Fishing & Hunting Tips

Ice Fishing Perch: Pro tips and tricks

Ice fishing for perch, aah lot of fun with this small but amazingly aggressive fish! Really love a little war between an angler and perch. Maybe that’s why people love parch fishing a lot because they are so interactive! Among all the other sunfish, I LOVE PERCH FISHING!

Not only the crazy attitude but also the perch is quite available all day long and if you know the habitat choices and feeding behavior, the work is half done. With an ice fishing rod for panfish having a little backbone on it, applying proper baits and techniques will land a lot of perch in a very short time. The fishing will be much easier if you enlighten yourself with some effective tips and tricks.

So, without further ado, let’s get started with some Pro tips and tricks for ice fishing Perch. Before dive deeper into the blog, feel free to check out our latest article on Best ice fishing boots where you will find only the best boots for ice fishing. Safety comes first folks!

Some Pro Tips and Tricks for Ice Fishing Perch

#Fish in white ice instead of clear ice

Always choose your position wisely. I always fish for perch in the top of white ice avoiding clear ice. Because when you’re above white ice(snow-covered ice), that provides a nice cover between you and the fish under the ice. But you can’t be in stealth mood when you’re top of clear ice. Most of the time, the fish will get spooked by your presence and you won’t able to catch any perch. So yeah, find a nice thick white ice and set your bucket there!

#Attract the fish by using minnows

We all have trouble finding the perfect spot for fishing. Moreover, without electric gadgets like fishfinders or ice fishing flashers, it sometimes seems a daunting task to get a fish school. But here’s an effective strategy for that. Thanks to my avid ice angler friend Tim Ashlywelth for letting me know about this technique which worked out great for me.

To get fish under you, cut some minnows or cocktail shrimp into tiny pieces and toss them through the ice. Their scent will attract perch over pretty far distances, and amazing thing is it can keep a school grouped under your hole. And then what, bite bite bite!

#Apply various types of jigging

Having trouble with getting bites? Get used to a lot of jigging, when ice fishing I just love jigging. Whether you fish for perch, walleye or any sunfish, jigging is a great technique to attract fish quicker. Know different jigging technique will be so effective in any fishing scenario.

Perch lives in the bottom and for that lot of time, I perform the lift and drop technique. You can also be jiggling like a very slow lift and let it go back down, wait for some time and then do it again. For a close attraction, you can do little jiggling technique or you can Perform a big jigging stroke to attract a fish from long distance. So basically, want an exciting perch fishing session? Master jigging technique.

#Create a smoke down in the bottom

Don’t get me wrong here, what I meant is create a cloud down in the bottom. It’s more like a jigging technique though but works great every time. As you know, perch lives in the bottom, they are attracted to clouds of sediment. Most of the time there are soft mud beds with weeds and they roam around there.

Drop the lure in the bottom, let it hit the mud bed and then lift it to create a smoke or cloud underwater. If there’s perch near it, the chances of getting a bite will be higher.

#Get a fishing rod with large eyes

Who wants a distraction in the middle of fishing, No one right? I faced this a lot of time when fishing with a rod that has small eyes. What it does, the rod eyes catch water and freeze quickly and you need to unfreeze it again and again. That really is a pain in the back!

Avoiding that, all you need is to use an ice fishing rod with large eyes on it! It won’t let any water stay and ultimately offers a smooth lag-free fishing experience.

#Don’t forget to use a leader

When you’re fishing in clear water, using a leader will simply catch more fish. I prefer the 2 to 4-pound braided line with a 2 to a 3-foot fluorocarbon leader. Trust me, it’s a killer combination for a perch hunting! You will get a lot of sensitivity while being totally stealthy.

When and where to find a perch in the ice

When: This question often comes to me and today let’s clear it! When is the best time for ice fishing perch? Well, the good news is you can expect to get an answer from them biting from dawn till dusk. Unlike many species, they are always hungry and looking for food. You will get a bite even in the middle of the day.

Sounds satisfying right? So be prepared for a long ice fishing season cause they are quite available for the whole day. If you put the right lure and perform the right technique, you will land a handful of perch in the bucket!

Where: Finding the fish is not tricky if you have enough experience. But for now, let’s say that always look for a fertile pond or lake. If you can ensure that you’re fishing on fertile water, the chances of getting a bite will be much much higher.

Do you know what are the common attributes of a fertile pond? Let’s get a quick rundown on that.

