Are Perch Territorial

Mcdemon

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First trip predator fishing this morning on the drop shot at my local small river.
Had one take from a fish that was easily over a foot long but lost it which would have been a nice way to start.
Question is are perch territorial?
It was on a deep bend and I intend a date with that one again If it is likely to still be there.
 
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ian g

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I'd say there is a fair chance it will be around the same area a slow deep bend sounds a good location , I suppose it depends how many slow deep bends there are . Dropshotting is pretty mobile so you should be able to find them again . Good luck
 

Mcdemon

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I will be concentrating on that area as autumn sets in. Thanks Ian as it was huge and took off on a long run as soon as I hooked it. Thought it was a pike at first as it was so powerful.
 

Peter Jacobs

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Question is are perch territorial?

I seem to recall many years ago Jack Hargreaves stating that Perch patrolled the same stretches of a river. and if memory serves me correctly, I think he said that the route takes approximately 17 minutes.

I have never tested that theory myself so cannot comment on its accuracy . . . . but Jack was right on so many other issues . . . .
 

ian g

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From my experiences on the Severn they seem to be more spread at low summer levels like most other fish but as the water cools you can find them in the same spots year after year . If they are the same fish it;s hard to tell . The shoals seem to more mixed in recent years but as I mainly fish worms anything can be caught .
 

grayson

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I'd say the perch I've been fishing for in the last ten seasons with light lure tactics (jig/dropshot ) are , by a huge margin, the least territorial fish I have ever encountered. Yesterday's hot spot is often today's blank , and that is why you need to keep on the move all the time to keep up. Ignore a lot of the tired old tut trotted out every week about targetting structures , weed , cover and lock gates. I have caught plenty of perch in such locations but I have done just the same on apparently featureless stretches of river and canal, and most of my bigger 'wild ' perch have come from almost entirely random spots . You can hit the jackpot where you expect to -I once had over 30 perch, most net jobs , from an area smaller than my bathroom below a lock but, guess what ? , I've never had more than a handful from there since .

From countless hours and many miles chasing them , all I'd say is target shallow water in deep rivers in the summer months and never stop exploring . It's nearly all about location - lure pattern is far less critical. Like fly fishing, the longer you have done it , the more you catch and the fewer patterns you need . Some spikey shads , some paddle tails and Z Man Ned Rig lures and you're good to go. Travel light , walk far and explore the less obvious swims- the fish don't read the magazines and internet connection is very poor subsurface so perch don't necessarily behave as people expect them to...

The only exception to the 'rule ' I have found is fishing commercials . I only fish a couple , and only in winter , often in vile weather with no anglers around and I have found definite hot spots, even in small lakes . The tricky bit is that they aren't features as such - so not islands , bushes , points or platforms but apparently random areas in open water.

Perch can feel like the proverbial mystery wrapped inside an enigma but the only thing which gets my heart beating as fast as a big perch is abig grayling .
 

ian g

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I suppose it depends how big the territory is and the time you fish it . I have a few hot spots on the Severn where you can sometimes wait a couple of hours fishing worms thinking you'll never catch , then all of a sudden they go on a feeding spree and it's one after another . I assume the perch are following a patrol route but of course they could just be in the area and not feeding . I agree about hot spots they aren't always obvious or where you would expect , though I always like the inside of a crease on the Severn , they seem to hold bait fish in them but even here I have sometimes caught well in the flow when the slack goes quiet .
 

markcw

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When I used to fish a few stretches of the Bridgewater Canal, I found out where the perch hotshots were. Some were along the far side of the canal that had rushes growing there, some under moored boats, and one was along the edge of a featureless towpath, for that one you had to fish as close to the towpath, your rod more or less parallel with the canal. Worm was the best bait here.
 

whitty

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Perch territorial,probably not in the real sense of the word,but certain spots favour the species so they live there....
 

David Gane

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I think they follow their prey around, so are likely to be found where their food supply is. If you're lucky on large waters you can find big groups of them attacking shoaling fish. Last summer on The Broads for example I encountered a shoal of them attacking a patch of fry. You could see the commotion from 100 yards away. I put on a spinner and had a fish a cast - all about 1 lb - for about 20 minutes. Then suddenly they were gone. Because there are areas where fry often gather you can obviously often find them in the same places, but I don't think that makes them territorial; they don't defend their location. Similarly, perch doyens will tell you that there are ideal locations for them to hole up in. Their camouflage itself gives clues as to where that might be. But again I think they have chosen a good place to go ambush hunting rather than somewhere to "live" and defend.
 

