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Yellow Perch are very common across the United States and Canada. Because they are very abundant, most states allow them to be caught almost all-year-round and have very minimal and sometimes no laws regulating their fishing.
In my opinion, the best thing about yellow perch is the fact that they are very delicious especially when properly grilled. In this article, I will share with you the best baits for targeting yellow perch fish. With any of these baits, you can quickly catch two or three yellow perches to grill for yourself and/ or your family.
The Best Live and Artificial Baits For Yellow Perch
1. Night Crawlers
Nightcrawlers are cheap and very popular yellow perch bait. They are very popular across the United States because they are widely available in many stores and they are quite easy to keep alive (they simply need refrigeration).
Once you purchase nightcrawlers, you should need to thread one on a hook when you are ready to wet your line. Its movement on your hook when in the water will quickly invite yellow perch fish to take a bite and get hooked.
The best thing about nightcrawlers is that they stay on fishing hooks well. However, it is important to note that for this to happen they need to be properly threaded.
It is also important to note that some people are not comfortable threading a nightcrawler on a hook. If you fall into this group, you should read on to discover great artificial baits that do not need threading later on in this post.
2. Tiny Yellow Perch
Yellow perch eat tiny yellow perch, especially in early summer. This is the reason why tiny yellow perch are among the best live baits for catching big yellow perch fish.
Yellow perch can also be caught using baby largemouth bass and baby bluegill fish.
To use a tiny yellow perch to catch a bigger one, you will need to buy it or catch it first. And then after you do so, you will need to thread it on a bigger hook to catch bigger fish.
Some people use a sharp knife to cut off the jaw meet of yellow perch and use that as bait. The only problem with this is that it can make things a bit messy. However, with this said, yellow perch cuts are very good baits for targeting big yellow perch fish.
3. Small Fathead Minnows
According to various scientific studies (yes, studies have been done on this), small fathead minnows are among the best baits for catching big yellow perch. A big perch fish cannot resist attacking a struggling minnow. This is the reason why small minnows are consistently used to catch big fish.
The ideal-size minnows for catching yellow perch fish is between two to three inches. The one-inch ones are regarded as the best but they are not easily available in most stores.
While minnows are great for targeting perch, it is illegal to use them as bait in some places and it is somewhat difficult for some people to hook them. Nevertheless, they are probably the best live bait to use to catch large-size perch.
4. Small Crayfish
If you live in a place where crayfish are easy to find, you should buy a couple of live and small ones to use to catch perch. This is because perch love crayfish and eat them whenever they find them.
However, it is important to note that Crayfish have hard shells. Using them with hard shells is not going to get you good results. You should use them after they have shed their shells. It is not very easy to find small crayfish that have just dropped their shells in bait stores.
Therefore, if you really want to use crayfish to catch perch, you should raise them on your own and utilize them one or two days after they shed their exoskeletons.
Yellow perch fish love grasshoppers. They are like exciting bait for them. So if you can find grasshoppers in your local bait shop, you should get them and try to use them. Yellow perch fish like them.
However, it is important to note that grasshoppers do not hold well to hooks especially in waters that are not calm. So if you plan to fish in non-calm waters, you should not use grasshoppers.
Nevertheless, if you are targeting yellow perch in calm and clear waters, you should try grasshoppers as bait.
Bluegills also like grasshoppers.
Crickets can also be used as bait to target both yellow perch and bluegill fish.
Mealworms are among the most popular live bait for catching yellow perch fish, especially in lakes. This is because they are widely available, cheap, and attract yellow perch like magnets.
They are frequently used to target yellow perch during winter. This is because they are not easily affected by the cold.
To use a mealworm to catch perch, you can hook it directly on a hook or on the back of a spinner or a lead jig.
It can be a bit discomforting for some to hook a mealworm. If you are not comfortable threading mealworms or any other bait worms, you should use artificial baits which I list below.
Like mealworms, wax worms also attract yellow perch like a magnet. They can also be used to target crappies.
7. Berkley PowerBait Honey Worms
Berkley is known for making some of the most effective fish baits and fishing equipment. In my opinion, these honey worms are their best baits! I say this because they are perch assassins – they attract perch and enable you to catch them very easily.
The Berkley PowerBait Honey Worms are real worms. This is what primarily makes them irresistible to yellow perch. In addition to being real, they are infused with flavor and scent to make them even more irresistible.
