White perch resemble a white bass without stripes. They have a silvery color with longitudinal lines along their bodies and usually travel in large schools. Although white perch spawn from April through June, some anglers believe they spawn at different times throughout the year. You can catch white perch in both saltwater and freshwater. White perch usually measure 7 to 10 inches and weigh between 0.5 and 1 lb. Anglers enjoy catching them because they fight aggressively for their size and because they taste good.
Look for the best locations where schools of white perch like to feed. Fish near docks, piers or areas around brush piles and narrow coves. White perch usually congregate on or near the bottom of the water and usually prefer offshore humps in 18-foot to 24-foot water with a hard or sandy bottom.
Use the proper bait. White perch are a carnivorous fish, so live bait works well. Use live minnows, worms, crickets, grasshoppers or small grass shrimp. Use grubs or plastic worms, if you want to try artificial lures. Go with rooster tails with a small blade that matches the water color as closely as possible, if using a spinner bait.
Use light tackle when fishing for white perch. Choose a 6-foot to 8-foot rod with a 4-lb. test line on a small ultralight reel.
Adjust the distance between your hook and bobber until you find the depth the perch are hitting, when using live bait. Place a small split shot weight a few inches above the hook to keep the bait steady at the depth you want. Start fishing at the bottom and slowly work your way up.
Fish an area well after catching a white perch, because they tend to congregate in schools. Move to a new location only after you have tested various depths and areas around where you caught the first fish.
Prepare to set the hook on the fish quickly. White perch usually hit the lure hard with little nibbles, especially during winter months when food becomes more scarce.
- Hold the white perch by the belly when removing the hook. Their fins and gills have sharp spines that can cut.
- small perch image by Alexander Potapov from Fotolia.com