Ice Fishing Canada

Ice Fishing Species

Yellow Perch

The yellow perch (Perca flavescens) is a species of perch found in the United States and Canada, where it is often referred to by the shortform perch. Yellow perch look similar to the European perch but are paler and more yellowish, with less red in the fins. They have 6-8 dark vertical bars on their sides. The yellow perch is in the same family as the walleye and sauger, but in a different family from the white perch, another common freshwater fish.

Yellow perch size can vary greatly between bodies of water, but adults are usually between 4-10 inches (10-25.5 cm) in length and weigh about 5.29 oz (150 g) on average. The perch can live for up to 11 years, and older perch are often much larger than average; the maximum recorded length is 19.6 inches (50 cm) and the largest recorded weight is 4.2 lb (1.91 kg). Large yellow perch are often called "jumbo perch."

The perch spawns at the end of April or beginning of May, depositing it upon weeds, or the branches of trees or shrubs that have become immersed in the water; it does not come into condition again until July.

Yellow Perch are one of the finest flavored of all panfish, and this has led to misuse of their name in the restaurant industry. Menus will sometimes list "White Perch", "Rock Perch" or simply "Perch" that are actually other species, usually panfish related to the bass family.


The best time for fishing for perch is from June to November in Canada and the best time for fishing them in the United States is perhaps September to February, though they bite reasonably well all year. They haunt the neighborhood of heavy deep eddies, camp sheathings, beds of weeds, with sharp streams near, and trees or bushes growing in or overhanging the water.

The best baits for perch are minnows, earthworms, shrimp and artificial lures. The tackle should be light. If fishing off the shore, one can use the simple but effective bobber and bait technique, or just cast and slowly retrieve. If fishing from a boat, tie on a snap swivel to your line then adding a small 2 Oz. swivel weight to it along with a #5 snelled hook. Bait the hook with a whole earthworm and drop the line directly below the boat. Let the bait sink all the way down to the bottom, and when reaching the bottom, reel in a couple notches to keep it suspended above the bottom no higher than a couple feet. Keep the line straight and tense or you won't feel the Perch's bite. Perch have an uncanny way off biting off the bait without the angler knowing it. Also be aware that Rainbow Trout, Bluegill, and various other fishes may strike the line, so be prepared for a tense fight if using lighter pound test line. Perch, unlike fish of prey, are gregarious, and in the winter months, when the frosts and floods have destroyed and carried away the beds of weeds, they congregate together in the pools and eddies, and are then to be angled for with greatest success is greatly varied usually starting at dusk until 12 o' clock.

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