Perch Fishing

24 March 2011 For The Angler
big perch

How to catch perch.
Catching jumbo perch at the cottage is a great way for the entire family to enjoy a day of fishing. As a fish-fry favourite, the perch is easy to catch and wonderful to eat.

Basic Equipment

Fishing for perch is budget friendly, and a ton of fun.

Perch Fishing Equipment for Beginners
Light action rod and reel combination with 4 pound line.
A closed face spin casting combo unit is perfect for kids.
Popular lures include small jig-heads with rubber tails, and small spinner baits.
Live bait is often preferable. Dew worms or minnows are very effective.

If you plan to fish in an area where it is likely that you will catch larger fish such as bass or pike, it is best to use heavier line that has a 6 or 8 pound test rating.


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

Where to Find and Catch Perch.
Perch have two main things to worry about. They have to find a place with a reliable source of food that provides enough shelter that they can avoid being eaten themselves.

Under Docks
Perch like to hide under docks to avoid predators such as pike and walleyes. They also feed on the smaller critters that make the dock their home.

Around Weed Beds
Weeds provide protection as well as access to the bugs and small fish that perch feed on.

Near Submerged Rock Structures and Brush Piles
Sometimes big schools are found in deeper water following minnows or feeding on crayfish in areas that have rocky shorelines.

The best water temperature for yellow perch is about 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit). Source: Ontario MNR


The best way to catch perch depends on their location.

How to catch yellow perch in shallow water.
In shallow water use a small bobber with the line length set 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.

Adjust the depth of the bait until the fish begin to bite consistently.

How to catch perch in deeper water.
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 worm slowly drift down to the fish.

How to catch perch with lures.
Larger perch will often hit jigs with rubber tails or small spinner baits.

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 6 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 of fish that are the same size.  If you locate a group of jumbo perch you are in for a fun day!

Go to the Beginner Fishing Equipment page.
Go to the Beginner Fishing Techniques page.