Late-winter is considered prime time for plump yellow perch. But make no mistake, jumbos are catchable at all stages of the hardwater season, including right now.

In fact, longtime Northwoods guide and Lindy pro Jeff Sundin says early winter can produce fast action for these finned footballs. “Big perch are aggressive, feeding heavily and in many cases haven’t yet been harassed by the bucket brigade,” he explained.

All of which means portly perch are relatively easy to catch when you find them.

For his part, Sundin takes a hard look at areas where baitfish including juvenile panfish and shiner minnows gathered in late fall. Sand flats sweetened by some sort of woody or weedy cover are top targets, but don’t overlook clambeds or rocks.

While many anglers focus on deep water, Sundin says depths of six to 12 feet can hold plenty of early winter perch.

To check a promising spot for fish, he punches a few holes and deploys perennial perch-calling champions like Lindy’s Perch Talker and 360 Jig.

The Perch Talker’s brass discs and beads click, clack and flash, while the 360 Jig spins on an internal axle to generation its own good vibrations. To maximize their attraction, Sundin favors a crisp pop-pause presentation, though he notes that subtle shakes and twitches can trigger less-active fish to take the bait.

If perch cloud his sonar screen and attack the lure, he drills a few more holes and goes to work. After plucking as many active perch as possible on the Perch Talker and 360 Jig, he tones things down with a small Lindy Frostee or Slick Jig and mops up less active fish until the bite dies and it’s time to move on.