How to Catch Yellow Perch

By Get Fishing •  Published: 05/20/22 •  7 min read

Wondering how to catch Yellow Perch? In this post you’ll get a breakdown of everything you should know about when it comes to Perch fishing and catching Yellow Perch!

How to Catch Yellow Perch

Catching Yellow Perch

Fishing for Yellow Perch is a great way to get a new angler into the sport of fishing. In waters that have a strong population of Perch they can be as abundant as bluegill. Catching them doesn’t have to be complicated either.

You can catch Perch with a variety of live bait and artificial lures as well. Before you figure out what kind of lures and techniques you will need to catch a Perch, you’ll first need to learn about their eating habits.

What do Perch Eat?

Yellow Perch have are active and migratory predators meaning they move around a lot. Their diet consist of aquatic insects when they are young and other fish, including Perch, when they grow older. Knowing the types of insects and fish they eat will make it easier for you to catch Yellow Perch consistently.

What Bugs do Perch Eat?

A young Yellow Perch’s primary food source are aquatic insects. Bloodworms, scuds, mosquitos, midges, smaller mayflies, and insect larvae are essential to a Yellow Perch’s diet. Once a Perch is fully grown they will eat larger insects like mayflies and dragonflies.

During the winter months most of a Perch’s diet will consist of underwater insects due to the fact that the new batch of baitfish have not been spawned yet.

What Fish do Perch Eat?

When a Yellow Perch is fully grown their diet will include other fish. Newly spawned Bluegill, Crappie, Bass, and even Yellow Perch.

Perch are notorious for cannibalism and a lot of it has to do with the availability of other food sources. Bodies of water with low populations of other fish species or insects cause Perch to eat younger or newly spawned perch.

Racoon Perch Fishing by Season

Perch fishing and the techniques used to catch Perch can change as the seasons change. Water temps play a huge role in where fish will be and what kind of lures you should be using

Popular Yellow Perch Lures

There are several lures that are great at catching Yellow Perch

Having a wide variety of Perch lures makes it easier for you to target Yellow Perch depending on the conditions and season.

Spring Perch Fishing

The Spring Perch fishing season can be a quick one, but it’s fun. The spawn is a quick window in most places of the country because Perch drop their eggs when the water temperature hits between 45-50 degrees.

During the Spring, Yellow Perch are aggressively feeding in preparation for the spawn so this is the time to throw aggressive style baits. Crank baits, jerk baits, Jigs, and spinners are usually the baits of choice to find schools of Perch.

Perch Jigs

Perch Jigs are great during this time because they are versatile. A light jig ranging from 1/64 oz. to 1/16 oz. can do some serious work on a school of Perch.

The Mule Jig from Mule fishing is a great Jig to pair with any soft plastic. They come in various sizes all the way down to 1/80 oz, for that ultra light line angler. They also have a large color selection giving you versatility in how you pair them up with your plastic of choice.

1/64 oz. Mule Jig

1/64 oz. Mule Jig

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Jigging for Perch

The best way to use a jig to find and catch Perch is by jigging. There are two ways to jig for perch:

  1. Under a bobber
  2. Without a bobber

In the Spring you can fish faster and jig without a bobber. All you need to do is cast out your lure, let it sink a little and then jig the lure lightly as you reel it in. This is a great way to look for schools of Perch and do it quickly if you don’t have electronics to rely on.

How to Catch Yellow Perch in the Summer

In the Summer time, you can continue to target Perch in the shallows depending on water temperature. If you want to catch some jumbo Perch you’ll need to focus on deeper waters. It’s not uncommon to find them as deep as 25 feet once the heat is really on.

How deep you need to go will really depend on your body of water, but in the summer time you’ll want to target them in the deeper pools. This is where a slip bobber comes in handy.

Slip Bobber Fishing for Perch

You need 4 things to go slip bobber fishing for Perch.

  1. Small Jig or Hook
  2. Bobber
  3. Bobber Stop
  4. Lure or live bait

An optional item here is some split shot weights if your hooks or jigs are too light to cast out.

Slip Bobber Rig for Perch

First thing you’ll want to do is put your bobber stop on your line. Thill bobber stops are great because they are super easy to put on your line.

Thill Premium Bobber Stops

Thill Premium Bobber Stops

Easy to use and keep my bobber in place. I prefer the smaller size for ultralight fishing Buy Now Disclaimer – This website uses affiliate links and get a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Next you’ll want to add your bobber or float. Mule Fishing Peg Floats are perfect because they have a whole that runs through the peg and are meant for a slip float rig.

Mule Fishing Peg Float

Mule Fishing Peg Float

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After you’ve put your bobber stop and your bobber, you’ll want to tie your jig on. Use your favorite knot here and make sure its secure. This is when you want to put on your plastic. I recommend the Mule Minnow. Perfect little minnow presentation with a good variety of colors.

Mule Fishing Mule Minnow

Mule Fishing Mule Minnow

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If you’re using a normal aberdeen hook you’ll want to add your slip shot in between your hook and your bobber so that your lure will go down to the desired depth.

Once you’re all rigged up you move your bobber stop up your line so your hook sits down in the desired depth.

Catching Perch with Worms

If you want faster success you can use live bait like worms to catch Perch. You can add a bit to your soft plastic rig on the end of the hook or go straight night crawler on the jig or hook.

Try using different amount of worm on your hook. Start with a big piece that extends past your hook and see how little you can go to catch fish, but not lose your bait each time.

How to Catch Yellow Perch in the Fall

Perch will start to move shallow in the Fall and start feeding aggressively. This a great time to start targeting with fast moving jigs, inline spinners, and even crank baits.

Yakima Bait Original Rooster Tail Inline Spinner

Yakima Bait Original Rooster Tail Inline Spinner

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A good inline spinner is the classic Rooster Tail. Cast this out into a school or near bait and you’ll get Perch to bite when they are feeding aggressively.

How to Catch Perch in the Winter

In the winter time Perch will move out deep again, but suspend mid depth instead of at the bottom. If you’re water is not frozen over you’ll have success bringing out the ol’ slip float rig again. This will make it easier for you to adjust your depth and find exactly where the Perch are suspended.

The float rig will also make it easy for you to present your bait vertically if you’re on the bank. Your lure will stay under the float and keep it in the strike zone longer than if it was sinking slowly.

If you’re ice fishing for Perch, you can ditch the float and suspend the jig vertically. You can also use spoons and bead spoons!

What is the Best Time to Catch Yellow Perch

The best time to catch Yellow Perch is early in the morning or right before sunset. Perch are most active in feeding during these times. That doesn’t mean you can’t catch them during day, but it is a little more difficult. The hardest part of the day to catch Perch is mid day when the sun is at its highest point.

Catching Lake Perch

Catching Perch can be a ton of fun and a great way to spend some time on the water. Whether is through the ice, from a boat, or on the bank you can target them all year round if you know where to find them.

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