To ensure that we are on the same page as we learn to fish, it should be noted that there may be confusion with common fish names. There are some places in the south, in particular, that any sunfish can be called a “perch”. However, when most anglers say “perch” they mean the yellow perch. Pike, another type of cold water, is often shortened to the first part of its common name: “Northern pike”. But I haven’t heard anyone go on with the first part of the general name format and say they want to keep fishing for “yellow”.
Yellow perch is mainly found in the northeast, but has been kept as far south as Kansas and Missouri. They are relatively small. If your catch exceeds the usual 8 to 11 inches, it will be labeled “Jumbo”. Perch ice fishing is very popular because it continues to eat actively in winter and is highly valued as a table meal.
Drop bait near the bottom.
Each list of ice fishing tips for perch describes a variety of ice fishing and ice fishing techniques. One reason for this diversity is that these fish can be caught with almost any small live bait available when fishing for perch in winter, such as minnows, night crawlers, and mealworms. If there is a lack of electronics for depth / fish finding, the ice fishing tips for perch recommend starting near the bottom.
Let perch come to you …
Patience is an important part of ice fishing for perch. It can be difficult to know if the yellow perch is coming to you or if you need to go to them. If your bait is ignored near the bottom, you may need to experiment with shallower depths as these fish may be suspended. Often times, tips for ice fishing for perch include tossing a small spoon off the bottom to stir up enough silt for the fish to investigate. And if you can interest one, others are sure to follow suit.
Or you go to the perch.
Although they often roam in large, shallow plains, perch fishing can involve drilling lots of holes to locate active fish or areas where fish may soon arrive. Once a fish is convinced, the activity often triggers an entire school.
And never overlook the ice safety for perch ice fishing. Make sure you bring all safety equipment such as life jackets, ice cleats, ice ax, cell phone, and anything else you might need to keep you warm.