Yellow Perch

Perch are found everywhere in Wisconsin and are very popular to catch and eat. Smaller perch are easily caught, but it takes a specialist to consistently catch large ones. The perch eats almost anything, but prefers minnows, insect larvae, plankton and worms. They love to eat! Larger perch can reach a length of over 14 inches in inland waters.

You will find yellow perch in most Wisconsin lakes and sometimes the slow backwaters of larger rivers. They like large lakes with fertile warm water. They often eat on the bottom of lakes in a school, so you might catch several at a time. Smaller fish can be caught near shore, while the big ones can be found in 35 feet of water.

How do you fish for them in the winter? Yellow perch will keep you on your toes by giving you a sensitive nibbly strike, so stay alert. Use a short, stubby pole with a strong line with a sinker to get your bait near the bottom. A lightweight cork bobber on monofilament line will help you detect any light nibbles. Gently jig for perch at 35 feet. For bait, try small, live minnows or weighted ice flies and insect larvae. With minnows, use No. 10 or 12 hooks. Note: minnows are illegal on some lakes - check the fishing regulations.

State Record Catch Size: 3 pounds, 4 ounces, Lake Winnebago, Winnebago County, WI.