Two Questions for Surf Perch Fans

#1
Questions for Surf Perch Fans

I have had days where I get little or no action using a Hi/Lo rig, so I switch to a Carolina rig and start catching fish (same bait for both methods.) Other days the “go-to” Carolina gets ignored and I start getting hits after switching to a Hi/Lo.

My question is: Has anyone else had similar experiences when targeting surf perch?

Secondly, I have recently changed the method I use to tie up my Hi/Lo rigs. I have stopped using the common dropper loop for the hooks, and have gone to tying a “branch” (some people call it a “snood”) onto the main rig leader like you find in commercially produced Sabiki style rigs. Here is a link to a fantastic vid on how to tie a Mackerel Feather (Sabiki) Rig:
The videography is professional (you can CLEARLY SEE every detail of every knot) and the ending fishing sequence is nothing short of magical. That is the method I now use to attach the hook on my Hi/Lo rigs. I get far more hits and hook-ups with this presentation than I ever did using the dropper loop.

Second question is the same as the first; How does this compare to your own experiences tying and fishing the Hi/Lo rig?

Thank you for reading this post and thanks in advance to any folks that would like to share your own thoughts.
 
#5
Carolina when fishing the surf almost exclusively
Hi/Lo When Fishing off Jetties or Piers for the most part

A lot has to due with weather and surf conditions as well
I have followed that formula for years myself. Recently, I read a good post on surf perch fishing that mentioned using both the Carolina and the hi/lo
rigs. ( https://www.fishingduo.com/how-to-fish-for-surfperch-gear-bait-and-techniques/ ) I have also watched some pretty good videos from guys who fish the Oregon coast. Some of them use the Hi/Lo exclusively for surf perch. (
)

The difference in presentation of the bait between the Carolina and the Hi/Lo is where the weight is in relation to the hook(s).
With the Carolina, the leader/bait is free to move back and forth along the bottom with the ebb and flow common in side the surf-line.
This action is often very appealing to the perch looking for sand crabs and worms churned up by the waves. With the Hi/Lo rig the weight is at the end of the leader allowing for less movement in the surge. (incidentally, this is why attaching your hooks with a branch line instead of a dropper loop might be more effective. The branch allows for more lateral motion in the currents) However, The Hi/Lo rig presents the bait a bit off the bottom every time you move the weight. The bait gets lifted up when you reel in, and then settles back down when you let it sit. With the Carolina rig I don't think the bait ever gets off of the bottom.
 
#8
Never tried to eat surf perch. From what I hear the issue for the people that don't like it is the texture (mushy or soft). Maybe try soaking the fish in brine first and then make sure you do not over cook it.
 

Seth

New member
#10
The last time I prepared one, pulled off the skin leaving the head and tail on, made cuts in the sides and fried it until it was crisp on both sides. That turned out pretty good I recall.
 
#11
I have been waiting for this question. While softer than rockfish surf perch have a nice mild flavor, just mushy as mentioned. I like to fillet them , lightly salt and lemon pepper them and quick fry in just a tad of butter, then set aside. Prior to this I make a large batch of french onion soup. Using a crock pot helps the slow cooking process turning every half hour or so. When done, add a fillet to a bowl of soup and stir it in. I will crumble on its own. The mild fish and bold soup pair well together . A big slice of fresh toasted sourdough and I call it a meal. Its my go to for all the species of salt water perch.
jim
 
#12
Perch are delicious. Some perch have very soft meat while others are a bit firmer. Pan frying is by the far the best way to cook them in my opinion, but you need to remember they need to have as little contact with fresh water as possible. I noticed that the meat deteriorates much faster when exposed to fresh water. Keep them bled and iced, then clean them off right before cooking. I would imagine them to make killer ceviche though.
 
#13
Perch are delicious. Some perch have very soft meat while others are a bit firmer. Pan frying is by the far the best way to cook them in my opinion, but you need to remember they need to have as little contact with fresh water as possible. I noticed that the meat deteriorates much faster when exposed to fresh water. Keep them bled and iced, then clean them off right before cooking. I would imagine them to make killer ceviche though.
That's a good tip. It makes sense that if they get in contact with fresh water it could soften up the flesh and compromise the texture. Definitely seen that with other fish.
 
#14
interesting rig, thanks for posting! i've caught more on the hi-lo rig than the carolina (none on the carolina rig). i've done variations for putting the hook on 1) using pre-snelled hooks on the dropper loop (good wave action but gets twisted on the main line) after a few casts, 2) pushing the loop through the eye and then over the shank of the hook (easy, but the end of the eys sometimes nicks the line and you lose the hook) 3) tie a long dropper loop and palomar knot the hook -the line is still doubled up to the hook and 4) tie a long dropper loop, cut 1 end of it near the main line and use that opened dropper loop line to snell the hook.

#4 is what I have been doing lately. i think it has better wave action than a looped hook, and the benefit of a snelled hook over a palomar.

i guess you could do #3, but snip the line and then tie the palomar, too.
 
#16
And THERE IT IS!!! Thank you, Pinfish.
The lesson to be learned is "if they ain't biting; change things up." That is actually the corollary to the rule that states - If you don't get any bites; KEEP MOVING. Meanwhile, here's Not-the-sharpest-tool-in-the-shed Stickman asking why two different bait presentations BOTH produce good results on different occasions. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees! I really appreciate this online community that Ken Jones provides for all of us. Thank you again, to all the people that took the time to weigh in on this subject. And a special thanks to Ken for working so tirelessly to maintain these message boards.