Lake Erie Yellow Perch Fishing
Pound for pound, and action-wise, it’s hard to beat Lake Erie perch fishing as a great way to fill a day (and a cooler). If you can find them, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll catch them (provided you have the right tackle and bait, of course). Even when the Walleye and smallmouth are slow, perch fishing can save a days’ outing, as many charter boat captains can attest to. Not only are yellow perch bountiful, but they’re quite tasty as well.
Yellow perch are yellow with green, vertical stripes. They average 4-10 oz. and 4-11 inches in length, but can get bigger. They feed off of plants and smaller bait fish. They are native to North America, especially in shallower waters, like Lake Erie’s Western Basin. The ease of catching them coupled with their tasty, mild flavor make them a popular gamefish.
Tackle for Yellow Perch
Perch are not big fish, nor are they big hitters–especially when they are feeling lazy. For this reason, you’ll want to use light tackle. That includes fishing poles with sensitive rod tips, so that you you can feel even the smallest of bites.
As for fishing rigs, crappie rigs are popular, as well as spreaders. Multiple hooks often land multiple fish when the yellow perch are hungry.
How to Catch Lake Erie Yellow Perch
First, you have to find them. Yellow perch enjoy shallower waters, rarely venturing in water deeper than 30′. They like cover: rocks, shelves and underwater plant life. They feed on plants, as well as smaller fish, such as minnows, which makes excellent bait when trying to catch them. They will go for worms and even some forms of lures, but minnows seem to be best.
Yellow perch feed off the bottom, so it ‘s best to keep your bait close to the bottom. A good technique is to drop your rig straight down in the water and let it fall until it reaches the bottom, then reel it up a few cranks until it hovers about a foot above it. Keep your pole in hand. It will help you feel for those more subtle hits. You don’t want leave bare hooks in the water because you missed a strike or two.