Unseasonably warm weather a couple weeks ago was enough to trigger submergent weed growth in fairly shallow dark-bottom bays and backwaters.
Even though water temp has only tickled 60 degrees so far this Spring, perch and gills have moved there for one simple reason: bugs
A major source of a ring perch’s diet is invertebrates. Perch love bugs–and bugs love weeds. Find ‘good’ weeds and you’ll find perch!
The best of all weeds for holding bugs that perch love is elodea–commonly called ‘coontail’.
Given the incredibly fertile water and increased clarity in pool 9 in recent years elodea is growing all over the place in the summertime, in some cases in water over 10 feet deep.
Our little burst of summer heat wasn’t enough to trigger weed growth in deep water–but desirable weeds are growing to the point of becoming emergent in < 4 fow in quiet sloughs on both sides of the River now.
The downside is, filamentous algae (aka ‘pond scum’) is flourishing too, making presentations tight to the bottom where perch like to prowl a perpetual ritual of pond scum removal from any hook dropped down there.
Two presentations have mitigated this situation for me: pegging a bobber to place a pinch of redworm 12″ off the bottom or a modified Lindy rig with a soft floating jighead on a 12-14″ leader behind a very small egg sinker keeping your hook in the strike zone and –pretty much–out of the weeds.
Crappies which were still suspended over deeper water just a week ago have begun transitioning toward the wood, with many now suspended down about 4′ over 10 fow
Pike are pretty much shallow everywhere, following their forage base. There are DEFINITELY a lot more little snot-rockets now than when the limit was 5 pike daily.
Managing any river system is difficult. Managing the Miss takes this difficulty to a whole nother level. I challenge biologists from ANY agency to show me the science behind the bag limit change on pike in pool 9.
Within 3 years I predict a steel leader will be part of any presentation if you don’t want to donate a lure to a toother. Walleye and panfish limit changes were smart and long overdue. But from a river rat perspective the new pike bag liimit is just plain dumb.