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Do you want to learn how to catch more perch? Are you looking for information to help you be more successful fishing for perch? Perch are abundant, feed all year, and are tasty. In this article, we share perch fishing tips to help you catch more perch and enjoy the year-round fishing of perch.
Table of Contents
How To Catch Perch
Trolling is one of the fishing methods that you can use to catch perch. When trolling, you attach the line with the bait behind the boat and slowly move the boat in the waters. This is usually slow trolling with the boat moving 1 to 4 knots. You can use live bait when slow trolling for perch.
Bait casting is another fishing method you can implement to catch perch. When bait casting, you bait a hook and cast your line into an area that you think has perch. Let the line sit for some time and then when you feel a bite, you reel it in. Bait casting is a fishing method that is simple but effective and can be used by beginners to kick off their fishing careers.
3. Still fishing
Another fishing method you can implement when fishing for perch is still fishing. When still fishing, you drop your line into the water and let it remain there until you get a strike from fish. Then you reel in the line quickly. Still fishing is a good way to get a beginner into fishing. You can still fish from piers, docks, or an anchored boat.
4. Ice fishing
You can fish for perch year round including the winter. Perch is a schooling fish and tend to bite in cold water making it easy to catch a lot of them during the winter. If there is thick ice, you may need a fish finder to help you find the best place to target them.
5. Vertical Jigging
Vertical jigging is another fishing technique to catch perch. When vertical jigging, you drop the jig to the bottom until it hits the bottom. Then pull it upward so that it experiences a quick jerk upward. Then drop it back down to the bottom. This upward pulling motion and downward dropping to the bottom will get the attention of the perch that will be tempted to bite.
Perch Fishing For Beginners
As a beginner, you can fish on a boat with others to give you some guidance or you can fish from the shoreline, piers, or docks. There are a number of fishing methods that you can use to fish for perch as a beginner. You can implement bait casting, still fishing, or drifting along the shoreline.
Fishing piers and docks are especially some of the best yellow perch fishing spots during warm months. If your favorite lake has one, pick a comfortable sitting spot, bait a lightly weighted hook with a small live minnow, release the bait to the bottom, then relax until a perch bites. Most times, that’s all it takes.
Perch Fishing Setup
Perch is not a large fish and when fishing for it, you will need a light fishing rod and reel, preferably about 6 feet or more, with a 4 to 8-pound test line. Monofilament lines are the popular choice for lines. Hooks in the range from 4 to 8 will work for most of the baits used for perch.
Perch Fishing Tips
1. Fish for perch on the bottom as they feed on the bottom. Although they feed on the bottom, they will rise if there is a lot of food above.
2. During the warm months, perch like to linger around fishing piers and docks. If you have some of these structures nearby, fish there as they are some of the best fishing spots.
3. Perch cannot resist tiny bits of live bait like small strips of belly meat, chunks of cut-up minnow, or parts of a fish like an eyeball. Put small pieces of live bait on a plain hook or use it to tip a little spoon or jig
4. In spring when fishing for perch, you should always be on the move. Perch are schooling fish and you will find them in one spot one week and in another spot the next week.
5. Spots inshore near shallow breaks or in water to the depth of 30 ft/9 m can also be good spots to find perch. They also gather near rocks, weed beds, reeds, or channels. Check such structures for perch.
6. In deeper lakes perch are found around islands, rocky shoals, and points. Find a soft mud bottom as they are full of invertebrates like midge larvae and fingernail clams to attract perch.
7. When you finally locate a school of perch, fishing might start slow. But when you start catching perch, things might ramp up so quickly that it might end up being a feeding frenzy. Step up your speed and land fish quickly and get your bait or lure back in the water fast because another perch might bite right away.
8. When the water starts to cool, the bigger perch will go deeper into the water and remain there during the winter. They school together and remain under the ice. Ice fishermen should not fish too shallow or you will miss the bigger perch.
9. Whenever you find spots that are a mixture of aquatic vegetation, gravel, and rocks, you just might find perch around. Drop-offs and shallow reefs surrounded by deeper water are also good places for perch.
10. Any river that has a good population of walleye will also have perch.
11. Large, slow-moving rivers are also good spots for perch. They can also be found in small rivers and streams that are also slow-moving.
12. When the current isn’t strong, you will find perch in deep holes and pools.
13. The best times of the day to be on the water fishing for perch are in the morning and evening when they are very active.
14. Perch like mild and stable temperatures, clouds, light drizzles, and southern or western winds. They don’t like weather conditions that are usually associated with high-pressure systems like clear skies, bright sunlight, northern or eastern winds, or big temperature changes between night and day.
15. Overhanging trees or bush not only provide protection for perch from their prey, but it also serves as a food source. Insects and smaller fish are often found there that are food for perch. If you find large trees hanging over creeks or other bodies of water, you might find perch there.
16. If you spot splashing prey fish on the water surface, chances are they are being rounded up by perch.
17. One of the perchs’ hunting tactics is to hunt in packs and push the prey upward toward the surface where their escape route is cut off. Cast your bait on the water surface if you spot activity of this nature.
18. During the winter, use slow retrievable baits on or just off the bottom for perch. Baits such as soft baits such as shads, creature baits, or curly tails.
19. Fishing at night for perch is not popular with many perch anglers, but it can prove to be very rewarding. The bigger perch are more active to hunt when it is dark.
