Looking for a great ice fishing outing? Look no further than Ontario’s early-season Perch fishing. Abundant in a high percentage of lakes across the province, Perch are some of the most popular species and not to mention one of the tastiest fish enjoyed by ice-fishing anglers.
Perch can be one of the easiest fish to catch, and the quality is just as impressive. Oversized Perch, known as Jumbo Perch, can occasionally reach upwards of a pound and are a favorite pan fish for many anglers. Traveling in schools during the winter season, you’ll definitely have a chance at landing enough of them for a nice dinner.
Classified as primarily a bait fish, Perch will school and hunt together in search of food. Locating feeding spots will almost guarantee a great outing.
Perch generally occupy shallow waters early in the season and are aggressive when feeding. It’s important to change locations often if the bite becomes stale. Locating a couple of fish over a 30-minute period is an indication that a larger school is not far off, so be persistent in trying new locations and don’t wait for the fish to move to you. Move to the fish.
Try a few different spots in the same general area and watch your success rate improve.
Lure presentation in the early season is extremely important due to their large appetite. Don’t be afraid to change up your presentation often and narrow down your hot colors and sizes. This ice-fishing technique will come in handy later in the season when Perch become increasingly picky in their eating habits. Once you’ve located a school of Perch, get ready for some hot and heavy action.
Ice Fishing Perch Tips
- Drilling multiple holes and wavy patterns spread out by a minimum of 30 feet between each hole. This covers a lot of water, and if you don’t succeed on your first pattern, try moving out 30 or 40 yards from your initial starting point and drill another pattern.
- Use multiple rods. While it’s sometimes not feasible to have more than one or two rods, it’s always best to have a line in each hole of your drilling pattern. If you are fishing alone, make it a habit to move between your holes in 20-minute intervals and experiment with lure depths at each stop.
- Small jigs and tubes tend to be the most productive, but it really breaks down to personal preference and even past experience. Have a variety of jig colors and sizes on hand as well as a collection of different color tubes.
- Rod selection should be narrowed down to 18-24 inches in length coupled with an ultra-light spinning reel with a good ball bearing count.
- Use a rod rest or a tip-up. These can be either store-bought or homemade contraptions.
Perch fishing is a great Ontario outdoor activity with family and friends in the winter. Using some of the above tips and advice will offer up some great ice fishing action for all ages. Early-season Perch angling is always productive and will fill your frying pan with great-tasting fillets in no time. Enjoy!