Pan Fishing with a Shad Dart

Pan fishing with a shad dart is a rigging for catching yellow perch, white perch and other pan sized fish. Yellow Perch are usually caught during a small window in the spring. The best time of year is typically mid to late March, and depending on the weather, may even extend a bit into April.  The White Perch will spawn from April till June.

The shad dart with the bobber, is an example of one of the most universal rigs being thrown out into the Bay. It is a simple lure that can yield great results on catching white and yellow perch, as well as crappie, and trout.

You need to have your leader tied with a clinch knot. How high up you should tie your bobber will depend on how deep the water is that you are fishing in. The rule of thumb is that typically in 6ft of water you would tie your bobber at about 3 ft.

A common assumption when fishing with a bobber rig is that once you cast out, you need to do nothing. And, that is true in cold water. Once a low-pressure system moves through though, the fish will begin a feeding frenzy. The best way to capitalize on that is to cast out, wait about 10 seconds, pop the line a bit, then reel in a bit. Repeat this process until you either hook a fish or need to recast.

The best bait to catch large fish with this system would be using minnows, but you will see success with the grass shrimp, blood worms, or night crawlers.

A little trick:

Get rid of the bobber and use your usual 4 to 8 lb outfit. On the main line use a 1/6th oz shad dart and a one-inch Berkley Minnow. Hook it through the nose as you would a twister tail or any other soft plastic, about 1/4 inch down and bring the hook up through the back.

A tried and true method:

  1. cast out
  2. let it sink to the bottom
  3. give line little pops
  4. slowly reel in

Doing this will create a little flutter action through the water and will increase your luck at catching those yellow perch!