Perch spend the spring, summer and most of the fall in the lake (god knows where!). However as mid september approaches, they start to make their way into Sodus Bay. In September and early October, most guys are fishing them in the channel, just inside near the buoys. They hang out in the deep water between charles point and the “loop”. These fresh lake fish congregate in schools in deep holes, before eventually making their way into shallower water in the winter and spring to spawn.
My favorite presentation for these fish is to tie a sinker (1/2-1 ounce) onto my line, and then snell two hooks 1 and 2 feet up. Most of the time I use simple aberdeen gold hooks with fathead minnows or hair jigs tipped with spikes. I also use bare jigs with 1-2 inch plastic worms, or even just regular worms. These fish hang on or near the bottom. Usually I let the sinker hit the bottom and then make the line tight. Some days, drifting is the best method. Some days it is best to anchor off a point or drop off… it depends.
As we get closer to winter, these fish move deeper into the bay. Some stay congregated in deep water off of any of the points or on the back sides of the islands, and some move their way into grass beds. All of the same baits will take fish. Sometimes you have to move to smaller weights or even fish them under a bobber, depending on how deep and how “grassy” the water is. The west side of Newark island, the south end of eagle island, thorton point, grassy point and nicholas point, as well as east of shaker heights, are all good areas to try.
With the ice, honestly not much changes. A lot of the same areas (both off grass beds and on deep drop offs near points) hold fish. However the bait changes a bit. Jigs become much more important. Though minnows on tip downs can work, they are less effective in my experience.