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Any special techniques to find panfish in the autumn when the weeds start going down? Do they change their feeding habits or anything?

With most freshwater off limits I have to find some new holes as it's been a while since a feed of my favourite, white perch.
 

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The weed beds have definitely changed over the last month. In places they are still solid right to the surface in the low water, which isn't great for fishing.

In other places the weeds have died back and I'm catching more fish out in the middle rather than close to shore in my usual spots.

I've had yellow perch hitting a small perch-coloured Rapala minnow hard while I was pickerel fishing the last two weekends.

I'm using soft plastic frogs with a 5/0 hook on my baitcaster for the pickerel and when lots of perch chase it back to the boat I can fire out the Rapala on my spinning rod and the perch will grab it.

Last week I caught a 25" pickerel on the small Rapala, which was a neat suprise - he ate the whole thing, 2 trebles and all. Successfully released after 5 minutes of dental surgery.

Haven't seen any white perch lately.

I've been thinking about frying up some perch if they were decent sized, but I haven't kept a single fish all season [and thats a lot of fish]
 

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Noticed the same trend. Just before the freshwater-fishing season closed on Oct 15 I'd found that the yellows seemed to be taking over from the whites, schooling up and generally chasing my bait in swarms in some of the more sheltered areas. Most of them were on the order of 7 inches - pretty small - and I was hardly getting any action from larger fish. Seems to be quite seasonal as some tidal spots recommended to me for "sure-fire panfish" didn't give a peep when I tried them now that it's cold. (Patience, Retro, patience! :rolleyes: )

ipop confirmed in conversation that there are still "boils" of white perch into September - perhaps they school up tighter as the nights start getting longer or something - and I'd just love to run across one of those at some point.

I have a lower-end fishfinder that I stopped using in my sit-in kayak because I didn't know there was a shoot-through hull transponder option and I usually fished in very shallow waters. Think I'll dig it out on my next sturgeon run on the Kennebecasis and see if I pass over any schools on the way to the hunting grounds.
 
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