In mid-June, the Wisconsin perch season opens on Lake Michigan. Many people attempt to target them, but more times than not I hear “there’s no perch!” This comes from both shore anglers and boat anglers. There are a few things that I do completely different than most to put more perch in the box.
Watch the wind and water temperatures. Perch are a very finicky fish when it comes to water temperature. From my experience on Lake Michigan, if the water drops below 58 degrees or exceeds 65 degrees, the perch are going to move – actually, completely disappear. When I’m in my boat and the water is colder, I like to target water treatment plant discharges, river mouths with warm water flowing out and near shore.
Being mobile and using your electronics is a must. Every spot I stop at, I will deploy my Fish Hawk X4 to get a full water temp profile. Using the Fish Hawk X4 is a quick way to know if the water you’re in is too warm or cold. If there’s a large area that I want to explore, I will keep my Fish Hawk in the water and idle around, keeping an eye on the water temperature. It doesn’t take long to find out if the water you’re in is holding fish or if it’s empty.