People always asked me for info on fishing for perch in small lakes. Depending on the size of the lakes you are fishing in small lakes can be better for perch sometimes than large lakes are. Fishing for perch in small lakes is easier because you don’t have as much structure to cover and the perch are easier to find.
If you’re new to fishing for perch the best thing you can do is ask at the bait shop where the perch are biting and what the perch are biting on. They should be able to tell you exactly where to go to catch perch in smaller lakes. They pretty much hold in the same spots on smaller lakes where in big lakes they may travel around a lot more.
As I said, perch tend to be in the same areas on smaller lakes. I’ve fished tons of smaller lakes and we had a regular route where we’d go to catch perch. One lake in particular had a huge perch bite the last week before it would freeze over. Problem was the place you could easily catch these perch was about the size of a two car garage. Get a couple of feet out of the area and you couldn’t buy a bite. Get in the area and the perch would bite so fast you could only fish with one rod.
We took hundreds of perch out of that area every year. Lol, the perch limits were 100 per person back in the old days. Catching 100 perch in a smaller lake was no big deal. We had a half a dozen lakes where we could go to catch perch. Most were like the lake I mentioned above where the info on the perch was in a small area and they were very easy to catch.
Any good bait shop should be able to tell you where the perch are biting so use that resource. It’s obviously in the bait shops best interest to tell you where the fish are biting because they want to sell you bait. They should even give you some local perch fishing tips if you ask. They also want to sell you jigs and other fishing gear so if you get some good info ask what they are biting on and then buy a couple of the perch jigs the bait shop recommends.
Lots of people fish perch with bait. Worms, night crawlers, crappie minnows and fatheads plus other local concoctions. Personally I think the best perch bait is
a minnow head for either a fathead or crappie minnow. I’ve caught more perch on minnow heads than than I have on all the other perch baits I’ve used, combined.
When I’m fishing for perch in smaller lakes or even fishing ponds the shore fishing techniques I like the best is a minnow head on a 1/8th ounce jig with a slip bobber. I usually start with a pink jig for perch and then go to yellow, red, black and then green. You may need to put a small split shot right above the perch bait to get the line to go thru the slip bobber so the bait is at the proper depth.
In smaller lakes I’ll start by fishing my bait right off the bottom. 6 inches or so above the lake bottom. Then if I get nothing I’ll raise the bait off the bottom in one foot increments until I either catch fish or have to change jigs. If you’re fishing perch with a friend have them use a different color jig than yours. It will tell you a lot quicker which color the perch happen to prefer that day. When you figure it out everyone should be catching good numbers of fish.
Now there are a lot of perch fishing secrets around but none of these perch fishing techniques are really a secret. At least not to me. One of my favorite perch fishing tips takes place in a boat. I like to find some mud flats if the smaller lakes have them and then fish the edges of these mud flats. However if I’m not catching any fish on the edges I’ll position the boat so I can drift right across the top of the mud flats.
Once again use a slip bobber and a jig and start off 6 inches off the bottom. Drift across the mud and see if you get any bites. If you have a friend with you have them fish with just the jig and minnow head and let it hit the bottom now and then when you are jigging it up and down. One of you should catch fish or at least get some bites. When you do then switch to whatever happens to be working the best.
So if you want info on fishing for perch in small lakes ask at the bait shop and then use the info they give you to catch some perch in some of the better small lakes in the area. Perch are easily caught and they are almost always biting somewhere. Catch the perch while you can in the fall as they get just a bit harder to catch when your ice fishing for perch.
If you like this info on catching perch in small lakes tell your friends and maybe you can all catch more perch this year.