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Perch Fishing

Golden_perchPerch is a freshwater fish.  They thrive in North America, Europe and Asia that they are generally categorized as northern perch and southern perch.  The northern perch has the European perch, common in both Asia and Europe and the yellow perch, native to Canada and eastern United States and to the south as far as South Carolina.

The yellow perch or lake perch are predators. They have large mouth in proportion to their bodies and tend to hunt in shoals.  Northern perch spawn in the months of April to May sometimes extending to the month of June.  The eggs are ribbon-like with a length of up to 6 feet with a width of ½ to ¾ inch.  The male immediately fertilizes the eggs after the female lays them. After two weeks the eggs will hatch and its first takers are the parent fish.

It is easy to spot perch because of its yellow color and black stripes – a camouflage coloration when it rests in weeds and branches underwater.  A spiky dorsal fin is evident at the back of a perch which helps in intimidating potential predators. Even the scale of the fish has minute spikes making its body quite rough to the touch.

fishing1Fishing for Yellow Perch

Perch are voracious eaters willing to eat in any condition even in the cold winter months.  Perch are shoaling fish so action is expected to be fast.  Flick the rod at the first sign of a bite.  If not, the fish will swallow the bait and hook and there’s no way to “unhook” it without damaging the fish’s throat.

Perch do not swim about individually. They swim in groups in specific areas. Find weed beds, snags and any underwater structures such as piers, fishing platforms for an abundance of perch. Aside from the offered protection of such structures, perch like to scratch themselves against hard materials such as wood and metal.

Favorite food are fish eggs, small fish, crayfish, snails, leeches and aquatic insects.  They bite all year through and though they feed at any time of the day, they feed most heavily during daylight.  Bottom fishing with live bait works quite well. Twister fishing or the use of soft rubber baits that mimic frogs, worms, shrimps and squids is recommended too.

The best time to fish for perch is in the months of April to June and September to November.  Still fishing is still an effective method to catch perch.

fishing1What Tackle and Gear to Use

Any! Throw a line with a baited hook at its end near a known spawning ground and a perch is sure to bite.  As they congregate in shoals, where there is one perch bite, more will follow.  An all-purpose float-fishing rod will do just fine as does a spinning rod.  The choice really depends on the angler.  However, a fixed-spool reel is best for ease.  Use a line that can withstand at least a 4-lbe test not for landing a big perch but for withstanding possible snags underwater where perch like to hunt and hangout.  Use hook # 6, 8 or 10 when using lobworm for bait. For smaller bait # 12, 14 and 16 hooks will do.

fishing1Where to Find Perch

The northern perch has relatives in the Australia and Africa called the southern perch. The Nile perch and barramundi are giants!

In North America, perch can be caught in almost all freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers. In Idaho, the Cascade Reservoir offers great spot for perch fishing.  The American Reservoir in the state is 56,000 acres of freshwater open all year round for fishing perch.  Winder Reservoir also has a big perch population.

In Maryland some of the traditional perch fishing locations are in Mattawoman Creek, Allens Fresh, Friendship Landing and Wayson’s Corner.

South Carolina’s ponds, lakes, streams, rivers and water reservoir offer great venues not only for perch fishing. Lake Jocassee, Lake Marion, Monticello Reservoir and Richard B. Russell Lake are some of the major bodies of water that are popular spots for perch fishing.

Remember, where there is perch, there is bound to be other panfish and a least a species or two of a game and predatory fish.