Lindy pro and veteran guide Jim Klages plies the ice of Big Stone Lake on the Minnesota-South Dakota border, consistently connecting clients with jumbo perch. His secrets to success include a foolproof plan for luring in curious perch and triggering them to strike.

“When I’m searching for fish, I drill two holes four feet apart,” he said. “In the first, I drop a 1/16-ounce Lindy Perch Talker tipped with a whole minnow and suspend it 18 to 24 inches off bottom. Lightly hook the bait under the dorsal fin so the tine points toward the head and the minnow swims freely in an upward manner.”

Such hooking allows the bait to swim up a few inches, drop down, then swim up again, creating an alluring combination of flash, clatter, scent and sound. “The minnow does the jigging for you,” said Klages. “I rest the rod on a bucket and focus on the second line.”

On that line, he ties a small Lindy Darter. “This is the attractor,” he said. “Rip it aggressively for three or four minutes to call the fish in.”

Once perch arrive, some may hit the Darter. To boost the odds of connecting with the attractor bait, Klages removes the lure’s belly trebly and replaces it with a #10 or #12 treble on a 1 ½-inch dropper chain. “Tip the treble with three spikes per tine,” he said.

“After you catch the first few aggressive fish that rush in, and the rest are hanging around the hole, quickly reel up the Darter and drop a Lindy Tungsten Toad tipped with three or four spikes. Between that and the Perch Talker, you can mop up as many fish as possible before the school moves on.”

Klages notes that right now on Big Stone, he’s seeing 18 inches of ice, and enjoying good perch action early and late in the day. “Average perch size is 10 to 10½ inches, but we’re getting a lot of 12 inchers and there have been a few just under 13. Bonus slab bluegills have been helping keep us busy, too.”