Tasty Yellow Perch

Yellow perch travel in schools, and prefer water temperature of 66 to 70 degrees F., generally preferring relatively shallow waters near shore. They are rarely taken from waters more than 30 feet deep, although in spring and fall they inhabit shallower areas than they do in the heat of the summer. They tend to travel shoreward each morning and evening to feed, while during the spring and fall they appear to feed throughout the day. At night they rest on the bottom and refrain from feeding. Unlike many Great Lakes fish species, perch remain active all winter long under the ice in both shallow and deeper water; hence they provide ice anglers with lots of opportunities. They inhabit all the Great Lakes.

Adult yellow perch dine primarily on insects, larger invertebrates, (crayfish) and the eggs and young of other fish, which they take both from open water and from the bottom. In turn, bass, walleye and northern pike all prey on perch.

Yellow perch average adult length is four to 10 inches, with a weight of four to 10 ounces. Male perch reach sexual maturity at about three years of age, females at four. Perch spawn in the spring, laying eggs in gelatinous strings over dense vegetation, roots, and fallen trees in the shallows. These spawning grounds provide some of the best perch fishing available.

Finding yellow perch can be a trick at times…..over the years, I found the best way is to work near walls and structure like deep banks, weed beds and shorelines with drop offs near by. Generally, anywhere there are places they can find food, like any fish.