The perch, also known as the Perch flavescent is one of the popular panfish people try to catch all year around. These fish are naturally very curious and are always looking for food which makes them very vulnerable to getting caught. So, knowing how to catch perch with ice fishing tips and techniques is a must for the anglers.
Why knowing perch fishing is bit different than other fishing?
Perch fish behave a bit differently than bluegill or crappie fish. The key to catching these fish is to understand what type of habitat they choose to live in and what their feeding behavior is like. You also need to look out for a few things to differentiate between a perch and other panfish.
How to Catch Perch
Here are some tips on perch fishing. So, see how to catch perch below.
Chum, chum, chum
Perch fish keep moving almost all the time so it is important to have them be under you if you plan on catching them. A simple but really effective trick is to cut some cocktail shrimp or minnows into tiny pieces and throw them through the ice under you.
The smell of it will attract a group of perch fish from pretty far away and have them all be right where you tossed the shrimps or minnows.
More than one line in the water at a time
A trick that works well is to fish with more than one line. Just bring another fishing line for you and then have them both be in the water.
That way you have more chance of catching a perch. When the perch fish will come to take a look at your line and wait for it to take the bait. Once they take it, catch them. Just be sure to have plenty of food there so that the perch stay interested and do not leave.
Pound the ground
Perch fish are attracted to groups of sediments. You could try dropping a heavy spoon or anything heavy and tap the bottom a few times before switching to a jig you choose to fish.
It is most likely that the perch fish will be attracted by the sediments and you will be able to catch them very easily.
Use a leader
Using a leader, especially when the water is clear will let you catch the most fish. It is recommended by many to use a 2 to 4-pound braided line with a 2 to 3-foot fluorocarbon leader to have the most chances to catch perch.
This method is not very difficult and will help you catch more fish.
Where to Find Them under the Ice
You can find early season perch near structures. Structures such as a green weed bed, a dock, a rock that is submerged in water or a tree that has fallen. You will be able to find perch fish under or near covers like this. Perch fish tend to favor transitional areas.
Transitional areas are where the bottom moves from mud to sand or from sand to gravel. They will also stay with vegetation and shallow water in the early season. Later in the season, they start moving into deeper water and drop-offs as the season progresses.
They also try looking for prey for hunting so they keep roaming around. Perch fish do not stay in one place for too long so it is easier most of the time to just attract them with baits than to chase them down.
This is because they are very curious and are always on the lookout for food. They are also very inquisitive, and anything that flashes and vibrates can attract a big group of perch fish which can be used as an advantage against them.
Perch fish will even be lured in by baits that are far too large for them to take and one of the older tricks is to stir up the bottom in open water to attract perch fish.
Once you know how to perch fish behave, you can use these behaviors at your advantage to catch them.
When to Find Them under the Ice
Perch fish are one of the species that most predatory fish are looking to eat which explains why they try to stick to cover.
They are also predators themselves of other smaller species and you can find them hunting other creatures down almost all the time.
They feed in the usual times fish do which is during the 90 minutes during sunrise and during sunset but the perch fish will often feed mid-day and do not stop looking for food. If no other fish is taking the bait, wait for a moment because the perch fish will keep looking for food all day long.
Studies by scientists have concluded that more perch fish are caught on live minnows compared to anything else, therefore, minnows are always the top choice but there are a lot of artificial options of bait to avoid the hassle of carrying and tying up live bait.
Use a Net
Perch fish have a reputation for spitting hooks and getting away without getting caught so it can be helpful to use a net instead grab them. You will also be able to catch a lot more perch this way.
Handle with Care
Perch are feisty little fish and they are a pain to handle if you do not pay attention. Perch flare out their gills which exposes a sharp point on the gill cover and also raises their dorsal spines which if you accidentally touch will hurt you if you do not pay attention.
Perch fish have a pretty rough skin compared to much other fish so it is recommended that you know where you are touching when handling perch fish.
These fish will not cause serious harm but they are just a pain and an annoyance if you keep getting hurt while handling them.