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Does anybody target yellow perch through the ice? I've caught a couple while fishing for pickeral but it was fairly lucky since I was using pretty big hooks. Do you fish in deeper water for perch? Near the bottom? What about bait and tackle?
 

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bigbass, like you, almost all the yellow perch i have caught through the ice have been while targeting some thing else - pickeral. i have been thinking about just going for the perch too, and both yellow and silver perch.

even though you can get them shallow, there is a theory that perch from deeper waters don't have/have as many parasites, like the yellow fat ones, the thought is it's colder water and fewer nasties. i have tried to verify this, and from my point of view, it's still unconclusive...but it fun to test anyway.

a couple years ago i got the provincial ice fishing license, thinking i could catch some trout in fisher lakes. well, i did catch on lonely trout, but while fishing i had my underwater camera with me, and checked out the whole lake, seeing what was in it and where they were. that's when i found out smallies are camera hogs! they swim right over and say "hi" to the camera, like it's another bass they used to be friends with. no wonder the pro's use them!

anyway, while using the camera, i was watching a lot of perch. the bigger they were, the more they related to cover and structure, often hanging out with the young smallies. i also saw one very impressive sight. at first, i thought i was looking at a bay full of gently moving small plants. then, after playing with the focus, i was surprised to find that it was hundreds of thousands of small yellow perch! they were all on or just suspended above the bottom, the entire bay floor covered in them. an amazing sight, and it really explains why it is so easy to catch perch there. all that said, i wouldn't target perch in the fisher lakes unless you are just c&r'ing them. they are full of birdshot parasites - very crunchy to eat!

personaly, i'm thinking of targeting them in french lake, the Hammond below the train bridge, and maybe along norton shore in the tidal section.

for baits, watching them on the camera was very informative!!!
they like flash, movement, white, pink, red, a fair size lure with a smaller piece of bait on it, and almost anything you can suspend just above the bottom, almost like they were sunfish on a brite summer day. with the camera i noticed only about 1 in 4 perch were actively feeding at any time, and that they, like smelts, can be nibbling our baits without seeing any movement on the rod (there is a rumour they go to school to pick up such sneaky ideas...but it's just a rumour! lol)


i like flying/airplane jigs for the bigger ones through the ice.
 

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where do you guys ice fish for pickerel and perch. What time of winter.
I get lots of perch and a few pickerel and sunfish out of Kingston Creek. Over 6' of water will have fish. You have to find the good green weeds that give off oxygen and you will get 2-6 perch right away out of the hole, then it's time to move on until you find another patch of "good" weeds. Below the Hammond river train bridge is crap. I've had the camera there and it's barren. The only spot there I haven't tried is right by the fire dept fill area. I can't see any other spots in there being any good. The Hampton bridge never produced anything for me, but I'm sure if you can get into a deeper spot, there might be a fish or two around... but you have to find good structure and/or oxygen producing weeds! The Hampton marsh end of Darling's lake has patches of these weeds in the summer, but I have never tried it in the winter. It may be a good area. I don't think too many fish hang out in the areas with current like they would during open water, plus it could be dangerous to walk over these areas, let alone drill holes.

If anyone can solve the mystery of where the big schools of perch hang out in the Kennebecasis during the winter, they will be into some good fishing.
 

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I target perch everytime i go out after pickerel. Except in places where the water depth is fairly uniform like on flats and in coves i usally find perch in slightly deeper water than most pickerel, usually from 10-20 ft. What i do to find perch is to drill a bunch of holes from shallow to progressivly deeper water, then jig each hole for a few minutes until i get a bite. If i get a bunch of small ones i move out to another hole, i find the little guys hang toghether while the big ones seem to hang on the outside of the school. A good spot would be a channel running through and area or a deep hole surrounded by muddy flats. The perch will usually hang either right in the deep water or just on the edge depending on how much drop there is. Once you start hitting big ones, drill a hole bunch of holes along the same depth of water, and jump those holes. Big perch wont stay around for long, once the action slows down in one hole move to another until you find them again. Pretty soon you will figure out in which direction they are travelling and you can fish a school, then move back and start on another when they move in. Some days you might find a really good hole and sit on it all day and just wait for new schools to move through. I fish my lures about 6 inches of bottom, i like small jigs like teardrops, small swedish pimples and most of the Northland jigs work pretty good for perch, but my alltime fav is the forage minnow. I tip them with small minnow heads or tails, until i find the big ones then a live minnow about an inch long on a smll octopus hook and a slip bobber. I always start with chartreuse, then change it up to see what they really want. Best colors ive foudn to be chart, yellow, green, white and flo red, but some days they are weird , my gf one day caught all hers on a black and blue hair jig, and i only had one, she got a mess of perch and i only got a few. Lastly if you are fishing pickerel and end up getting a perch on a live minnow, that is a good spot to start drilling holes and jigging perch, most times you will catch a lot of them and they will be big...hope that helps..
 

