How To Catch Perch – Fishing Tips and Techniques Guaranteed To Better Your Odds

Fishing with ultralight tackle can be a lot of fun. Perch anglers will tell you that it’s a great way for spring and fall mornings to catch panfish after panfish. The yellow perch is a great fishing buddy, even though it’s not a huge fish.

Many consider this panfish to be the ultimate panfish. They are so delicious that they can’t be disappointed in a cooler filled with them.

You need to catch more perch if you want your friends to enjoy whole-fried or tender perch. Here are our top-perch tips and tricks to catch more.

Continue reading to increase your chances of hosting a fish fry.

Perch Basics

The yellow perch Perca flavescens is named after its distinctive yellow coloration. It’s broken up by dark vertical stripes. These ‘tiger stripes” are most prominent in the spawning period of males. However, immature perch may not have them.

Although it isn’t a large fish, the yellow perch is still highly sought after for its exceptional taste. It has been given the title of “the ultimate panfish” because it’s not a very large fish. Yellow perch are not only fun to eat, but they’re also great to catch!

There are giant perch out in the wild: The largest yellow perch ever caught weighed just over four pounds and measured 18 inches. This is a rare find. These little devils can be caught regularly for as low as a pound, and between 5-12 inches in length. The females are slightly larger than the males, as usual.

Perch thrive in cool and temperate climates. They can tolerate water temperatures between 63-77 degrees. Perch can tolerate colder temperatures very well but they will stop growing if the temperature drops below 50 degrees. Perch are less tolerant of warm water, which limits their southern range. However, they grow larger and faster there.

Perch are not tolerant to the heat of mid-summer, and perch will stop feeding and start showing signs and symptoms of stress as the mercury rises.

Perch is a Prey

You need to understand the characteristics of the yellow perch to understand their behavior.

These little guys have it tough as they are prey for trout, pike, and bass. Perch are also the primary food source of almost every fish-eating bird, from kingfishers to eagles. Young perch are often decimated to keep their numbers under control. Walleye consume approximately half of each year’s hatch, according to statistics.

This vulnerability to predation can be explained by a simple weakness. Perch, even though they are fish, are poor swimmers. Perch are slow and sluggish, making them a great target for any fish that is looking for an easy meal.

If you are a hungry pike, walleye, or muskie, this is the perfect combination. Perch is a mainstay of their diets. If you are an avid angler, think about how many lures and types of perch you have!

Perch behavior is affected by their position in the food chain.

A single perch would not be able to fend off predators so this species school is designed to provide safety in numbers. This is likely to stop cannibalism. If you catch a good perch, you can be sure that it has many twins.

These slow-swimming fish are naturally drawn to structure and cover. Perch seek protection in the form of weed beds or pilings. Perch love to hold on to or near the bottom.

They are rarely found in open water, where they would be able to compete against pike, walleye, or muskie. Also, they rarely go deeper than 30 feet.

Perch Feeding Behavior

Perch are a dangerous species that live in constant danger. They prefer day overnight feeding and are active best after sunrise and just before sunset.

Perch will only be active in the spring when water temperatures rise between 44 and 55 degrees. Yellow perch will then mate in shallow water and tributaries where they will be active throughout the day.

The perch season is ideal in spring and autumn, while summer is less popular. As mentioned, perch will become less active and lethargic as the temperature rises in shallow lakes. They can become very difficult to catch at this point. It’s best to wait for the water to cool down, or to change the season or weather.

Perch can eat a variety of foods in their ideal temperature range. This diet changes throughout their lives. Like most fish species, hatchlings and fry eat zooplankton before moving on to small invertebrates. Shrimp, crawfish, and roe are the main prey of adult perch, as well as small fish like immature perch.

This makes it easy to choose the right lure and bait.

Tips and techniques for perch fishing

Go light

You won’t feel or get many bites from perch without a light line, sensitive rod, and small terminal tackle.

Our buying guide will help you choose the best ultralight fishing gear and ultralight fishing rods.

Nothing is more important than a lightweight power rod. We recommend ultralight for all our purposes. We would fish the same tackle as we would for crappie, except that hooks are something we will discuss later.

We prefer monofilament to panfish as we have discussed previously. However, there are exceptions. You might consider a heavier braid if you are losing floats or hooks. However, it is less abrasion-resistant than monofilament in the same diameter. You should also remember that it doesn’t tie as well.

These knots work well with mono and would be used with the Palomar, Uni, or San Diego Jam braided or fluoro. The key is to match your tackle with your quarry. A medium power rod, heavy line, and large hooks won’t help you fill your cooler.

