Dec 112012
 

CanadaUSAIn Ontario, any perch over 10 inches is called a Jumbo Perch. North Eastern Ontario is well known for our Jumbo Perch population. There are some days when you can’t keep the Perch off your line.

Click on the link below for fishing and hunting regulations

DESCRIPTION:
For many Canadian anglers, yellow perch are synonymous with summer fishing outings at the cottage with the kids. What angler isn’t familiar with youngsters dunking minnows under a bright red and white bobber for these brightly coloured panfish?
Scrappy fighters and excellent eating, yellow perch are found virtually from coast-to-coast in Canada and in much of the northern U.S. While incidental catches for many anglers, yellow perch are the quarry for many southern Ontario ice fishermen on large waterbodies such as Lake Simcoe. Jumbo’s can reach more than 15 inches and weigh up to a pound-and-a-half. They make for excellent sport on a chilly winter day.
The yellow perch has an elongated body with two clearly separated dorsal fins. Its colouration is usually olive and yellow with orange fins. Six to eight darker vertical bands extend from its back and gradually fade near the belly.

SIZE:
Yellow perch usually weigh between one half and three quarters of a pound, although the larger lakes will frequently produce ‘jumbos’ of one to two pounds.

BEHAVIOR AND HABITAT
Yellow perch flourish in both large and small lakes and are also at home in rivers. Ideal perch habitat consists of cool, clear water with a rock, gravel, or sand bottom and some vegetation. In those lakes with soft bottoms and massive weed beds that provide hiding places from predators, the perch are often very small as a result of high survival rates among the young.
Perch are not light sensitive like walleye and are generally not caught at night. Spawning takes place when water temperatures during spring reach 43 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit, usually at night and in weed, brush, or other cover, to which the ribbons of eggs will adhere. Yellow perch will remain in their spawning locations for a few weeks before moving into deeper water of 65 to 70 degrees Farenheit. In summer, they are often found near the thermocline or the water layer where the temperature suddenly changes drastically. The thermocline is especially attractive to the fish when it occurs near bottom. They also haunt rocky shoals, islands, points, breakwaters and bridge abutments, especially when the water reaches depths of 20 or more feet and the bottom is rocky or sandy with moderate vegetation.
In fall and winter, yellow perch are found in shallower water and offer a fishing bonanza for the ice-fisherman just before ice-out. They are not shy about feeding during the day when they pursue their prey with a keen visual sense, often cornering fish against a boulder or other obstruction. Adult yellow perch will eat small fish, crustaceans, snails, leeches and aquatic insects.

TECHNIQUES:
Perch are schooling fish and anglers who are catching smaller fish will usually move to search for a school of larger ones. Bait fishermen routinely employ number 4 or 6 hooks baited with worms, leeches, small minnows or even thin shreds of fish meat. When Perch are spawning, anglers suspend tiny minnows or insect larvae near fish holding bottom structure. Reefs or rocky drop-offs in 20 to 40 feet of water with moderate weed growth are often Perch hotspots. The fish are tempted with tiny, slowly retrieved jigs, spinners, and spoons, often tipped with a small strip of fish meat.

TACKLE:
Lure fishermen can use almost their entire inventory of small, flashy lures for Perch. Small spinners such as the Toni, Mepps, or Panther Martin seldom fail. Likewise tiny spoons such as the Hopkins ST or the Williams Wabler. Small plugs such as the Flatfish or Lazy Ike are used occasionally also. Perch will eagerly attack ultra-light jigs as well as jig-spinner combinations of all kinds. The ice fisherman is more restricted in his lure selection when fishing for Perch. He can chose between different teardrop lures, such as the Fairy or the Speck, and jigging spoons such as the Jig-A-Spoon, Swedish Pimple and the Mr. Champ in sizes from 1/16 to 1/8 ounces.
Lure fishermen can use almost their entire inventory of small, flashy lures for Perch. Small spinners such as the Toni, Mepps, or Panther Martin seldom fail. Likewise tiny spoons such as the Hopkins ST or the Williams Wabler. Small plugs such as the Flatfish or Lazy Ike are used occasionally also. Perch will eagerly attack ultra-light jigs as well as jig-spinner combinations of all kinds. The ice fisherman is more restricted in his lure selection when fishing for Perch. He can chose between different teardrop lures, such as the Fairy or the Speck, and jigging spoons such as the Jig-A-Spoon, Swedish Pimple and the Mr. Champ in sizes from 1/16 to 1/8 ounces.

QUICK TIPS:
Tipping a small jig or spinner with a worm can increase your chances of catching light-biting perch on those off days when the fishing is slow.

Yellow perch are attracted to bright colours (like red and yellow). Try adding several strands of bright coloured yarn or thread to the shank of your hook or jig. If you anchor a lot, try adding coloured plastic flags to your anchor rope and you’ll see how more productive your fishing can be.

When using live minnows for perch, make sure they are tiny (no more than two inches long). Many anglers use larger minnows and never have more than a few hits a day.

 

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