Ice Fishing for Perch Tips

News & Tips: Ice Fishing for Perch Tips

IceFishingforPerchJA blogOne of the best times of the year to chase perch has to be during winter. Winter gives ice anglers a big advantage due to the fact that perch tend to school up in the winter making them easier to target.

In the early winter month's, perch can be found staging around shallow weeds and or weed lines adjacent to shoreline breaks and points. As the ice gets thicker, perch will move off the weeds and structure to find deeper water. Perch follow food, so find the minnows they are trying to eat and you will find the perch. By late winter the perch will again start moving, but this time from the deeper water into shallow bays with weeds.

Once you have targeted an area that you think has fish, the best way to actually find fish is to drill several holes and use your flasher. Spend a few minutes jigging each hole and see if you can draw any attention from perch in the area. For this searching process, start by jigging close to the bottom and work your way up until you are about a foot or so off the bottom. By working each hole this way you should be able to see fish rise off the bottom, giving you a clue that they really are in the area.

If you can find fish, the most effective presentation to get them to bite is a combination of jigging and dead-sticking baits. Jigging for perch is done by raising your rod tip about a foot, then dropping it back down to its starting position. After you raise and drop the rod tip a few times, wait 5-10 seconds and repeat the raise/drop process. This jig/pause technique will get the aggressive fish in the area to bite. If your state fishing regulations allow you to fish with more than one rod, then dead-sticking a live bait next to your jigging hole is a great way to get the not so aggressive fish interested. As far as lures go, really any small shiny spoon/jig will work. You should plan on tipping your jigs/spoons with minnows or waxies, as perch like live baits.

The information found here is best used along with some investigative work done by you. Finding out what the Department of Natural Resources says about a lake and talking to local anglers, especially at the bait shop, can save you a ton of time finding the fish and knowing what they're biting on.

Perch can be ice fished at any hour of the day but changing light conditions in the morning and evening usually triggers more activity and feeding.

Perch might be small in size but their sheer numbers, willingness to bite, and taste at the table make them some of the most sought after game fish in Wisconsin.