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Lake Cascade, ID (Oct. 7th, 2023)

Fall fishing has exceeded expectations thus far. The schools of perch have been the biggest I’ve
seen in either fall, or spring. It’s no surprise to see large schools of perch in the fall. What is
surprising is the number of fish in these schools, and the average size of the fish. Thousands,
and thousands of perch in one school. With the proper electronics the perch are easy to see.
However, it did take some time to find them.

The anglers that seem to struggle the most on Lake Cascade have a few things in common. They
don’t know where to fish, and they don’t know what to use. I’ve seen it time and time again. A
new boat will come in from out of state, and they will immediately look for a few boats
together fishing. Pretty soon there’s 7 boats fishing an area and no one is catching fish. Sure, a
few of those “community spots” can produce perch at certain times of year, but there are
certainly spots that are better else ware. If you’ve never fished Lake Cascade, the best advice
for where to start depends on what time of year. In the fall, 18-25 feet of water seems to be
best. In the springtime 6-15 feet of water is what you’re looking for. I usually find fish relating to
some sort of structure, whether it’s a rocky point, weed line or roadbed. The school of perch
will generally stay tight to one of these types of structure. I cannot stress enough the
importance of having good electronics. Knowing how to use those electronics is also just as
important. Spend some time just driving around, scanning for the large schools of perch. You
will certainly know when you find them.

The other thing to avoid is using something too complicated. The best, most consistent rig to
use for perch on Lake Cascade is a size 6 octopus hook, a full worm, and a small 1/8 oz split shot
18 inches up the line. I use 8 lb monofilament line for this presentation. This rudimentary rig
out fishes everything else, most of the time. Cast it out, let it sink to the bottom, then slowly
reel in the slack and let it sit. The perch will tell you when they’re on. There are two types of
worms that work, tiger worms and trout specials. Hook the worm twice on the end and leave a
long tail. Don’t ball it up. I never buy the full night crawler container. I’m sure they would catch
fish, but the tail would be too long for what I do.

Another variation to this worm rig is tying it into a drop shot presentation. I think this works just as well, but I would suggest using 8 lb braid on your mainline with a 10 lb fluorocarbon leader. There are days when you find a school of perch and they will bite everything you throw at them: swim jigs, ned rigs, blade baits, crank baits, etc. The tried and true, day in and day out rig for perch will always be a bare hook and a worm.

The perch fishing this week has been fantastic, if you can find the schools of perch. Location will
always beat presentation. First you have to find the fish to catch the fish. This is not a new
concept, but it is particularly important now.
Good luck fishing, and we’ll see you on the water.

Chris Weber
Fishing Guide for Tamarack Resort
Fishing Guide for Tackle Toms