Perch Fishing Tips
Inside the Outdoors, July 22,

Normally throughout the summer, I don’t hear much about any one particular subject, so I just use my best judgment when it comes to choosing story material. This year, however, I’m picking up little vibrations and they all center around Loyalhanna Creek.

Last week Latrobe Community Revitalization Executive Director Jarod Trunzo approached me down at the Latrobe Farmers’ Market to tell me he pulled in an enormous sucker from one of popular holes in the creek. The interesting thing was, he shared with me that his daughter of seven fly fishes with a stick and line tied to it and caught of whopper of a bluegill with a red and black fly. I don’t know the name of it other than to say, I saw it hanging out of the mouth of a steelhead trout in a picture in a magazine.

Both he and his daughter do very well when taking on these challenges on this area water.

It just goes to show one, this creek is loaded with all the game fish.

One disappointing bit of information fishers have been sharing with me is that fewer anglers were seen during this last month, particular along the waters locally.

I also bumped into a past customer of my former store, Pee Vee’s, who shared with me the fact that he caught two humongous largemouth bass at Conemaugh Lake. That doesn’t surprise me. That place has a reputation for big fish.

Here’s a question that may be of interest to area fishers. What did Trunzo and this fellow have in common? They were both using very small pieces of nightcrawlers. Trunzo told me he seldom goes to live bait and mainly fly fishes, but felt so led that day to pinch off a small piece of worm and give it a go. It produced! As for the other fellow, he and his friends were fishing for my favorite fish, big bluegills. Instead, he got two trophies that were worth boasting about!

When I used to go bluegill fishing at the Loyalhanna Creek, Twin Lakes or the Conemaugh Dam, I had a way of determining bait size. I would take my forefinger and point it down in the direction of my palm. The area from the first joint of my finger to second joint approximates a little better than one inch long. That is the size I used to piece the worm. I would place the bait on the rig from the BobberWithaBrain, which had three hooks on it one foot apart of each other. In about one-half hour, I was able to fill one-half gallon bucket with some of the nicest sized specimens whereby all would make great meals.


Ever since I was approached at the Latrobe Farmers’ Market by one of Latrobe’s leading artists concerning catching perch, I have been doing a little investigation in my ‘free’ time to see if what I know coincides with what others states concerning this black-striped yellowish fish.

What I do know for sure is that are lots of them in Loyalhanna Creek. A matter of fact, a very good friend of mine told me he took his children fishing in the lower Loyalhanna and all they caught were oodles of perch. He said that he went down to the second turnoff that takes one to Keystone State Park. Instead of turning right to go to the lake, he turned left and followed that road. He then parked his vehicle and walked down a very steep embankment where he found some ‘honey holes.’ The rest is history.

First of all consider this. Perch are most active at dawn and dusk.

Second, if one is a lure angler, he should select poppers and lightweight jigs. Float fishing is a good option. Bounce small rubber lures off the bottom of streams and lakes. A man who fishes stopped at the market to tell me he bought some imitations from me and used this method and it produced fantastically.

Third, it has been a proven fact that the best bait ever is live bait such as crayfish. This all-around year aquatic species is great for warmer waters where minnows may be preferred for cooler waters.

Fourth, a crappie rig has been popular in as much as it allows the fisher to put two different baits on one’s line. If nothing else, one can see which works better and use only one particular bait, twice.

Fifth, use a number 8 or 10 hook barbless hook. Perch are notorious bait thieves. Try to keep the bait on the tip of the barb.

And sixth, one source stated, where there are carp, one will also find perch. We sure have enough of them!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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