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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I finally got on some big schools of perch yesterday at Norman, but you had to wade through a bunch of small ones to finally hook up with the 10" - 12" fish. I am an avid bass fisherman, but wanted to try this just because, so I have no real knowledge when it comes to targeting these fish. My question is this, do the bigger fish tend to be at the top of the school, in the middle or on the bottom? 90% of my fish came off the bottom, couldn't get a consistent bite on top or in the middle. 45' - 52' fow using a 1/2oz blade......

Gotta love Norman for variety, spots, crappie and catfish (up to 15lbs) mixed in with the perch.....

Thanks
 

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In my experience, and in talking with others, the bigger ones usually hang out under the fray to catch the wounded bait drifting down. Post spawn schools seem to be different than that, though. It seems to be more common to see the larger fish controlling the schools after they spawn.
 

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Here is a link to a study done here in NC on them:
http://repository.lib.ncsu.edu/ir/bitstream/1840.16/7538/1/etd.pdf

This is a little bit of an oversimplification, but if WP are abundant, big ones are rare. If you look at the graphs of the shock sampling results in the study, in 2 of the 4 lakes they got almost no fish over 8" (200mm in the chart). At the other 2 lakes, they did get larger ones but if you read the text it is noted that they got a lot fewer fish. They reproduce almost too well to be able to manage them as a game fish. The WRC changed the regs this last year to start allowing you to keep WP even if you net them. I target them at Harris sometimes and I have caught a few large ones and a lot more small ones. The bigger ones have come fishing deep, but still mixed with small ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had no intention of fishing for them, but saw some birds working the surface so I pulled in. My graph immediately lit up with what I assume were hybrids, stripers and prob some spots (down to 30') and the perch any where from 35' to 50', just thick. First drop and I had one right at 10" and slam full of baitfish, don't know how he got the blade in his mouth. On top of the school were bigger and more defined arches, could have been other gamefish, but I caught a majority right on the bottom. Overall would have had 4 or 5 that I would have kept. They would be a good time for kids, wife or anybody else that just wants to catch something.
 

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I found that the bigger perch hang in schools the same size as they are. Usually if I get the bigger ones the little ones are in a different area. Badin and tillery are over run with perch. To give you an idea there's so many I can catch them at night with cut shad below the boat in the shallow water on the bottom in 10-20'. With such a good food supply the flatheads and bluecats grow to really big sizes.
 

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The brackish creek I panfish in has a decent population but I don't think they are really schooled up. I catch one here or there but they are usually good eatin size. Wish I could dial them in and slay them.
 

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I'm with Tomahawk on this one, the bigger ones usually are schooled together. You can use a drop shot rig with 2 or 3 hooks baitin with cut bait(perch) an rack up enuff for a fish fry in short order! when jiggin for'em I go to a 3/4 oz CC spoon to cull a lot of the smaller perch. I've also found some really big LMB relatin to the schools of smaller perch. I've caught several different species a lot of times from one single school. I think they are just as good to eat as crappie!
 
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