Perch action is starting to heat up

There are few better places in North America than Manitoba to ice fish for perch, for both quantity and size of perch and now is a great time to be out. Our huge shallow lakes hold endless schools of these tasty little morsels, and some of the smaller lakes especially in the southwestern part of the province have some real trophies.
My favorite presentation, especially for aggressive perch is a small jigging spoon. Last trip out I used the new Slender Spoon in a silver prism colour from Reef Runner and it was very productive.
A short lift and drop right off the bottom seemed to catch the bigger perch. If your raised it too high in the water column, you would catch tullibee or pike. Having watched perch on the Aqua-Vu underwater system, the actual jigging spoon stirring up the mud on the bottom excites these fish and really creates a feeding frenzy.
My second choice would be a small jig and there are a number of excellent choices out there. They include micro panfish baits like the “Frostee” the “Genz Worm” and Fat Boys” from System Tackle
This is my number two presentation for perch and I tip these small baits with half a dead shiner minnow, a perch eye or a Berkley Power Wiggler or Power Egg.
When the temperatures are above freezing and the bite slows down a slip bobber is not a bad choice. It allows you to get the bait down to the same depth after each fish. For rod and reel I use an Ultralight Berkley ice fishing rod and reel spooled with Berkley Micro Ice Fireline. I prefer the limited stretch and smooth handling characteristics of this line.

Friend Jim Price finally got out on Lake Manitoba when the weather broke last weekend. While the ice is extremely rough, he and some friends headed by snow machine west of Delta on the south west end of the lake. Jim said they experienced some of the best perch fishing of their life with nonstop action from mid morning to one in the afternoon.
Price said it didn’t really matter what you used, the fish were extremely aggressive. This bodes well for some great fishing in March. Price says there is no vehicle access right now and even snow machines have to go slowly. Watch here for updates as the ice fishing season moves into March and access improves. Below is a bonus tullibee, great pike bait!