|“In my opinion, the growing popularity of perch fishing has been influenced by adapted American bass techniques like the Ned rig and the Finesse TRD™ system,” believes Sbrzesny. “The decline in our pike populations has also played a role. But there’s no doubt, Z-Man ElaZtech systems have greatly influenced the Scandinavian and European perch scene.”|
Today, perhaps mirroring the thrill of American bass tournaments, high-energy competitive European perch circuits are on the rise. Perch Pro, a reality-based YouTube series and high-tech tourney trail, features multiple two-angler teams competing for the five largest fish. Perch are measured in the boat, recorded and released. Tomas Helge Sköld of Sporting/Team Z-Man notes that the winning approaches typically include Ned-rigged Finesse TRDs and TRD CrawZ™, as well as ElaZtech swimbaits like the Slim SwimZ ™ and Scented Jerk ShadZ™ with “darting” jigheads. Sbrzesny says that for the largest predatory perch, ChatterBaits® have also become deadly lures.
He further notes that, like their American counterparts, European anglers spend appreciable time locating perch— a species known for its nomadic, grazing behaviors. “Most of our larger perch prefer to hunt along structure, usually in large roving wolfpacks,” notes Sbrzesny. “When they’re meandering across vast spans of featureless terrain, something as simple as a bigger stone can attract a lot of fish. Sunken trees, docks, bridges and especially, weed beds attract the most consistent action. Low growing grass on sand or other soft substrates gather crayfish and other invertebrates, as well as baby perch, which our larger perch eat like candy.”