Aknib

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First trip predator fishing this morning on the drop shot at my local small river.
Had one take from a fish that was easily over a foot long but lost it which would have been a nice way to start.
Question is are perch territorial?
It was on a deep bend and I intend a date with that one again If it is likely to still be there.
You will find that many Perch will inhabit certain places, I've always been of the opinion that it's more to do with the physical make up of the area eg. depth and changes in it, shade, structure etc. rather than an aggressive territorial instinct.
Always a good bet that the fish and more will be in the same area the next time you try.
 

ian g

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I don't think they are territorial in the guarding their turf sort of way but they do seem to inhabit certain locations and I suspect patrol certain areas. All fish can be caught in places you wouldn't expect but if somewhere looks like it should have perch in it often will.
 

grayson

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My experience with this most enigmatic of fish is that you are dead right . Some of the time. The rest of the time ? I sometimes have been reduced to looking for the most featureless swim and caught a good one. Sometimes. As a rule of thumb the little ones often behave as they should and the big ones go on walkabout . As it were
 

Phil Heaton

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Perch do prefer certain feature areas, but all the anglers target these areas which means that the resident perch have 'seen it all' and become very wary. With so many lure anglers on the banks these days feature areas can be fished multiple times each day, I've found weekends can be the toughest which I put down to the increase in angling pressure on these days. Wednesdays and Thursdays seem to be more productive as they tend to be quieter on the bank.
I believe that they are territorial but the better fish can occasionally be found either on the bottom below the smaller fish or on the outer extremities of a feature. The bigger perch are definitely eating their siblings along with bugs, worms and crayfish so target them with live baits or life like lures.
Also don't forget that underwater features are also present that aren't immediately obvious from the surface, which form their patrol route drop offs from a canal margin for example.
 

barbelboi

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On the rivers I've fished I have found (larger) perch to be pretty nomadic during the warmer months being wherever the fry are. During the colder months I have found they usually prefer the slacks so are much easier to locate............
 

theartist

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On small rivers and canals I find the perch are very localised, it's a mistake to think because they seem to be there one day and seemingly gone the next that they are gone, could well be they just aren't getting caught today. Especially on lure rigs and worms they can wise up quite quickly, intelligence is a word used a lot lately and I think big perch are underestimated in this respect. I got talking to a lovely old fella down the canal who fishes worms who thought they were gone(perhaps taken) from his newly found favourite spot but I reassured him they weren't having caught plenty on single maggot over the winter(including the same one three times). Last time I yielded the swim to him as he can't walk far, hope he had a big one that day.

A few swims I know on small clear rivers always have big perch in them as you can see them, sometimes they can be mighty hard to tempt, it's the same on the canal with banker 'perch' swims but the fish seem easier here and you almost know they will be there despite not seeing them, maybe the difference in clarity of water makes them more obliging or there's just more of them? It would make sense as they must have great eyesight, better than pike IMO. I sometimes think if the dropshotters knew how many perch you have had out certain spots they would fish them religiously trying every trick in the book. I think this localisation is magnified in winter.

The key to being a good predator angler or any lure angler has to be good local knowledge surely?
 

Mcdemon

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Thanks all for the insight into perch behaviour. Have not managed another trip but will certainly return to the same area and persevere until I have located it again. When the trout season finishes I intend to go for the specimen perch as this is what has attracted me to the soft lure approach. My son caught one when he was 10 (23 now) that was eighteen inches long and am sure he did not appreciate what he was holding. That has been on my mind ever since so a specimen is a target. To be fair it was probably for the best I lost that one as I would have managed it at the first attempt and everything after would have been a disappointment!
thanks again.
 

grayson

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Perch do prefer certain feature areas, but all the anglers target these areas which means that the resident perch have 'seen it all' and become very wary. With so many lure anglers on the banks these days feature areas can be fished multiple times each day, I've found weekends can be the toughest which I put down to the increase in angling pressure on these days. Wednesdays and Thursdays seem to be more productive as they tend to be quieter on the bank.
I believe that they are territorial but the better fish can occasionally be found either on the bottom below the smaller fish or on the outer extremities of a feature. The bigger perch are definitely eating their siblings along with bugs, worms and crayfish so target them with live baits or life like lures.
Also don't forget that underwater features are also present that aren't immediately obvious from the surface, which form their patrol route drop offs from a canal margin for example.
I'm not sure I agree - I was doing a lot of lure fishing before it became trendy and was lucky to fish somewhere I didn't even see another 'lurer' for years. Even so, the perch still very obviously moved around hugely, often to random , apparently featureless spots .

I have migrated away to waters which rarely see lure anglers now. I loathe fishing hammered spots and am lucky enough to have the time and locations to explore. One more designer clad brat with all the gear and not even a hint of watercraft is one too many for me !
 

theartist

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Thanks all for the insight into perch behaviour. Have not managed another trip but will certainly return to the same area and persevere until I have located it again. When the trout season finishes I intend to go for the specimen perch as this is what has attracted me to the soft lure approach. My son caught one when he was 10 (23 now) that was eighteen inches long and am sure he did not appreciate what he was holding. That has been on my mind ever since so a specimen is a target. To be fair it was probably for the best I lost that one as I would have managed it at the first attempt and everything after would have been a disappointment!
thanks again.
Go for it, there's nothing like a lost fish like that to whet the appetite for countless trips, chances are if there's a reason for that perch to be there like the deep bend then the chances are it could still be there or even swimming around with it's bigger cousin, who knows.

Remember big perch look absolutely massive in the water.
Then they look absolutely massive when hooked.
However the good thing is they still look absolutely massive when in the net.
They are the 'biggest' of all fish for sure and a joy to catch.
Enjoy the chase (y)
 
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