Perch Fishing

24 March 2011 For The Angler

big jumbo perch

Fishing for perch can be a fun activity for the entire family at the cottage. Jumbo perch are not only easy to catch, they also provide a wonderful cabin meal.

Basic Perch Equipment

Fishing for perch is as budget-friendly as it gets when it comes to getting out on the water and catching a meal. Any basic rod-and-reel package is more than adequate to catch perch.

When choosing perch fishing equipment for beginners look for a light-action rod and reel combination with four-pound line.

A closed-face spin casting combo unit is perfect for kids or adults who are new to fishing. This is the one with the push-button release. After that, a couple of bobbers or floats, a pack of split-shot sinkers, and a few hooks is all you need.

Most perch anglers use live bait. Dew worms or minnows are the standard choices, but leeches and small crayfish can also be effective.

Lures, however, also catch perch. Popular lures include small jig-heads with rubber tails, and small spinner baits. These tend to catch larger perch. If you don’t like the idea of using live bait, this is a good option.

In an area where larger fish such as bass or pike are present, it is best to use heavier line that has a six or eight pound test rating.

Where To Find and Catch Jumbo Perch

Perch tend to stick together, so once you find the fish it is usually just a matter of presenting the bait and you are off to the races.

Perch have two main concerns. They want to find an area that contains minnows, crayfish, and other prey they like to eat. At the same time, perch prefer to be somewhere that also provides shelter so they don’t become an easy meal for a larger fish such as a pike, walleye, bass, or muskie.

1. Fish near docks

Perch like to hide under docks to avoid predators. They also feed on the smaller fish and other water critters that make the area around the dock their home.

2. Look for weed beds

Weeds provide protection as well as access to the bugs and small fish that perch eat. Casting into weeds from short can produce a lot of fish.

3. Search for submerged rock structures and brush piles

Sometimes big schools of perch are found in deeper water following minnows or feeding on crayfish in areas that have rocky shorelines.

Is water temperature important for catching perch?

According to the Ontario MNR, the best water temperature for yellow perch is about 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit). If you are at the point where you are checking water temperature when searching for perch, you have moved well beyond the beginner level.

Best techniques for catching perch

The best way to catch perch depends on the location.

In shallow water use a small bobber with the line length adjusted to place the bait about half-way into the weeds. If the weed bed is very thick, look for open pockets, or present the bait just along the deeper edge of the weed bed.

Experiment with the depth of the bait until the perch begin to bite consistently.

In deeper water off a dock or a shoreline drop-off, use a small jig-head or split-shot and hook.  Start by fishing the bottom.  If the fish are suspended, remove the weight and just let the bait slowly drift down to the fish.

Live baits fished in this scenario can produce a lot of fish. As mentioned above, worms and minnows are great bait for catching perch.

How to catch perch with lures

Large perch will often hit jigs with rubber tails. Small spinner baits also catch jumbo perch.

When casting, allow jigs to sink to the bottom and then slowly jerk them as you retrieve the line. When fishing directly below the dock or boat, simply jig the lure up and down about six inches off the bottom.

Cast small spinner baits along the edges of weed beds and use a slow retrieve.

Perch are often found together in large numbers and tend to be the same size.  If you come across jumbo perch you are in for a fun day!

Go to the Beginner Fishing Equipment page.

Go to the Beginner Fishing Techniques page.