Ice Fishing Perch: Tips and Techniques

The yellow perch, Perca Flavescens is a popular panfish that you can chase all year. They are easy to catch due to their natural curiosity and voracious appetite, which makes them fun and enjoyable to catch. They can now be found in Ohio and South Carolina, as a result.

Perch behavior is subtly distinct from bluegill and crappie. Understanding how they interact with their natural curiosity and habitat choices is key to catching them. Anglers have many options for attracting bites. However, it is important to know what distinguishes perch from other panfish species.

You can expect to catch fish after fish once you have done that!

Below are some great tips and tricks for ice fishing perch. These links will provide you with more information about other species.

  • Walleye Ice Fishing Tips & Techniques
  • Sunfish Ice Fishing Tips & Techniques
  • Crappie Ice Fishing Tips & Techniques
  • Northern Pike Ice Fishing Tips and Techniques
  • Muskie Ice Fishing Tips & Techniques
  • Lake Trout Ice Fishing Tips & Tricks

Tips and techniques for Ice Fishing Perch

  • Chum, chum, chum –Perch are mobile a lot of the time. If you want to catch them you will need to keep them under control. We recommend that you cut up some cocktail shrimp or minnows into small pieces and throw them through the ice. It can attract perch from a great distance and keep schools grouped under your hole.
  • Multiple lines in the water at once fishing more than one line is legal in some areas. You can use a deadstick in combination with a daredevil spoon. Perch may either take the jig or choose to eat the minnows on the deadstick when they come to inspect it. Two anglers could use the same tactics but jig different options to keep perch interested and provide them with food.
  • Pound the ground clouds of sediment attract perch. Drop a heavy spoon on the bottom and tap it a few more times, before you switch to the jig that you want to fish. You’ll soon be attracting perch with that sediment.
  • A leader is a good choice leader will catch more fish, especially in clear water. A 2 to the 4-pound braided line and a 2 to 3-foot fluorocarbon leader are recommended. This combination is extremely sensitive and virtually invisible.
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Perch Basics

They are located under the ice.

Perch stick to structures in the early season. These predators will be found near cover, whether it’s a green-weed bed, a tangle of downed trees, a dock, or a submerged stone. They are not as predictable as crappie and will gather in different places and at different depths.

However, this doesn’t mean perch aren’t able to follow a certain pattern. Perch prefer transitional areas where the bottom changes from mud to sand, or sand and gravel. They will stick to shallow water and vegetation early in the season. They’ll start to move into deeper water and drop-offs as the season progresses.

Perch will also go out hunting, so don’t expect perch schools to stay still. Perch experts know this and it is often easier to lure them than to chase after them.

Because of their insatiable curiosity and hunger, they can be used against themselves. Perch are curious and will chase down anything that vibrates, stirs up sediment, or flashes at the bottom. Even lures too big for them can attract them. One trick to get them to your holes is to place an anchor on the bottom and wait for them to come.

These behaviors are often used to their advantage by experienced anglers. We’ll talk more about that below.

How to Find Them Below the Ice

Perch are a fundamental prey species. Predators are likely to seek them out, which is why they stay covered. They are predators, so you can expect them to bite from dawn until dusk. They will eat during the day, although they are most active between sundown and sunup, as with many species. You should be prepared to stay on the ice all day. Perch can still feed if they’re eating the right things.

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Perch lures

Scientists have determined that minnows are the best choice for perch. Many artificial alternatives can be used to replace live bait.

Take a look at our top picks of ice fishing rods or reels


Rapala Jigging Rap

This Rapala jig works equally well on perch than it does on larger species. Perch-colored designs make a great choice, as they are cannibalistic. A slight movement of the rod tip can send this Jigging Rap into the same gymnastics as injured fish, allowing perch to strike.


Dardevle Spoons

Deadly, deadly, deadly. What more can you say? We love the lures of the 3/16 ounce and tiny 1/16 and 1/32 grams. In silver and brass. Dardevle offers a wide range of colors, so it is a smart idea to have a variety of options.

Jig Heads

Eagle Claw Jig Ball Double Eye Hook

90deg Double Round Bend ST PointPerch can be just as dangerous as crappie with small jigheads. We like jig head sizes of 1/16 to 1/32 ounces, and soft baits or minnow heads added to them.

Soft Baits

Berkley PowerBait Power Honey Worm

PowerBait Power Honey Worm Soft Bait - Red - 1in | 3cm - PanfishBerkley’s Honey Worms make a great jig sweetener. These are great for holding minnow heads on the hook if you have trouble.

Berkley PowerBait Power Minnow

Berkley PowerBait Power Minnow Smelt, 2' (10 Count)Perch prefer minnows and Berkley is a small alternative to live bait. These soft baits, which imitate shad and are 2-inch in size, can be snatched by perch.

Last Thoughts

Perch are easy to catch once you know what makes them different from bluegill and crappie.

Although it may sound strange to use unconventional techniques, such as flashing a large spoon with a small combination of a jig and sweetening your hook with a tiny cocktail shrimp, they can make an otherwise dull afternoon into a productive day of fishing.

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These tips and tricks are worth a try. Leave a comment and tell us what you think!

These are some general tips and techniques for ice fishing.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.