General information about perch
The perch is a freshwater fish in Europe. A distinction is made between “real perch” and “perch-like fish”. The perch belongs to the former species. It is frugal and can therefore live in almost all domestic waters, such as rivers, lakes, brackish waters of the Baltic Sea, ponds or canals. Due to its good robustness this predatory fish can live very well even at 1000 m altitude. However, the oxygen content must be high. The perch prefers to live in shoals when younger. In later years it lives as a loner on the banks of rivers.
The greyish olive coloured predator has a very conspicuous, split dorsal fin with spines. This is interrupted over the entire, very high back. The spaces in between have a spotted pattern. The dorsal fins can be folded and folded backwards. The lower jaw protrudes over the upper jaw. In addition, 6 – 9 horizontal stripes on the sides and a reddish colouring of the anal and ventral fins catch the eye. The caudal fin is however even. Characteristic are firm, medium sized scales and a pointed thorn on the gill cover. This species grows to about 20 cm long. Perches grow very, very slowly. Fish that are bigger are therefore usually already 10 years old. However, there are exceptions of over 50 cm and 3 to 4 kg in weight.
Eating and biting behavior
The young perch feeds on plankton (microorganisms). Later on it eats prey suitable for the mouth and sometimes also its own smaller conspecifics. Its favorite food is crabs.
Spring is the spawning season of the perch. The eggs are laid between March and June in shallow places on the bank with plenty of vegetation. The temperature required for this is 7 to 10 degrees Celsius. This involves about 200,000 eggs. These are between 1.5 and 2 mm in size. The net-like jelly strings adhere to plants, stones and branches. After release they are fertilized by the males. After about 3 weeks the first larvae hatch.
Target fish perch: The perch is a predatory fish that is quite voracious. This makes it easily attackable. Its aggressiveness makes it inattentive. Drop-shot fishing is currently the trend. The bait literally floats in the water and we catch up very, very slowly. This gives the perch enough time to bite. The best places to outwit the perch are below the surface, near the bottom and in mid-water.
Fishing equipment for perch
The ideal rod for perch is filigree and light. The casting weight should be between 5 and 25 grams. Experienced anglers can try ultra-light rods with a casting weight of 3 – 12 grams. For fishing with light artificial lures, shorter rods with fast action are very suitable. The length should be between 1.8 and 2.1 metres. For longer distances and larger lures, rods of approx. 2.4 metres in length and a casting weight of between 30 and 40 grams are preferable.
Important! The longer it takes, the more each gram counts! The constant casting and hauling is quite exhausting. If the equipment is light, there are less signs of fatigue and physical strain. The equipment should be strong but light.
To fish perch successfully, it is important to choose the largest possible target water. Large lakes and rivers are particularly suitable for this. Since the perch belongs to the predatory fish, artificial bait is recommended. Natural baits are also promising. However, worms often lead to unwanted by-catch. The big advantage of perch fishing is that this predator is not choosy. Perch lures should be smaller than those for zander and pike. Drop-shot, Texas or Carolina rigs, redworms, tumblers, rubber fish, spinners or twisters are very suitable for perch fishing.
However, the rubbers should be adapted in colour and size to the food fish. For sit-up fishing we recommend above all the tumbling or red worm. These should be practised with the pose rod or basic assembly and light harness. Perch react fastest to their favourite bait, the worm. But other fish also love this lure!
The perch can see very well. Therefore the line should be as thin as possible. A line diameter of approx. 0.08 millimetres as well as a high quality braided line are therefore highly recommended. If zander and pike also cavort, the line should not exceed 0.12 millimetres.
A 2000 roll is sufficient for perch. For further casting distances a 3000 model should be chosen. This guarantees a better casting performance. Attention should be paid to a clean line laying, the capacity as well as an absolutely jerk-free running brake.
landing nets differ in the depth of the net, the transport dimensions, the mesh material as well as the mesh size, the diameter of the landing net edge and the rod length or rope length for sheet pile landing nets. The latter are used in cities and ports. Extra long telescopic landing nets or sheet pile landing nets are required for this purpose. These are particularly suitable for angling bridges, footbridges or sheet piles. However, the rope of the sheet piling net must be tear-resistant. If fishing from the shore, the handle should be as long as possible. Fishing from a kayak, belly boat or in a stream is done with a short rod.
