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White Perch

"Hydrilla with Gills"

The white perch is a newcomer to Lake Norman. How it got here is anybody's guess. Some surmise that it was transported with bait from other lakes. Its presence is considered a blessing by some and a curse by others.

The average white perch is 6"-12" long and weighs less than a pound. Currently, there are no size or creel limits on these fish. They are opportunistic feeders whose diet includes almost anything that floats, swims or burrows on the lake bottom.

In addition to being prolific feeders, white perch reproduce in large numbers. By some accounts, they have become too plentiful. They are credited with decimating the white bass population. The once abundant game fish is almost extinct, and is no longer considered a viable fishery on Lake Norman. Fishermen complain that not only have the perch slaughtered the white bass, but they have invaded brush piles that produced limits of crappie in the past. Perch are also believed to be playing a role in the declining stocks of largemouth and striped bass. Studies are underway to prove or disprove this theory.

Once established, white perch can take over an impoundment. They are much like aquatic weeds that become entrenched and are difficult to control and remove.  Because of its propensity to out populate other species, one angler referred to the feisty perch as "Hydrilla with Gills".

On the positive side, white perch are fun and easy to catch. Its tasty white meat is excellent table fare. They swim in large schools and are easy to find with a fish finder, or simply by drifting until they begin to bite.  During the day, they settle over humps, points and brush piles at depths to thirty-five feet.  At night, they migrate to the shallows near lighted docks and piers, and can be caught on worms, threadfin shad and small minnows.  Because of their aggressive nature, they will also attack artificial lures.  Small spoons, crappie jigs and spinners will produce strikes.

The Fishing Pros can help you find and catch white perch on the Lake Norman. Call or book your trip online today for a bass fishing adventure with Captain Gus and the Fishing Pros!

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