By Chuck Mason
In the winter months the combination of basically a painted pencil weight and a chained hook is a quite popular lure to catch panfish through the ice. Conditions on Lake Erie in the fall though make this lightweight presentation wanting in the performance department. Because of the poor results due to ever changing weather on the lake, I came up with the Buck-Shot® Perch Dropper.
The main question to be addressed in order make the presentation effective was that of the right weight to keep your line tight to better detect the lightest of bites. After looking at all the spoons available from Northland spoons I have in my ice fishing arsenal, the only choice was to use Buck-Shot® Rattle Spoons. In order to match the conditions on the lake, I rigged three different sizes ( 3/8, ½, ¾ ounce) with Northland Dropper Hooks.
The only difficult part of the conversion process is the removal of the treble hook on the spoon. It just shows how easy it is to assemble the perch dropper, because all you need is a pair or split ring pliers or even a small pair needle nose pliers will work. To attach the chain to the split ring, just clip it into place. Then it’s just a question of choosing which style of Dropper Hook to use.
On most days on the big water, the #6 single hook is preferred because treble hooks can be difficult to remove from the perch’s mouth. When the waves kick up though, the #12 treble dropper hook ensures a better hook-up percentage because it is harder to detect that lighter bite. Now we have a perch dropper that will handle big water anywhere, and has two added fish catching enhanced features.
All the spoons have a built-in rattle chamber, which both calls in the sight challenged perch, but also entices them to bite when they are circling the Buck-Shot® Perch Droppers. The second feature that will enhances the presentation is that most all of the spoons are painted with a long lasting glow finish. The glow paint is visible from a distance and also serves to hold the perch’s attention.
The heavier weights allow anglers to pound the lake bottom creating enough of a disturbance to bring the perch in looking for food. While using a 6’9” medium light rod, with an extra fast tip, I can be aggressive with both a lift and fall, or a tight jiggle to make the most noise with the rattles. When called for, in a more subtle approach, a simple lift and hold method works after pounding the lake bottom producing a silt cloud.
If you fish the Great Lakes, or a big, deep water, inland lakes, take advantage of the versatility the Buck-Shot® Perch Dropper can give you. If you fish smaller bodies of water and think this combination doesn’t apply to your fishing environment, Northland offers a wide range of spoons, including UV finishes, that can be used to create the perfect perch dropper for you. As well, as a #8 single hook, and a #14 treble hook if you want to go smaller on your whole presentation. The combination of a Northland spoon, with their Dropper Hooks will increase your catch rate and put more perch in the cooler.