If you’re an avid surf perch angler you’ve probably been dragging grubs on a Carolina rig for ages. This deadly technique will definitely get you numbers, but not always size. Many of you have experienced days when you just couldn’t seem to land a fish bigger than your hand, leaving nothing for the dinner plate at home.
This is where throwing surf perch lures can change the game. The technique has been around for years but hasn’t quite picked up enough attention. I stumbled across a few YouTube videos of people catching big surf perch with lures and it reminded me of a time when a fish hit my Daiwa SP Minnow on accident, making me a believer. It’s time to put the perch grubs aside for a moment and break out the big guns.
The Secret is Out!
If you’ve seen the videos online, there is one single lure people throw for surf perch – the Lucky Craft CIF Flash Minnow 110SP. This bait is specifically designed for anglers targeting various surf species. The Flash Minnow 110SP is super slender and swims with a tight wobble that’s irresistible to surf perch.
Lucky Craft CIF Flash Minnow 110SP Specs:
- Length: 4.5”
- Weight: ⅝ ounces
- Hook Size: #6
- Diving Depth: 1-2 feet
- Class: Suspending
Finding the Right Rod & Reel Surf Combo
Keep two things in mind when you’re throwing lures in the surf: long casts and a smooth retrieve. You’ll want a rod long enough to get your lure past the breakers and a reel smooth enough to take strain off your arm, wrist and hand. If you’re throwing lures for hours you’ll definitely feel the pain if you don’t have a lightweight, smooth setup.
I prefer a spinning reel over a casting reel for surf lures, simply because they’re easier to cast and you pick up line much faster. If you are more comfortable with a casting setup, by all means go ahead!
- Daiwa Ballistic 3000: Lightweight frame, sealed bearings thanks to Daiwa’s Magseal technology, strong 15.4lb drag, ultra-smooth retrieve, thick bail for reduced flex.
- Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 3000: Pricey but personally my favorite reel ever. Lightest reel on the market, more torque thanks to Shimano’s X-Ship technology and a tough 20lb drag.
- Penn Conflict 3000: Slightly heavier but more impact resistant, strong 15lb HT-100 drag system, faster retrieve rate for picking up slack line, braid-ready spool. Whole body is aluminum to reduce any flexing under pressure.
Spinning Reel Suggestions (Mid-Range)
- Daiwa Fuego 3000: An absolute quality reel for around $100. Extremely smooth, thicker bail for reduced flex, corrosion-resistant bearings and holds more line than standard 3000-size reels.
- Shimano NASCI 3000: Also a great reel at around $100, still offers Shimano’s X-Ship technology for more torque, sealed bearings and the extremely durable Hagane cold-forged aluminum main gear.
- Penn Fierce 3000: Heavy but absolutely indestructible (mine has been through hell!), unbeatable price at around $80, rubber gasket on drag cap to keep elements out, braid-ready spool. Full aluminum body for zero flex under pressure.
Choosing a Surf Rod for Perch Lures
I prefer a light salmon/steelhead rod that’s at least 8 feet. This will give you a much longer cast, and the action will load up perfectly on a perch, helping you play them with no issues.
Salmon/Steelhead (SST) Rod Suggestions
- Phenix Trifecta 8’6” (TRX-S866-2)
- Lamiglas X-11 8’6” (LX 86 MHC)
- Fenwick HMX 8’6” ( HMX86M-MS-2)
- Okuma SST 8’6” (SST-C-862MH-CG)
I love using braid out in the surf. It lasts longer, casts further and is more sensitive than monofilament. There is zero stretch in braid, so your hooksets can be more direct as well. If you choose braid, you’ll want to run a monofilament or fluorocarbon leader about 3 feet to your lure. Daiwa J-Braid and PowerPro Spectra in 20-30lb has worked best for me so far.
Don’t rule out mono, however, as mono can be a very inexpensive choice without sacrificing castability. If you’re using straight mono it’s important to go as light as possible. I’ll use 10-15lb mono depending on the brand. Yo-Zuri Hybrid and Maxima Ultragreen are two extremely strong and cheap brands.
Flash Minnow 110SP Tips & Tricks
Finding the Time and Location
I’m a bit pickier when throwing lures for perch. I prefer a lower tide such as the tail end of an outgoing tide if possible. If the tide is too rough it’s difficult to both work and feel your lure. If you’re on a beach that has an expansive, shallow flat, it’s a perfect time to throw the Flash Minnow.
Most fish will strike in shallow water, but bomb a long cast since you’re covering water quickly anyways. Keep a lookout for holes and troughs in the surf – this can be spotted by finding areas where the waves don’t break as much on the surface. It takes a bit of practice but it’s important to learn. Riptides (where two waves collide) are also a key area as they stir up organisms underwater and draw schools of hungry fish.
The Proper Retrieve
A slow and steady retrieve is usually the standard, but you can throw a few twitches and pauses in between. Play around with your retrieves and see what works best for you. Personally I’ll just use a steady retrieve but there are days when a few tweaks can change everything.
Swapping Out Treble Hooks
The stock hooks on the Flash Minnow 110SP aren’t too shabby but I’ll go the extra mile and swap them out. The Owner ST-41 trebles are extremely sharp, plus the rounded tips keep the hook from dulling when rubbing against sand and other elements.
I hope this helped give you a different outlook on surf perch. If you are successful from this article please be sure to share your story! You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +. We’ll be happy to repost your surf slabs.
If you have any further questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below. I love starting any convo related to fishing and will respond as soon as possible. Once again thanks for the support everyone! Tight lines.