20. Perch are most active when feeding. This fact alone can help you catch a lot of perch if you are prepared for their activity. The right time of the day really depends on the season you are fishing. Early morning and early evening are the best time of the day during late spring and early summer.
During late summer, late afternoon and evening are the best. The best time in autumn is the morning and late evening. In winter, the late afternoon is the best time.
21. Perch is most active early morning and late evening.
22. Perch likes mild and stable temperatures, clouds, light drizzles, and western or southern winds.
23. Perch doesn’t like clear skies and bright sunlight, big temperature changes, and northern or eastern winds.
24. Look for perch under overhanging trees and bushes as they provide cover from predators and also serves as a cover for perch to ambush its prey.
25. Fish for perch in weeds and reeds. They also provide cover from predators and cover to ambush their prey.
26. Scan the water surface for splashing prey fish.
27. One of perch’s hunting tactics is to attack its prey from below and push them to the surface. Perch hunt in packs and if you see a lot of splashing and baitfish activity on the surface, most likely it is caused by perch preying on baitfish. Fish that area for perch.
28. When the water is warm in the summer, perch are more active and alter your strategy to use faster lures. Use spinners and crankbaits.
29. During the winter months, use slow retrievable baits.
30. Live bait is the best bait for perch fishing.
31. The bait should not be too big or it might not fit into the mouth of the perch. Bait sizes of 2 to 5 inches are the right size for perch.
32. Use maggot as bait on a maggot feeder rig at the bottom to catch perch.
33. Don’t use maggots to fish for perch in areas that contain a lot of small fish as they will eat all of the maggots.
34. Fish for perch at night using bait or lures. When using lures, use bright colors.
35. Perch can also be found around structures like pilings, weed beds, brushes, and fallen trees.
36. Perch is a schooling fish that provides some kind of safety. They are often found in schools of 50 to 200 fish.
37. During warm weather, you can fish for perch around docks and piers.
38. Bait casting, trolling, still fishing, and ice fishing are fishing methods you can use to catch perch.
39. Perch spawn in the spring in shallow waters when the temperature is around 50 degrees.
40. Perch are poor swimmers and this makes them a target for other big fish.
41. Perch goes crazy for cut baits of other perch. Use a perch you caught, cut it into pieces, and use it as bait.
42. Use the eyes from the perch you cut into pieces as bait and put the eye on the hook as bait. It works.
43. When you are fishing for jumbos, don’t anchor the boat. Instead, let it drift to cover more area.
44. Use chumming to attract perch closer to you.
45. When the water that you are fishing for perch is shallower than 15 feet, you can use the boat’s motor to make some noise that may attract curious perch that will come to find out what is making the noise.
46. The drop shot rig can be very productive in catching many perch.
47. When you are fishing in the deep waters, one trick is to put some glow on your line that can attract perch to it and get hooked up.
48. Fish have a habit of being found in the same spots time and time again. When you find perch in one area, you can mark a waypoint on the GPS. Each time you find a school of perch, mark a waypoint. You will realize over time that the fish tend to be in the same area often.
59. Invest in a good fish finder if you don’t have one.
50. Perch is often found near the bottom. Always keep your bait about 1 to 2 feet from the bottom to catch perch.
Perch Fishing Gear
1. Rods & Reels
A light graphite fishing rod with an open-faced spinning wheel is one of the best fishing rods for perch.
For perch, you can use hooks in the range of sizes 4 to 8.
A six-pound monofilament line is a good choice for fishing perch although 4 or 8-pound lines are also good options.
Perch Ice Fishing
Perch are a schooling fish and because they tend to bite in cold water, they are an easy target for ice fishermen. Don’t be surprised when you catch a bunch of perch during the winter months on the ice. An ultralight spinning rod spooled with a 4-pound line is a good choice for ice fishing perch.
Using tip-ups that allow you to set the depth and send the live bait down is the common method of ice fishing for perch. You can also use a jig if you have a pretty good idea of where the school is located.
Best Live Bait For Perch
Minnows are one of the best baits for perch.
Leeches work well as bait for perch.
Redworms are a good bait for catching perch.
Crickets are very effective as bait for perch fishing.
5. Small Crayfish
Small crayfish are also good bait for fishing for perch.
Waxworms are good bait for perch fishing.
7. Mayfly Larvae
Mayfly larvae are used bait by anglers when fishing and is effective for perch fishing.
Maggots are also used as bait for perch.
Best Lures And Jigs For Perch
1. Small Jigs
Small jigs work well as lures for catching perch.
Spinners work well to catch perch.
3. Jigging Spoons
Spoons do a good job when fishing for perch.
Crankbaits are very effective to lure perch when fishing.
Bobbers work well as lures for catching perch.
The Bottom Line
Perch feed all year round and with the knowledge and skills, you can catch perch all year. They are abundant and quick to bite. They are also hard-fighting and tasty. Perch is a favorite of anglers and in this article, we share perch fishing tips gathered from years of fishing these little panfishes.
We hope you will use some of these fishing tips to catch and take more perch home whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler. If you also fish for trout, then this article about trout fishing tips for beginners will help you learn how to catch more trout. If you are also interested in other fish like wahoo, amberjack, and Mahi Mahi, then read how to catch wahoo, how to catch amberjack, how to catch yellow perch, and how to catch Mahi Mahi.