Robert Richardson is the publisher and writer for CountryHookers.com; he also founded and operates the popular survival and training website OFFGRIDSurvival.com.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into fishing?
I’ve been fishing for as long as I can remember. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I know it started in Southern Wisconsin when my grandfather and I were fishing for bass, and I know it quickly filled my life.
From hours after hours of fishing tackle in the Bass Pro, LL Bean and Cabela catalogs to daydreaming about upcoming perch trips to the Wolf River in Wisconsin, fishing has quickly become an obsession.
Even before I had my own rod and reel, I stole safety pins and yarn from my grandmother to make homemade rods and then spent hours catching carp in the local pond. But it was these early bass rides that sealed my fate. There was something about the feeling when the bass hooked your bait that hooked me.
Once I had a real rod with a reel, which I think was something like an early Ugly Stik, I was unstoppable.
Can you share some common perch fishing techniques for people who are just getting into the sport?
One of the best things you can do is just get out there and start paying attention to what you’re doing. Start with soft plastic, something like a Zoom Trick or Senko worm (I usually use Yum Dingers, but any bait will do) and start paying attention to how it feels. Watch your line, pay attention to how it feels when the bait falls, study how it feels and looks when it hits the bottom, learn to watch for those little bumps in the line that can signal a soft hit.
Just go out and practice. Not a day goes by that I don’t learn something.
What is your favorite perch fishing spot and why?
I love river and stream fishing; it’s not that I think I’ll catch more fish, it’s just that there’s something about the feeling of fishing in a river or small stream that I can’t get from fishing in a lake.
I think it’s more like fantasy; I hope you’re the guy who found that tiny creek where the monster is hiding.
When you fish in a new lake or body of water, what do you pay attention to and how should you approach fishing in new and unfamiliar bodies of water?
Some of them really depend on the season, the stage the fish is in, the temperature, etc.; but in general i know that the bass has certain idiosyncrasies and things they do during every season of the year. With that in mind, you at least have a place to start; start with what you know and then start expanding from there.
If I’m on a new system for the first time, I don’t spend more than 5-10 minutes per location unless I get some action. If I start fishing, I will try to use these patterns throughout the area until it doesn’t work, and then I will start the process again. But the main thing here is not to spend hours in one place in the hope of a bite. If the fish doesn’t respond and you’ve tried several different baits and tactics, move on.
Also read: Fishing for Spotted Bay Bass in Southern California
What technique do you prefer to catch giant bass and why?
My number one super-secret perch fishing technique is wait…
I know; I hear groans and groans. Look, this might sound weird, especially if you were hoping I’d give you some top-secret bait, but you can’t ignore the importance of relationship. Fishing is definitely a trust game.
There were days when I was scolded hour after hour, and then BOOM! The bite just turns around for me and his magic. But there really isn’t any magical reason why this happened, and it wasn’t a top-secret technique that made a difference. It was the fact that I didn’t let something like a slow—or nonexistent—bite confuse me.
During the day, even when the bite was nowhere to be found, I knew it was coming. It just had to come.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been where someone came up to me and yelled about “this place sucks”, “there’s no fish in this damn water” and so on, only to see them leave. right now as I started catching fish after fish.
I’m not leaving! Even if today is a “bad day”, I’m still learning what’s going on, adjusting my casts, looking for cover I might have missed, and doing hundreds of other things that make fishing fun. Yes, FUN.
- I enjoy it even if it bites slowly.
- I enjoy fishing in a high pressure pond near my house where the bite is really slow and hard.
- I enjoy catching fish that are not much bigger than the bait I cast.
- Hell, I’m having fun, sitting in my garage, drinking beer and practicing throwing baits in a bucket – yes, I really do, and here’s a photo to prove it.
The point is, if you have a shitty attitude, you will miss the fish. I’ve seen guys cursing and throwing tantrums about “there were no fish in the lake” just when their line stopped on a fall and they missed a subtle clue because their frustration slowly built up over the course of the day. So have fun and enjoy the experience because that’s really what it’s all about.