  • It won’t be clean. Clean waters are not fertile, they contain less nutrition and food
  • Fertile water will be greenish, packed with algae and other natural foods
  • The bottom bed of the water body should be a soft muddy bed with a lot of weeds, weeds produce more dissolved oxygen and shed for perch

These basic characteristics of a pond are a sign of a healthy habitat for any fish and if there’s enough food all the time, the water will be full of perch.

Perch is a fish that love covers and attack suddenly with much aggressiveness. In an early season, Whether that’s a green weed bed, the tangle of a downed tree, a dock, or a submerged rock, you’ll find these predators.

Let’s tell you the last thing about locating perch, don’t wait for a long time in a spot! If you get zero bites for 20/25 minutes, get your ice auger and search for another spot.

TIPS: create smoke or cloud at the bottom of the water by an anchor and wait for the perch to arrive, you might attract the whole school towards you.

My Favourite Perch Lures


Rapala Jigging rap

You can never go wrong with the Rapala Jigging Rap for jumbo perch fishing. Probably every ice angler will suggest this hotshot for perch fishing. Not only perch, but this bait is also a killer one for several species. But talking about big perch, they just go crazy for these swimbaits.

As we know that perch is cannibalistic in nature, the perch-colored Rapala jigging rap will be an excellent choice. You can also go for yellow-glow colored or the pink tiger UV colored depending on the water you are fishing.

Tips: Use jigging techniques with this lure to get amazing results. Get it to the bottom, let it hit the bottom and then pound it on for a couple of times. That will raise a cloud of mud down there which will attract perch closer to the bait. Perform a big jigging stroke every once in a while to attract a perch from long distance!

The Rapala jigging rap actually acts like a gymnastic that injured fish perform which triggers the fish. Excellent lure, try it!


Eagle Claw Jig ball double eye hook

Another great choice for ice fishing perch is these small jigheads. They go deadly for perch and crappy. You will get some color and size variety with them but we suggest the 1/16 or 1/32 ounce for an ice fishing session. Using minnow heads or soft baits with this hook will be a deadly combination.

Soft Baits

Berkley PowerBait power minnow

Using lots of soft baits, I found this one much effective. Perch just love minnows, if you can’t get a live minnow just stick Berkley PowerBait power minnow to the hook. Cause Berkley offers an amazing imitation of small minnows and easily fools a perch.

You can use this 2-inch shad-imitating soft baits which even moves like a living organism. Well, folks, a perch won’t leave the chance of biting it. Guaranteed!

Berkley PowerBait Power Honey Worms

Another deadly choice is Power honey worms from the same brand Berkley Powerbait. Oh boy, these worms are an ideal jig sweetener. The juicy worms have got some weight that drops down nice in the bottom and attracts fish quite effectively.

A lot of times we are having trouble with keeping the minnow heads on the hook, well this one will help with that by holding it in place. So many times I fished with only one bait which is the  Power Honey Worms.


Custom jigs and spins: Slender spoon

Spoons are pretty effective for perch fishing. But for an ice fishing perch situation, Slender spoon from the custom jigs and spin is really a wise choice. It’s a pro at attracting fish instantly from even a great distance.

Tips: Use this bait on a nice and bright sunny day for an insane result! The sunny glow will attract fish instantly!

The tragedy of this bait is the reflecting light from its body. It has a kind of gold or orange-gold metallic body which has a slow flattering action while glowing constantly in the presence of the sun.

Dardevle spoons

When it comes to perch fishing, you need to make some effort to attract the fish. And dardevle spoons exactly so good at that. It’s a proven ice fishing lure for quite a long time.  I personally prefer the 3/16 ounce and the tiny 1/16 in silver and brass.

A good thing about dardevle is it offers good range of options. And you know what, trying out a variety of colors is always a good move. While ice fishing for perch, always carry some Dardevle spoons on your tackle box. You can’t go wrong with these deadly spoon baits.


Final Thoughts

Once you master all the required techniques and gain knowledge about ins and outs about perch, the fishing will be a child’s play I’m telling you! I heard a lot of my angler friend saying that perch fishing is all about once you set them apart from crappie and bluegill.

With some effective tricks like using a flashing spoon with small jigs, performing a bunch of jigging techniques or attract a school by some fresh minnows, it can turn your boring day into a memorable fishing day. I hope the blog will help to catch more perch.

Please check out our latest blog on “how to ice fishing”  where we tried to capture all the basics about ice fishing. Stay safe and happy fishing folks!

Nicholi Wyto

Hey I'm Nicholi Wyto is a professional sports fisherman and hunter, love to enjoy spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. I love to explore my experience and help others who are interested in fishing and hunting.

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