Perch Fishing 101: Tips for Catching Perch
Top Perch Fishing Tips – This page contains all you need to know about perch fishing and perch. No matter how long you have been fishing for 30+ years, these tips will help you become a better perch angler. We’ll begin by giving you some basic information about perch and then we’ll give you some top perch fishing tips. You’ll also find the perch fishing records and basic facts about perch.
Perches are extremely slow and lazy, making them an easy catch for muskies, walleyes, and also fishermen. We’ll show you how to catch perches in this short post.
The common name perch refers to several species of fish: perca flavescens, perca fluviatilis, and balkharsh (perca schrenkii). These freshwater fish are carnivorous and can be found in streams, lakes, rivers, and ponds. They eat shellfish (crayfish), small fish, and (depending upon their size) aquatic insects. Perch are a popular fish for anglers. Many other fish that look like them are called perch. However, these fish are actually members from different breeds. Perch are active during dawn and dusk, and they swim in schools.
A yellow perch is identified by its brass-colored body and distinctive triangular-shaped bars running vertically down its body. The yellow perch is North America’s most popular pan fish. They live for up to 10 years, and can reach an average length between 5 and 11 inches. Jumbos and jack perch are perch larger than the average. It is also the longest freshwater fishing record. This record can be attributed to pollution and fishing pressure among other factors.
Perch Fishing 101: Basics of Perch
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 male perch, but they may not be present in immature perch.
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 is 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 there. The largest yellow perch ever caught weighed just over four pounds and measured 18 inches. This is a rare find. You can expect to regularly catch these little devils at under a pound and between 5 and 12 inches. 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 as soon as they feel the temperature rises.
Perch is a Prey
You need to understand the characteristics of the yellow perch in order to understand their behavior.
These little guys have it tough as they are prey for trout, walleyes, crappie and pike. 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, despite the fact that 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 diet. 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 middle of food chains.
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 weedbeds 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 over night 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.
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.
Perch Fishing Tips & Techniques
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.
As we’ve discussed before, we generally prefer monofilament for panfish, though there are exceptions. If you’re losing floats or hooks to brush, you might step up to heavier weight braid, keeping in mind that it’s less abrasion resistant in the same diameter as mono. You should also remember that it doesn’t tie as well.
We’d use the Palomar, Uni, or San Diego Jam with braid or fluoro, and these knots all work well with mono, too. 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.
Stick with 4 to 6 pound quality mono like Stren Original, and you’ll have the sensitivity, shock strength, and abrasion resistance you need.
Make sure you use the right hooks and rigs
Perch have a smaller and more robust mouth than crappie. To match that, we like to run #6 or #8 hook like the Gamakatsu with live bait. Common spreader rigs can also be a good option. However, they won’t use the correct hook size for crappie (and you don’t need a long-shanked Aberdeen to catch perch). These are the best.
Instead, look for something like the Bullet Weights rig if we’re going to work the bottom without a slip float:
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.
Check out our guide for the best slip float bobbers!
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 Fishering Floats. Both are durable, but you’ll need to use stopper beads for the Krazywolf. The Thill is beadless.
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 slipfloat.
Slip Floating Cover
Perch love live 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 are 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.
My choice for an ultra-realistic bait is the Johncoo 3D Eyes Shad. This deadly bait measures just 2 3/4 inches in length and is perfect for attracting perch. The delicate tail makes them go crazy.
I also like the Zoom UltraVibe Speed Craw, taking into account perchs’ fondness for crawfish. You don’t have to be concerned about this bait being too large. This bait is a winner because of its combination of salty flavor and enticing action as well as the great choice in colors.
I’d rig these on a Paxipa weedless #6 hook. These are small weedless hooks that you don’t have many options. They’re not perfect but they’re 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.
The 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.
When paired with a 1/32 ounce unpainted jig head, you can work these swim baits with an awesome swimming action just by jerking them off the bottom, picking up your slack, and letting them settle again.
Techniques for perch fishing
Here are some of the most useful and effective tips to catch perch. These tips are only applicable to North American yellow perch but will work for any perch species.
- The Best Artificial Lures Artificial lures are effective, but it is important to choose the right one. Otherwise you will waste your time. We recommend using a Set of poppers Or a lightweight jig.
