Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Catching American Yellow Perch

Yellow perch is one of the most popular fish in North America to target, and the fact these fish often hit any lure you can get near them, make them an excellent beginners fish, it is not hard to become a master perch fisherman and this article will explain to you the basics of how to target yellow perch.

Yellow perch is found throughout the USA and Canada, they are only found in freshwater rivers, streams and lakes. Most people refer to these fish only as “perch”, they are a yellow coloured fish with black stripes, and can grow up to 15 inches in size. The reason these fish are so popular is they make for excellent eating, especially when battered with some flour, egg and water mixed together.

The term perch is applied to many fish globally, the yellow perch is true to it's name and is a distant relative of the european perch, european perch however has a grey body with black stripes and red fins, they are often called simply redfin for this reason. The european perch and yellow perch share a distant ancestor, during the times at which europe and the usa were one land mass. Since then however, the two separated and hence changes in their appearance altered, bringing the american perch it's yellow feature colour, and european its grey and red fins.

All fish which carry the name perch are fairly easy to catch on lures, and the most popular lures to catch them on are known as soft plastics, these are soft silicone baits which move around rapidly in the water from the tail section, the two most popular types of soft plastic lures are the grub style, which have the body of a thick tree grub and a long wagging tail behind, the second most popular is the swimmerbait, which has a body more like a small fish, and a wagging thick tail on the back, which sways rapidly left to right at the correct retrieve speed.

Second best in terms of lures to target perch are spin lures or spin-baits, these types of lures have a central shaft and a spoon shaped outer metal disc, when retrieved these lures spin extremely fast giving off the appearance of a 1 inch sized baitfish to any fish nearby. It is important to keep the spin happening on these lures when retrieving as the fish will quickly loose interest if the spin is stopped.

Third best in terms of lures is the hard body diving lure, these look like small fish and have a clear plastic front on them, which is angled to produce a dive effect at the correct retrieve speed, furthermore these lures have a thin tail, meaning that they will sway left to right underneath the water when retrieved, causing them to mimic a baitfish.

The best place to catch yellow perch is not in wide open waters, but rather inside weed beds, along rocky drop offs and other hidden places of water such as under piers. These fish like to wait in ambush of their prey, rather than openly hunt for food, hence the best places to catch them are in their ambush locations.

The yellow perch is also a night sleeper, meaning that you will only catch them during daylight hours, often they are most active for feeding at sunrise and sunset, however they are also active in ambush during the day, but morning and night you will find them more heavily hunting their prey.

Perch when travelling in large open waters rarely do so alone, hence when on the move on open waters such as lakes, they will often school together. They prefer to travel together with other yellow perch, but will also be happy to travel along with other fish such as bass. If you are fishing in a lake, a fish finder can make fishing much easier when targeting perch.

If using fresh live bait, the perch usually prefers to target live crawfish, which can be obtained from most freshwater streams using a bait trap and some pieces of chicken a few hours before heading out fishing. However they are not too fussy and will still hit fishing lures at about the same rate as they will attack live bait, if not a little more sided towards the lures. Expensive lures are not nessassary to catch perch, any cheap fishing lures at fishing tackle shops will do the trick.

Worms are also a good bait, but nothing beats double rigging a couple of crawfish and having two perch on the same line attack at once, this can also be done with worms, but the more active the bait, the easier it is to catch yellow perch. Crawfish are an excellent live bait as once hooked through the tail, will constantly dart around in the water much more than a worm can possibly do, this makes the yellow perch target them as preferred bait and draws much more attention to your bait in the water.

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