly rods have definitively proven I am not a fly rod casting savant, I was thinking of getting an entry level 4 weight combo to work the kinks out of my technique, but I didn't previously have any use for one since I haven't panfished for years.

Nate
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Nate, no question an 8 wt is totally overkill for a white perch although they can tug surprisingly hard. I just like having an 8 for those other characters that swim in the tidal areas. You can never have enough rods though...
 
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