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Ice Fishing for Perch: Tips and Tricks

This popular game fish can be caught throughout the year, but perch are a common ice fishing target. Perch are considered one of the easiest and most fun fish to catch from under thick ice sheets. Learn how to best target and catch perch while ice fishing. A few tricks will enable you to fill your bucket to the brim in a short span of time. Read on for perch ice fishing tips and tricks! 

Perch Ice Fishing Tips

When you have successfully drilled a few holes in the ice, you are ready for the fun. Don’t forget to drill extra holes around you so that when the fish move, you can move with them.

If you have missed out on the early season, you will have to drill deeper holes into the basin to catch the fish that hang around in deep waters. If you have drilled all holes before starting your fishing venture, it will be easier for you to regularly shift your setup from shallow waters to the deep basin. 

Try these Ice Fishing Tips for Perch:

  1. Get a Sensitive Rod
  2. Multiple Lines
  3. Use Scent
  4. Where to Find Perch
  5. Use the Right Perch Lures

Get a Sensitive Rod

Sift through the market and scan for the most sensitive rod so that you can feel the smallest bite and movement in the rod tip. In the cold winter weather, fish are less active, and that includes perch. Often, bites are hard to detect when ice fishing. Make sure your ice fishing rod is sensitive enough to detect subtle nibbles to catch more perch. 

Multiple Lines

You should install more than one line when ice fishing. Tip ups make it easy to have multiple lines in the water at once, so you can try different lures, presentations, and depths. When perch approach to investigate your set up, they may fall one lure and not the other. By casting multiple lines, you cast a wider net.

Set your lines at different depths to see where the perch are biting. Since perch are small, you’ll only need a 6 inch ice auger to carve multiple holes for your lines. 

In addition, you can fish by teaming up with other anglers who should apply similar tactics. More than one jig will give perch the sense that they are going to find plenty of food and will attract more fish.

Use Scent

Perch tend to move frequently under water. It is likely that once they come and get away from your bait, they won’t come back another time. So, you need to find a solution for this problem.

One of the most popular tricks is to cut down ice fishing bait like minnows and shrimp into small pieces like chum, and then throw them on the ice. These pieces will give away scent to attract perch from distant areas. Also, it is possible that these pieces will keep a school of perch engaged around the holes. Where it’s legal, you can also chum the water and throw cut up bait right into your hole to attract more fish. 

Where to Find Perch

Perch are prey species and they are always seeking a cover to hide from predators. Watch out for any weeds or submerged objects underwater that provide shelter. They will be seeking cover there. These fish gather in schools in a number of locations and also they take a variety of paths to move in water. This makes them less predictable.

If we closely observe perch, we may be able to find some pattern in their movements and locate the areas they like the most. These are generally known as transition areas, where scores of perch can be found swimming in and out, and where they come to look for food. A transitional area is where the bottom shifts from sand to gravel, away from deep-water basin.  Look out for shallow waters on the edge of the deep-basin to catch aggressive perch while they’re on the move.

The fact that perch are voracious creatures makes them easier to hunt. Perch feeding times vary based on many factors, but sunrise and sunset are the two prime times. 

Use the Right Perch Lures

Many anglers agree that live minnows are the most fruitful approach for catching perch, but sometimes live bait doesn’t do the trick. That’s why artificial baits are recommended. Pack the best perch lures to ensure that you’re always prepared. 


Spoons are one of the top choices to be used as perch lure. You can use the 1/16 ounce or 3/16 ounce options for ice fishing perch. You can also choose from a wide range of colors. In darker conditions, use brighter or metallic colors to lure in perch. 


Buy some jig heads and pack them with the rest of your ice fishing gear. They will turn out to be as deadly as spoons are. Either attach minnow heads, live bait, or other soft baits to lure in perch. Opt for either 1/32 ounce or 1/16 ounce when ice fishing with jigs. Jigging is very effective at luring in perch.

Soft Baits

Soft plastics can imitate live bait well, and they’re reusable. Some even come with realistic scents to lure in skittish perch. You can use honey worms as a bait to catch perch. They serve as a very good jig sweetener.

Bottom Line

Perch are one of the easiest fish to catch if you understand how they behave and what tricks you can use for catching them. Make the most of your day on the ice and catch as many perch as possible with these tips! 

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