Yellow Perch fish, its habitats, characteristics, fishing methods.
The Yellow Perch is extremely popular fighting sport and an excellent food fish. They make a wonderful catch for fishermen of all skill levels. They inhabit slow-moving, nearshore areas where moderate amounts of vegetation provide cover, food and protection, they feed on insect larvae, crustaceans, and small fish, zooplankton and other tiny aquatic organisms. Yellow perch are the first fish that arrive in the rivers after the first of the year. Most fish are caught in these early winter months during their spawning run in the upper tributaries where they are easier to catch.
A combination of understanding the fish and the techniques used to catch them will help you to hook more fish to the end of your line. Better knowing and understanding of the fish that you are trying to catch will make you a more successful angler, whether you are fishing for trout on a river or surfing on the beach or trolling on the open water.
The yellow perch - Perca flavescens is a species of Perch family, also known as American Perch, Bandit Fish, Calico Bass, Convict, Coon Perch, Coontail, Eisenhower, Jack Perch, Lake Perch, Raccoon Perch, Red Perch, Redfin, Redfin Trout, Ring-tail Perch, Ringed Perch, River Perch, Sand Perch, Striped Perch, are found in the United States and Canada, where it is often referred to by the shortform perch. The yellow perch is in the same family as the Walleye, but in a different family from the White Perch. On the Atlantic coast, yellow perch range from South Carolina north to Nova Scotia. They can also be found west through the southern Hudson Bay region to Saskatchewan, and south to the northern half of the Mississippi drainage, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, and even Utah.
The yellow perch have body oval shaped, lateral line of 57-62 scales, dorsal fin of 12-13 soft rays, anal fin of 7-8 rays, two well separated dorsal fins, the first spiny-rayed and the second soft-rayed. Head slightly curved above the eyes, mouth does not have canine teeth on the jaws or roof, cheeks covered with 8-10 rows of extended scales. Coloration back bright green to dark olive green to golden brown, side’s bright yellow, yellow-green, to brassy green with the color of the back extending down in seven dark, tapering, vertical bars. Belly lighter, grey to milky-white, colors of spawning males more intense, with bright orange-red fins and generally brighter in color. The yellowish sides have 6 to 9 dark vertical bars. The lower fins are amber to bright orange. Females are not as brightly colored as males. Yellow perch size can vary greatly between bodies of water, but adults are usually between 6-12 inches (10-25.5 cm) in length and weigh about 6-16 oz (150 g) on average, adult females generally larger than adult males of the same age. The perch can live for up to 11 years, and older perch are often much larger than average, up to 21.0 inches (53.3 cm) in length and the largest recorded weight is 4.2 lb (1.91 kg). Large yellow perch are often called "jumbo perch".
Habitat and Habits
Yellow perch are found in open water areas of large lakes or ponds with fairly clear water, a firm bottom and sparse to fair vegetation. Small lakes, ponds and slow moving streams, and rivers usually produce smaller perch. Prefer cool, clear water temperatures of 62º to 72º F. The yellow perch quite adaptable can live in low winter oxygen levels better than many other native fish species. Usually live at depths less than 30 inches but found in waters as much as 150 inches deep. Larger fish tend to prefer the deeper regions of lakes, leaving the shorelines to smaller individuals. In spring they prefer bottom structures such as rock piles and bottom drop-offs; in summer they stay outside edges of submerged vegetation; in fall prominent land points with bottom structures; and in winter, they stay over the flat bottom reaches near bottom structures.
Yellow Perch showed a positive growth response in the presence of zebra mussels. Young eat zooplankton, other aquatic invertebrates, and insects. As they become adults, they eat less zooplankton, and more other things such as fish eggs, shiners and minnows. They also eat smelt, trout-perch, and even juvenile yellow perch. They feed by sight so they need light to find prey as small fishes, aquatic insects, crayfish, and snails. They feed throughout the daylight hours in deep water but often move into the shallows during evening to feed on schools of minnows. They may feed off and on throughout the day, but have two peaks feeding times; once in the morning and once in the afternoon. This is the best fishing time. In turn, Yellow Perch is, in the ecology of many rivers and lakes, of inestimable value as the prey of larger fish. Yellow perch are often stocked in ponds where they are fished for.
Spawns occurs once a year in early spring at the end of April or beginning of May, shortly after ice-out. Usually spawning takes place at night or in early morning, with water temperatures of 43º to 55º F. Yellow Perch reach sexual maturity at one to three years of age for males and two to three years of age for females. They are not nests builders, the female deposits a long, flat, ribbon-like, amber colored mass of covered with a thick mucilaginous cover eggs over weeds or brush in the shallows of lakes or in tributary streams. The sheath protects the eggs from infection and predation. Depending on the size, a female may produce anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 eggs. Eggs are deposited over a variety of substrates such as sand bars, submerged vegetation, fallen branches, or other debris in the water. As the female deposits the eggs, she is followed by 2-25 males who fertilize them. After fertilization, they swell and the string of eggs can become up to 8' long. Many egg masses are eaten by other fishes, washed up on shore, or stranded by low water. Surviving eggs hatch in 12-21 days, depending on water temperature and other weather conditions. There is no parental care of eggs or fry once they hatch. Young perch school in or near weedy areas where food is abundant. Slow swimmers when young, they must depend upon aquatic plants for cover. Heavy predation from most fish-eating fishes and birds is common.
Yellow Perch are pretty easy to catch and are often caught while fishing for species in which they share the same body of water. They are not strong fighters. The most popular methods is pole fishing, also the most effective lures are small jigs and spinners. Popular baits include small minnows, worms, leeches, crickets, grubs, and crayfish tails.
Most fish are caught in early winter months during their spawning run in the upper tributary waters where they are very easy to catch. During the rest of the year, they inhabit a vast territory, a wide variety of habitats, are a schooling fish, and congregate near shore in the spring. They are also taken recreationally mainly because of their flavor and their desire to take a baited hook. Yellow perch are most active during the daytime.
Yellow perch are prime targets for new anglers. It takes no degree of expertise and the yellow perch can be caught with just a carbon pole, pole float, hook, and a can of worms. If you are teaching your kid how to fish, nothing could be a better choice than perch. For best results, use a rod designed for light to medium action with a casting or spinning reel. The best hooks will be from sizes 4 to 8. Just adjust your depth by changing your float set until you find where the perch are suspended, and once you catch one, put a new bait on the hook and get it back into the water at the same depth as quickly as possible before they leave the area. The single best bait is minnows. The smaller the minnow, the better. Artificial bait also work great.
Great rods for Yellow Perch fishing are:
15ft Telescopic Fishing Spinning Rod,
12ft Telescopic Spinning Rod,
21ft Telescopic Carbon Pole,
18ft Telescopic Carbon Pole,
24ft Telescopic Fishing Pole
Freshwater Fish Species
The Perch family species
Saltwater Fish Species