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Lake Erie Perch Fishing Charters

Perch fishing in Lake Erie, in the central basin of Lake Erie is going to be the best it has been in decades. Many jumbo perch will begin showing up in the shallow water in the spring. Most of the perch will be caught in 25 to 35 feet of water early in the year. Most of these fish will be in the 8 to 14 inch range because of the great hatches of 2003, 2005 and 2007.

We are located right in the middle of the central basin where the largest perch stay all year. The limit for 2010 is 30 perch per person in our location. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has kept the Lake Erie perch fishing limit to 25 in the western basin of Lake Erie because of shallow water and smaller fish.

As the waters warm with summer, we will move to deeper water up to 65 feet. These fish like the deeper cooler water because of the large schools of bait fish which move there during the summer months. As fall arrives, we begin catching massive amounts of jumbo perch! These fish are feeding heavily for winter and limits are caught in less than a couple of hours daily.

Our fishing techniques are very simple for Lake Erie perch fishing which makes it especially good for children. We use light weight rods and reels with perch spreaders and crappie rigs tipped with minnows or emerald shiners. Our reels are spooled with 4# diameter braided power pro line for a sensitive feel.

Sometimes we anchor up on the fish and dump stones or egg shells into the water to get them fired up. This seems to act like bait fish and really turns them on. These tasty fish are a cousin of the walleye and make for some of the finest dining in the world. We hope this has given you an idea on how and where we fish for this fabulous table fare.

Yellow Perch

Other Names: Perca flavescens

Physical Description:

The yellow perch is a species of perch found in the United States and Canada. Yellow perch look similar to the European perch but are paler and more yellowish, with less red in the fins. They have 6-8 dark vertical bars on their sides. The yellow perch is in the same family as the walleye and sauger, but in a different family from the white perch. Yellow perch size can vary greatly between bodies of water, but adults are usually between 4-10 inches in length and can reach weights of a few pounds. The perch can live for up to 11 years, and older perch are often much larger than average where the maximum recorded length is 21.0 inches and the largest recorded weight is 4.2 lb. Large yellow perch are often called "jumbo perch."

The perch spawns at the end of April or beginning of May, depositing it upon weeds, or the branches of trees or shrubs that have become immersed in the water; it does not come into condition again until July.

Range:

Yellow perch are north temperate fish. They extend from west central Canada and the Hudson Bay area east to New Brunswick, down to South Carolina and west to Kansas.

Feeding Habits:

Young yellow perch feed on zooplankton, then as they grow they switch to benthic macroinvertebrates and finally fish. In Lake Erie and other lakes, young yellow perch switch from mainly zooplankton to benthos during midsummer declines in zooplankton biomass. Yellow perch have small backward slanting teeth lining the jaws and gill rakers that strain out small pelagic food sources from the water. Their mouth is subterminal which makes it easy for them to feed at the bottom. Yellow perch swallow their food whole. In large fish, the net energy gained by eating large prey, such as benthos and fish, outweighs the disadvantages of capture and digestion.

Perch are an important food source for top predators such as the walleye, northern pike, muskellunge, and in colder waters lake trout.

As Food / Table Fare:

Yellow Perch are one of the finest flavored of all panfish, and this has led to misuse of their name in the restaurant industry. Menus will sometimes list "White Perch", "Rock Perch" or simply "Perch" that are actually other species, usually panfish in the Centrarchidae (sunfish) family.

Sporting Qualities:

The best time for fishing for perch is from June to November though they bite reasonably well all year and are readily taken through the ice. They haunt the neighborhood of heavy deep eddies, camp sheathings, beds of weeds, with sharp streams near trees or bushes growing in or overhanging the water.

Habitat:

Yellow perch are found mainly in lakes and sometimes in impoundments of larger rivers. Clear water is important as excessive turbidity and silt could lead to death of perch. Perch do however have a high tolerance for low oxygen conditions. They inhabit water of moderate temperature, avoiding cold deep water and warm surface waters during the summer. Young perch generally inhabit shallower water than larger ones, though as temperature increases all move to cooler, deeper water.