7 Best Perch Lures & Baits in 2024

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Video perch lures

Forage Base

In a nutshell, the forage base indicates what the perch are feeding on. Now, this information depends on various elements:

  • The type of water and its cover;
  • Its depth;
  • The vegetation living in the water;
  • Whether or not the perch is suspended.

The above elements are game changers for picking the best baits for ice-fishing perch. Once you discover what the perch are biting on, picking the right lure is easy. For instance, perch like the following:

  • Larvae
  • Minnows
  • Tiny/juvenile fish
  • Fish eggs
  • Bloodworms, etc.

Remember that shallow water perch goes for a different bait than deeper/bottom water perch. Finally, note that these fish can feed on everything we mentioned in different time intervals.

Water Clarity

Water clarity is another eminent factor that can navigate you to finding effective perch lures.

When perch fishing in clear waters, it’s best to have a lure of matching colors. Luckily, this is easy since almost all manufacturers provide many color choices. So, if you plan on fishing on a clear blue-sky kind of day, then choose a vibrant yellow or red color baits. For murky water, you can also enhance your perch fishing with a lure that produces noise, rattling sounds, fluttering motions, etc.

Depth

Perch can be found in deeper and more shallow water. However, when and how deep you cast your line plays a significant role in the lure you’ll use.

For instance, fishing early for yellow perch, like at the beginning of the winter season, will give you the best results by dropping the line at 12 to 15 feet. On the other hand, if you set on a fishing trip during a moderate mid to late winter, go deeper – 20 to 35 feet at most.

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Technique

Techniques make quite the difference when perch fishing. The following are some of the most used techniques:

  • Catching perch on hard water – Perfect to catch some more perch while there’s still untouched vegetation in the shallow water.
  • Perch Jigging – Excellent for making noise and commotion under the water by playing the “pick up, drop it” game. The disruption signals translated into perch language is simple – it’s lunchtime.
  • Drop a Tasty Perch Bait – Start small and go big by throwing in a soft plastic body bait decorated with some wax that would imitate small insects/shrimps.

Remember that perch tend to swim around in schools. So, find one, and you’ll find the others too.

Size

Perch fishing lures are far from being a one-size-fits-all. For more precise size determination, rely on the water’s temperature, the season, etc.

For instance, November and December are considered early winter fishing months. During these months, as the water temperature decreases, the perch slows down and moves deeper, almost hitting bottom. So, a situation like this requires a perch bait between 1.5 and 3.5 inches and a wide hook with a size varying from 1/0 to 3/0.

As winter progresses, the drop-shot style combined with a 1.5- 2 inches perch lure makes the top bait. Drop it at least 11 inches above the bottom, close enough to catch the fish’s attention. Leave it down for about ten seconds, and pull it back up.

Cold months like January and February ask for a different perch approach. This is a period when they can feed with a limited menu in specific parts of the day only. The best bait you can provide them is a look-alive bait like the soft plastic lures Berkley Gulp offers.

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Color

The choice of color depends mostly on the water clarity and the time of the day you’re perch fishing.

That said, it’s always a good idea to think of natural-like or neutral colors. These colors easily match the color of the water and simultaneously grab the fish’s attention. However, this works best when ice fishing clear open waters.

For stained cold water, you’ll want something that grabs the eye of the fish – hot and shiny colors that can’t be ignored. Freezing murky waters ask for something darker. Take dark-colored baits with a pattern that stands out.

Which Lures to Use for Perch Fishing

Spinners

Spinners are straightforward fishing baits that excel in mimicking live fish movements. These baits are affordable and good for all-year-round usage. However, they’re most popular for using them on aggressive perch.

You’ll find spinners divided into several categories:

  • In-line spinners
  • Beetle spinners
  • Underspins
  • Tail spinners

Soft Plastics

Soft plastic lures always have a way of pinning down the perch. However, soft plastics also represent a broad category. They can be prepared into:

  • Curly tail grubs
  • Paddle/spear tails
  • Shad/stinger tails
  • Split tails
  • Small swimbaits
  • Swimming tails
  • Small tubes

Imitation

Perch always falls for imitation baits. Artificial perch lures are made to be as versatile as possible, supporting different fishing styles – jigging, fast and aggressive retrieve, and long casts were made for baits that bring imitation to another level.

Some of the best imitation lures for perch fishing are the Berkley Gulp minnows, Mepps Aglia spinner, Rapala Jigging Rap, and the Clam Leech flutter spoon.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>