Five White Perch Fishing Tips

White perch are plentiful in the Hudson River and Chesapeake Bay but they can be found in other areas too. This species prefer freshwater or low salinity water during the spawning season and they usually look for places with a sandy or gravel bottom. The spawning season typically begins in April and last until June depending on where you’re fishing. This is a good time to seek them out because they are more plentiful and hungry during this time.
They are distinguished by the silvery colored body and dark longitudinal irregular lines running along its body. They average about one pound and are about seven to ten inches long. Their small size makes them an easy species for the beginner but their fight makes them a fun fish to catch. Some can grow larger when in the right conditions. They are also caught by many professional to use as baitfish for some of the larger species.
They have three spines on the anal fin and the dorsal fins are separated. The lower jaw projects outward a little and they have a mouth full of small teeth. These fish are described as predaceous carnivores and they stay near the bottom of the water. Lightweight gear is recommended for this species due to its small size.
White Perch Fishing Tips
The white perch is a good species for the recreational angler to seek out. They’re a lot of fun to catch and they have a good taste so many fishermen enjoy catching them for a meal. They’re not a hard fish to catch but knowing where to find them and a few other fishing tips can make it even easier.
Here are five white perch tips to try on your next fishing trip:
1. You can use a bobber or sinkers when fishing for the white perch. The bobbers can help you see when you get a bite easier but many times sinkers will yield better results. Try both to see which one works the best for you.
2. Look for white perch around boat docks, piers, harbors, weed beds and lily pads.
3. Use small pieces of bait when fishing for this species because they work just as well when attracting them and you won’t lose as much bait if they steal it away without you noticing.
4. The best rod and reel combo is a medium action rod combined with a spinning or casting reel. Use test line in the four to eight pound range and it’s a good idea to use a net to lift the fish from the water to keep from pulling the hook through the mouth. When using a net, put it around its head not the tail then lift to reduce the chances of injuring the fish.
5. Use the smallest size hook you can and check to make sure they are sharp and in good condition. The average size used is 10, 12 and 14.
Learn all you can about this species and the water in which you’re fishing ahead of time and this will improve the odds of catching more fish. When you find the white perch, make note of the depth and continue fishing that depth each time you move to a new location. However, the next time you go fishing, you’ll need to find the right depth again because it will change.
White Perch Bait
White perch feed off zooplankton and small crustaceans when they’re small. As they grow, they begin to feed off shrimp, insects, worms, crabs and smaller fish. Sometimes they will eat fish eggs that belong to other species.
When fishing with live bait you can use minnows, earthworms, shrimp and bloodworms with excellent results. If you’re having trouble getting this species to bite, then try live bait. Many times, it will entice them to strike when they’re not really hungry.
Artificial baits will normally work very well for this species too. When using lures, give metallic plastic minnows and spoons a try. Other types of shiny lures will usually get their attention too.
Since this species do have many teeth, check your line often especially if they have been stealing your bait. The sharp teeth can do a lot of damage to your fishing line making it weak and then when you do catch one, the weight and struggle of the fish can break the line. If it’s damaged, replace it before you continue fishing.
To avoid pulling the hook through the thin lips of the white perch, use a sharp snap of the wrist when setting the hook. If you jerk too hard it will most likely pull all the way through. This species will move around a lot but they won’t go far from their original location. Therefore, when you find a school of white perch and notice they seem to be more scattered out than normal, move outward around the same area a few feet to fish but don’t go too far.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow crappie fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on crappie fishing since 2004.

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