Fishing for Yellow Perch

It would be tough to find a fish as tasty as yellow perch that is so easy to catch. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how much fishing experience you’ve had or what time of year it is. In a day you will probably catch several of these small pan fish or very likely alot more.  Anywhere you find weeds, you can usually catch perch. You can catch them any time of year.

In spite of the type of lure, bait, or type of gear, success is often a matter of how well the bait is presented to the fish. Perch orient toward the bottom, and for any bait or lure to be effective it is essential that it is fished on or near the bottom. When perch are located, fishing may be slow at first, but most often action is fast and furious as schools of perch move through while feeding. A strike may occur as the bait drops, but most often it occurs just as the bait is lifted off the bottom so be ready.

The key to catching yellow perch is similar to being successful with real estate sales location, location, location. You must find where the fish are holding and feeding.
One technique to located yellow perch is to keep moving until you catch one. Yellow perch frequently swim together in groups, so where there is one, there are usually more. Drifting, or slow trolling until you catch one can reduce your search time. Once you catch one, anchor immediately and fish straight down.  


One of the most popular types is a leadhead. These lures are made in an infinite variety of sizes and colors, but the one sixty-fourth and one thirty-second ounce sizes are most popular. Leadheads have a number of different names, depending upon whether they are tied with feathers, hair, skirted with a plastic lure, or chenille wrapped. Of this group, the skirted leadhead, often called a mini-jig, is one of the most effective. Skirts for leadheads are made of soft plastic and threaded directly through the hook, so the hook shank is completely covered. Yellow, white, and a combination yellow-white skirts seem to be the most effective. One good lure is a shiny spoon (silver is a good color) with a treble hook. A super duper, kastmaster, or Swedish pimple also work great.

For trolling or drift fishing, heavier leadheads up to one-eighth ounce are best, although slip-sinker lures or a small spinner rig, are becoming more common. Floating jigheads are excellent lures either with a slip-sinker rig or with a fixed sinker or three-way bottom walker set-up.

Live Bait
Live bait is one of the stand-bys for perch fishing. The type of bait, like the type of lure, depends mostly on personal preference, although fishing style, fisherman experience, and season often deserve close consideration. Two effective and popular year-round live baits are small minnows and insect larvae. Minnows are the favorite bait while trolling or drift fishing with spinner rigs and three-way rigs using leadheads or other jigheads. Small minnows are also effective while still fishing in late autumn and winter. Nightcrawlers and small fish worms, although not as popular with anglers as minnows, are also effective at times while drift fishing or trolling, and they are usually rigged with a stinger or trailer hook. Insect larvae, mainly silver wigglers or maggots, are the most widely used bait in the natural lakes for perch.

When anglers fish in or around submerged vegetation, or while they are dock or shore fishing, bobbers or slip-bobbers are useful for keeping the bait in the proper position.

Remember, if you are not catching these fish, be flexible and try changing location, using other baits, or choosing a different time of day to fish. You may find that yellow perch have developed a pattern of feeding at a particular time in a particular waterbody. Once you find the right combination, you’ll be rewarded the best eating freshwater fish anywhere!