This is the reason why they are power baits.
Each container of Berkley PowerBaits Honey Worms contains fifty-five worms. In theory, this means each container can enable you and your buddies to catch more than fifty yellow perch.
Berkley PowerBait Honey Worms are recommended for open water bobber fishing and ice fishing.
8. Berkley Gulp! Minnow
This is a lure. Scratch that. This is a perfect yellow perch lure. The reason why I say this is because of yellow perch like eating small minnows. This makes using minnows one of the easiest ways to attract them and catch them.
Using live minnows is obviously great but you cannot always find live minnows. This is the reason why many guys prefer getting a Berkley Gulp! Minnows, which look ultra-realistic and are just as effective as live minnows.
The best thing about using a Berkley Gulp! Minnow to catch yellow perch is that it is perfect for attracting larger perch. So if your aim is to snag a big perch, you will be more likely to achieve it using this product.
This product is also perfect for luring bluegill and rock bass fish.
What makes the bait great is its ultra-realistic design. The design looks just like a minnow. Also, it moves just like one and it is scented to make fish hold on to it after they bite. This almost always ensures 100 percent hook penetration and is what makes this artificial bait very effective.
This lure is available in several styles. Each style has its pros and cons.
9. Mepps Aglia Spinner
Like the Berkley Gulp! Minnow, this is also an artificial bait. It is great for targeting perch and other fish. The most unique thing about this bait is the fact that it creates sonic noises that attract perch. You cannot hear the noises or vibrations but fish can hear them clearly.
The bait is also colorful. So if a perch does not hear it (which is impossible), it will easily spot it and get attracted.
What I like the most about this bait are its sharp hooks. The sharp hooks are situated on a heavy-duty shaft making this bait perfect for catching heavy and large fish.
I also like the fact that it is made in the United States!
The bait is available in different styles. All styles resemble different types of trout that yellow perch like eating. The best styles are copper and solid gold styles. This is because they catch the light well and are, therefore, very effective in attracting and catching fish.
10. Rapala Jigging Rap
This is one of the best artificial baits for perch that money can buy. It is made by Rapala, which is one of the best American fishing tools brand.
The Rapala Jigging Rap looks like a small minnow. It is available in several sizes and it is regarded as one of the best ever yellow perch baits. To catch decent-size yellow perches, experienced users recommend using size two or size three Rapala Jigging Rap lures.
The best thing about Rapala Jigging Rap lures is the fact that they are all bright and glossy. This makes them irresistible for perch.
11. Clam Leech Flutter Spoon
The Clam Leech Flutter Spoon is hands down, the best spoon lure for catching snagging yellow perch fish. It is highly-rated on Amazon. This means that many of those who have used it have found it useful and effective.
The lure looks like a realistic leech and this is where it gets its name from. It is available in several bright colors. This is what makes it quite attractive to perch.
With it at the end of your fishing line, you are guaranteed of catching perch very quickly especially if you are fishing in a spot where they are abundant.
The lure has a feathered tail. This tail attracts fish and when the lure is being moved by water, it propagates the movement making it more attractive for fish to bite and get hooked.
The Best Way To Catch Yellow Perch
Choosing the right bait is very important for fishing. However, to ensure your fishing expedition is successful, you have to do more than just choose the right bait.
Probably the best place to catch perch is near a fishing boat dock in freshwater locations. In addition to fishing boat docks, you can catch yellow perch around vegetation and plants, lily pads, and weed beds.
This is because such locations have plenty of natural food and hiding spaces for them. Smaller perch like swimming near the surface, while big ones are bottom feeders. Therefore, if you want to catch big fish easily, cast your lure deeper or use a sinker.
In terms of timing, the best time to snag yellow perch is late in the afternoon or early in the morning.
This is because the fish normally feed early in the day and late in the evening. Therefore, targeting them at this time will yield more success because they will be hungry and ready to eat.
If you want to use live bait, make sure it is something that yellow perch like to it. Use the list above to find something that perch can eat. However, as you may have noticed in the article, there are many great artificial baits you can use instead of live bait.
There are many perch baits that you can use to catch them. Probably the very best one is the Berkley Gulp! Minnow. However, the other ones are pretty decent too and you can use them to easily and quickly snag yellow perch.