- The Best Live Bait Perch fishing has evolved over the years but their love of food has not. Artificial lures are more effective than live bait. Soft shells (crayfish) are the best bait. This bait is great for all seasons. Minnows can be used in cold water, but night crawlers work best in warm water.
- Use a Crappie Rig– A crappie rig This is a great way for perch to be caught and also to see what they are biting on in your local area. Our crappie rigs are often outfitted with different types of live bait to see what the fish are eating. Once we have figured out what works, we double-up our rig and wait for the fish to bite. Nothing is more thrilling than catching 2 jumbo perch in a single shot. You don’t have to like crappie rigs. Slip bobber Setup It will also work.
- Do not get mugged Perch are known for being a thief on bait so you will want to use a small hook. To increase your chances of setting the hook, keep your bait near the tip of your hook.
- Don’t Waste Time Don’t waste your time when you catch your first perch. Perch are schooling fish, and you will find more if you catch one. They don’t live in the same place for very long. Once you have found a school, you need to fish it as quickly as possible. This is why you should use a crappie rig like the one mentioned above.
More Perch Fishing Tips
1. Get to know your prey
Perch are a simple catch and a good choice for beginners. Perches are yellowish fish that change color depending on the water clarity.
They live in freshwater and eat microorganisms. As they get bigger, their meals become more varied and they begin to eat smaller fish.
2. Where to Find a Perch
Perchs are just like other fish and like to avoid the sun. They would hide in water areas like shaded areas or sunken trees during the day.
As the fish grows, its location changes. You will need to look deeper to find trophy perches. Schools of trophy perches live in deep water, while smaller perches are closer to the surface, where they can feed on greenery and smaller fish.
Perches are one example of a schooling fish. If you find one, you will likely find another.
You can find your fish the easy way, which is through buying a fish finder, or you can cast your rod until you get a bite, and that’s where you should be directing your next cast.
3. When is the best time to go perch fishing
Perches are best caught during their spawning season. It’s no secret that pregnant women gain weight. It’s the exact same with perches. Their breeding seasons are March and April and their tendency to grow very fast.
Perch fishing should be done when there is no sunlight if you want to be more precise. Perch fishing is best done in the morning or evenings. This is because perches believe they are not being attacked by predators and so swim more freely.
4. What to Feed a Perch
Because it is easier to find, live bait is the preferred choice for fishermen. Although small live minnows can be good for fishing in cold waters, they are not as durable as other baits.
You should tie a minnow to its tail to give it more mobility. The perch will be more likely to notice the bait if it is tied from its tail.
Nightcrawlers are another option for live bait. They can be used in warm water. They are relatively inexpensive and can be hooked for longer periods of time.
Artificial lures are a great option if you enjoy using them. You can choose from spinnerbaits or lead heads as well as bobbers.
Spinnerbaits can be used to get the attention of fish. Spinnerbaits can emit the vibrations that are needed to entice perch.
Bobbers are best when you want to adjust the depth of your line, or where your catch is.
Bright and colorful lead heads are essential. Your fishing style should dictate the weight of your lead heads. A lightweight rod is best if you are standing still with your rod out. Heavy lead heads are recommended for trolling and drifting.
5. Adopt a Fishing Technique
A light monofilament line and an ultra-light rod are all you need to have a successful perch trip. This will allow you to feel the perch bite.
Now you know where and when to look for perch. You should also know how to catch it. You’ll end up with canned tuna for dinner.
Because of its simplicity, bobber fishing is a popular choice for anglers. To reach the desired depths, you will need to choose the right bobber and adjust its weight.
To give yourself more leverage over the fish, it is better to use a light lure. This is best when the perches are closer than the surface.
- Lure Fishing
Artificial bait is used in lure fishing. Clear waters are best for lure fishing. The perch will easily spot natural-colored lures that have moderate mobility.
For perch that are attracted to rocky waters, you might use a brighter, more vivid lure.
You need to make sure your bait reaches the river’s bottom during the season when fish hide in deep water. You will need to attach a weight on your line to do this.
You must keep your eyes wide open as you reel in the line every time the perch takes a bite. To avoid cutting the perch’s throat with your sharp hook, slow down when reeling in the line.
6. Good timing is gold
Perches travel in schools. There is a high chance that more perches are in the same area if you catch one. They will soon move to another location, but it is not likely that they will be caught again.
Keep your water bucket handy and your new bait on hand for your next catch.
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.
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