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I hope you guys don't all C& R the perch you get.

Next to Walleye, they're about the best eating of the Bass/Perch type fish. I'm talking about Yellow Perch here only. I haven't tried White Perch so I don't have an opinion on them.

If you can get some decent sized ones ( 10"+ ), and fillet them up,coat them in a breading or maybe a beer batter and fry 'em up in a frypan of hot oil; that's some feed.

When I lived and worked in Southern Ontario 35+ years ago, I remember having some great fish fry treats on Sunday at the Gypsum plant in Hagersville, when the plant was shut down for weekly maintenance. Back then you could get commercially caught Lake Erie Perch in Dover on the lake. I'm sure you still can today.

Perch was especially good when the water was cold. In early spring when the boats could get out, someone from the maintenance department would pick up 5 lbs. or so of fillets on Saturday and one of the native guys from Oshweken on the maintenance crew would cook them up for us. When we came in for our lunch break, there would be a huge pile of fried fillets on a platter, and they would be devoured at practically the speed of light. Everyone partaking would ante up an equal share of the cost of the fish and the makins'.

So don't pass up on this treat. There's tons of perch out there and they're not that popular in the Maritimes. I suppose in the old days, perch was pretty poor fare compared to Salmon and Trout, and they never did catch on. Today's situation is different and yellow perch are good eating.
 

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I keep most of the ones i get over 10 inches, the onyl thing i hate are they are a royal pain to clean..you should try white perch, they are 10 times tastier then yellos imo, and they tend to be longer and thicker
 

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I keep most of the ones i get over 10 inches, the onyl thing i hate are they are a royal pain to clean..you should try white perch, they are 10 times tastier then yellos imo, and they tend to be longer and thicker
I really enjoy a feed of perch from time to time,and don't pass up the sunfish,I'm sure they must be a species of crappie,they are delicious!Anybody know if there are any white perch in or around the Kingston area? I'd luv a feed
 

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i wasn't being very specific about below the train bridge on purpose - i don't want to give away my best spots for next years tourney! lol
 

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i wasn't being very specific about below the train bridge on purpose - i don't want to give away my best spots for next years tourney! lol
Next year hopefully they'll have definite boundaries so late guys like me don't paddle all the way to the Kennebecasis for nothing, then learn some people went out there and beyond. Talk about screw up your game plan! Too add insult to injury, I lost 4 pickerel in the final 30mins and I already had 3 species. I said the hell with it all and went home exhausted. I didn't realize the tandem kayak I borrowed had a plug that liked to fall out either, so I was paddling an extra 100 pounds of water! This year will be different!
 

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yup bigfish1, that was a tuff tourney. like i told draper, we'll be able to brag that we survived that one at all of the next tourneys! i can here it now "you think this is a tuff, you should have been here the first year!! everything but a blizzard!"

the next tuffest tourney i was at was one on ice fishing for pickeral on french lake, with 14" of slush and water on top of the ice, which was about an inch over my boots...!
 

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yup bigfish1, that was a tuff tourney. like i told draper, we'll be able to brag that we survived that one at all of the next tourneys! i can here it now "you think this is a tuff, you should have been here the first year!! everything but a blizzard!"

the next tuffest tourney i was at was one on ice fishing for pickeral on french lake, with 14" of slush and water on top of the ice, which was about an inch over my boots...!
I remember that one, was almost thinkin i was gonna need my boat
 

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your right there pond jumper, i could have been moving around much faster in my kayak!!! lol

you could have used your boat and trolling motor, even the big motor in some places! my fishin buddy got in my portable shack and never moved all day - he just had army boats on - fine to start but by the time we were a couple hundred yards up the ice...
 

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I remember shoveling the snow away from the holes and having to put it back because all the water gatherd around and my tip-ups started floating around
 
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