Pounding is a great tactic to use when fish are hugging super-tight to structure, and a prime example is when perch are staging right next to pier pilings but won’t move away from them to take a lure or bait. When lures worked danger-close to the structure draw strikes yet those just a foot away don’t, you know it’s time to try pounding — which is far less likely to result in snags and far more likely to result in a full cooler.

  • Get within a few feet of the structure, even if that means bringing your boat close enough to potentially spook the fish. Maintain stealth, of course.
  • Choose a lure that produces action while free-falling, not swimming. Pick tube jigs over shad bodies, wobbling spoons over spinners or spinnnerbaits, etc.
  • Extend your rod out so the tip is directly over the spot you want to fish, and drop your lure to the bottom.
  • Lift the lure just an inch or two up, and then quickly snap the rod tip up and down — but no more and an inch or so — continually for two to three seconds. The motion should be quick enough that slack gets into the line for a fraction of a second between each upward snap, then bangs (pounds) against the line as it suddenly becomes taunt. This causes the lure to quiver more than go up and down.
  • Stop, and pause for two to three seconds. This is when you’ll usually get hit. If not, bring the lure up a foot or so, and repeat the cycle.
  • Continue pounding the lure at varying depths until you get a strike. Then, keep the lure at that same depth as you continue pounding.
angler holds up a huge white perch
We're not sure what technique Liam was using when he caught this monster white perch, but we do know one thing: it sure makes us jealous!

Note: Pounding is also very effective on freshwater fish like crappie and bluegill that are stuck tight inside heavy cover, such as a beaver dam or deadfall, just as long as you move your boat quietly and don’t spook the fish.