Stren Original is a 4 to 6-pound mono quality mono that will provide the sensitivity, shock strength, and abrasion resistance you require.

Stren Original Monofilament Fishing Line

Make sure you use the right hooks and rigs

Perch have a smaller and more robust mouth than crappie. We like to use #6 or #8 looks like the Gamakatsu with live bait to match this. Common spreader rigs can also be a good option. However, the ones for crappie won’t use the correct hook size. And you don’t need a long-shanked Aberdeen to catch perch. These are the best.

If we want to work the bottom with no-slip float, then look for the Bullet Weights rig.

Bullet Weights PCHRIG-RED Perch Fishing Rig, Red

If you prefer to rig your own system, this is a great guide.

Slip Floats Are Handy To Have

A high-quality slip flotation is the only piece of tackle that I will not go perch fishing with. These floats allow for precise casting and provide precise depth control.

Our guide to the best slip-float bobbers is available!

They are simply great perch gear.

Keep in mind that yellow perch can be roughly the same size as crappie. I recommend the Thill Crappie Cork or the Krazywolf Balsa Multipurpose Fishing Floats. Both are durable, but you’ll need to use stopper beads for the Krazywolf. The Thill is beadless.

Krazywolf Balsa Slip Floats for Ice Fishing,1/2 to 1 Inch,Pack of 12

Slip floats with braid are not compatible as braid can damage the insert in the middle of the float. Mono is the best choice.

This tutorial will show you how to make a slip float.

Slip Floating Cover

Perch love lives to bait such as a minnow, but it can be difficult to fish in areas with snags. Slip floats allow you to target brush piles and avoid getting hung up.

Slip floats are a great way to give live bait to perch that school close to cover or on the bottom. A slip float allows you to adjust the depth of the minnow so that you can place it in the right spot in the water column. This can often result in fantastic results.

I love to cast over and around a brush pile or downed tree. My float will be adjusted so that the minnow is between 6-10 inches and the top of the brush pile. Then I’ll get my cooler ready.

This video will show you how it’s done.

You can also choose to use waxworms or crickets as an alternative to minnows.

This young man explains how to hook a cricket.

Tiny Swim Baits, Rigged Weedless

The perch love cover and are a great choice for anglers. However, fishing in thick material can be difficult.

We know that perch are minnow-like, so I prefer to use a small soft bait, which is weedless, to avoid the problem of snagging vegetation. This allows me to fish through weeds with a life-like lure without any problems.

Johnson 3D Eyes Shad is my choice for a realistic bait. This deadly bait measures just 2 3/4 inches in length and is perfect for attracting perch. The delicate tail also drives them insane.

JOHNCOO Fishing Lure 3D Eyes Shad Lure Soft Bait Soft Silicone Bait Swimbaits Plastic Lure Pack of 24pcs 70mm/2.76in

The Zoom UltraVibe speed crawl is also a favorite of mine, considering perch’s love for crawfish. You don’t have to be concerned about this bait being too large. This bait is a winner because it combines salty flavor and enticing action as well as a great choice in colors.

Zoom 080054 Ultra-Vibe Speed Crawfish Trailer, 3-1/2-Inch, 12-Pack, Watermelon Red

These would be rigged on a Paxipa #6 weedless hook. There are not many options for small weedless hooks. These are not perfect but they are good enough.

Superglue can be used to attach the hook to the guard. You may also want to clip the guard’s tip and adjust the tension. This is a great deal for pocket money and a 100-count.

Swimming Baits and Jigs

We’d like one last tip to share: Try tiny jigheads paired with small swimbaits such as the Strike King Lures Rage Swimmer or the Zoom Bait Fat Albert Grub. Each offers amazing action and the various tail styles allow you to choose from when one isn’t working.

Strike King RGSW234-47 Rage Tail Rage Swimmer, 2-3/4', Green Pumpkin Pearl BellyThe 2 3/4-inch versions are my favorite, although I do like the larger sizes. You can have whatever the perch need with so many color options.

These swimbaits can be used with 1/32 ounces of unpainted jig heads. All you have to do is jerk them off the bottom and pick up your slack before letting them settle.

This lure works as advertised.

Last Thoughts

Yellow perch are a staple spring and autumn food in North America. They are a joy to catch and make a great meal. This makes them one of the most sought-after panfish.

These tips and tricks will help you host your next big fish fry. But, if you have any other suggestions, we would love to hear them.

Leave a comment below

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.