Ice fishing can seem lonesome and challenging, especially perch fishing. But it has a special allure that explores mystery. You do not need to own a fancy boat to quickly go to bars and reefs to easily pinpoint a fishing location.
Ice fishing for perch is an exciting game that you can see them biting nonstop until you quit. They are aggressive fish that waits to eat most of the time. However, that does not mean you do not have to look for them. Sometimes finding them is more challenging than other fish.
Steps on How to Ice Fish for Perch
In this perch ice fishing guide, we will learn
- Locating Perch Ice Fishing
- Making a Proper Bait for Perch Ice Fishing
- Basics on Ice Fishing for Perch
- When Does it Bite
- Identifying the Right Color
Where to Locate Perch Ice Fishing
Perch are pretty predictable and easy to find in winter. They go to shallow water in mid-winter, and adults are in deeper water. They love to stay near weeds in lakes, weed lines, drop-offs, soft areas, reefs, etc., and look for the river current area.
Make holes as much as you can to cover more grounds, and do not ignore any backwater zone. Sometimes perch could be in bottom flats and sometimes in weedy bays to chase aquatic insects.
In late winter, perch start to migrate, so check the shallow water area like bays, bars, etc., drill at least a dozen holes in 75 yards with multiple depths.
The holes should also cover structure breaks, open mudflats, and look for areas where the contour lines are far spaced.
Best Bait for Perch Ice Fishing
Perch loves to eat insects like freshwater shrimp or smaller baitfish. Use an ice jig or flash lure with soft plastic bait when they are fussy.
Jig and soft plastic tipped waxies, live crappie minnow, flashy spoon, jig tipped ball of wax worms, etc. are best lures for perch and they present better in the water to catch the most prominent perch. Add some scent to improve the action. Perch like live baits, so use perch pieces, live minnows too.
Ice Fishing Terminal Tackle
Using the terminal tackle properly is essential to attract the fish. Sometimes, you have to fish in frosty, dark depth under the ice, which is harder to find.
Use a modern ice fishing line that has better sensitivity. A 2 to 4-pound test monofilament line, 2 to 3 monofilament leader, medium-light ice fishing rods, etc., are the best terminal tackles. The best size hook range is between 4 to 8 for using bait.
How to Ice Fishing Perch
Use minnows and other forage in vegetation areas. Drop the bait down as well as the tip of your ice fishing rod so the bait will create ruckus on the bottom. It will attract the perch school, so start with the poofed bottom and slowly go a few feet higher.
Perch are roaming fish, so use a minnow head and shake the head close to the bottom to get more finicky fish. Rise the jig slowly and for jumbo perch, use large lures.
Ice fishing minnow jig, Rapala jig shad rap, Rapalas jigging rap are good for lift-fall-hold sequence. Lower the spoon to the bottom or move to another hole when you cannot find any perch. Do not move the bait much, or you miss the strike.
What time does Perch Bite Ice Fishing?
Perch are predatory fish, and most of the time, they stick to cover in deep water or lower in the water column. Early in the morning and after sundown is the best time for catching any fish, especially yellow perch. You will find other active fish too.
At least go to the fishing spot 90 minutes before sunrise or sundown. The feeding time of the perch is mid-day. So you can spend all day on the ice fishing them too.
Weather condition also affects fish behavior. Catching perch in March is an adequate time. They remain engaged in early March and exceedingly aggressive in late March. So choose those two times for better ice fishing.
What Colors do Perch Like Ice Fishing?
Perch like the variety of colors according to water and light condition. In winter, water gets less light because of ice, so wisely choose the ice fishing lures. The best colors are orange, green, and yellow with their bright shade. A good flash with little glare is an excellent option to attract perch. When the water is murky, use brighter shades. And use lighter shades in clear water.
More minor and more significant, both fish will go for smaller lures. Use smaller size lures in early ice, like 1-3 inches. In mid-winter, use smaller lures, 1-2 inches. Jigging spoons, swimming lures, jig heads, flash lures, etc., works better.