When waddling, the rod is short because the fish is landed directly in front of the feet. Wading nets are not very large, but easy to transport. With a large diameter they are very good for catching big fish. For fishing from a kayak, however, nets with a greater depth are recommended. As far as the mesh size is concerned, a distinction must be made between use in flowing or still waters. The closer the mesh spacing and the thicker the netting material, the greater the water resistance in streams and rivers. Fine-meshed nets are more difficult to detach from the hook. When fishing for predatory fish with additional triplets, with plugs or jigs, it is better to use a coarser-meshed net. This makes it easier to release the hooks.
No matter what machine size you choose, the net must be rubberized. This protects the mucous membrane of the fish. Fixed hooks can be removed more easily with a rubberized net. This also makes cleaning easier. A lot of accessories are needed when fishing. The transport arrangements are usually quite annoying. When spinning, robust but light telescopic landing nets are therefore recommended. Collapsible landing nets have proven themselves very well. Boat landing nets with deep net are stable and foldable.
Methods of perch fishing
This technique uses a rubber bait on the classic jigging head. The jig head is a special hook that is angled at the eye. In the area of the bend it is provided with a weight (lead, zinc or tungsten). The weight keeps the body close to the ground. This is called “jigging” and describes the lure guidance. For jigging on perch the lure is dropped after casting. Then the lure is given action over the rod (jerky lifting). Then the empty line is picked up. This causes the lure to move zigzag-like over the ground. The perch usually bite during the sinking phase, sometimes also between the plucks.
In contrast to jigging, lazy is animated exclusively via the reel. One to three quick crank turns are performed from the resting position on the ground. The rod must have a 45 degree angle to the water surface. In addition, it should point towards the water. The crank turns cause the lure to lift off the ground and move back down again during the break.
Perch are predatory fish and will hunt anything that fits in their mouth. Miniwobblers are therefore ideal as bait. However, this also means that all the rest of the fishing equipment must be adapted to them. This must be filigree, otherwise the running of the miniwobbler will be disturbed. A 0.08 – 0.10 nanofilament or a 0.14 – 0.16 monofilament is suitable for this type of perch fishing. However, no carabiners or swivels should be used. The wobbler and the leader are connected directly to the knot.
Spinning or blinking belongs to the active types of fishing. Artificial baits such as twisters, shads, spinners, wobblers or spoons are mainly used here. The angler is in the boat or on the shore for this purpose.
Vertical fishing from boat
This technique means fishing from a boat, kayak or belly boat. Of course fishing from a jetty, sheet pile or ice hole is also possible. In the past, gamblers were used for this. Later, small lead weights were used for ice fishing, which looked like small fish moving up and down. Prey fish are imitated by small plastic swim wings on the lure. Classic verical fishing is done from the boat. Rubber baits are used for this.
Perch fishing in different seasons
If the perch have not yet spawned, they are in deep water, near the shallow spawning grounds. Use the echo sounder to look for elevations on the bottom, such as stone packs or plateaus. Rotary currents are also interesting hotspots at this time of year. The correct mounting is jigs, plugs and drop shots (run deep!). Ferry piers and water lilies are also good spots. Smallmouthed perch love rocky and sandy ground. If you know where the water lily fields were last year, you’ve already won!
After spawning, predators therefore prefer deeper water. The bigger the perch, the more likely they are to be solitary and prefer open water. Middle-sized ones are more likely to be found near shallow spawning grounds. Rubber worms, surface baits and drop shots are best suited here.
Perch love shallow spots in summer. These can be rocks, stone packs or steep cliffs or reed beds. Early in the morning topwater lures are the order of the day at this time of year. During the day they are better served with deep diving drop shots or plugs. In summer perch bite almost all day long!
Perch spend the early autumn in deep waters. As it gets colder, they eat more. In late autumn they almost always hunt. In the morning they stay in shallow places. Later in the day they prefer to be in deep water. Near water inlets and rotary currents are the hotspots. In autumn spinners, shovelless plugs and drop shots are the right lures. Important! It’s worth doing some research on the food fish and their favourite spots.
In winter the perch move to deeper, warmer waters. Look for small elevations under water or look for deep spots. Suitable lures are feather jibs, football jigs, plugs and drop shots.
Biting times of perch
This varies greatly and also depends on the type of water. They prefer to bite when it is dim.
During the day
Early in the morning when there is no light yet. Sometimes they bite between 13 and 16h.
Most often they bite between 18 and 20.30h.
Legal regulations for perch fishing
As the Fisheries Act and the corresponding regulations are a national matter, there are different minimum sizes and closed seasons. Confusion is caused above all by the fact that on the same river, e.g. the Elbe, the closed seasons and minimum sizes are nevertheless regulated differently in some sections. Important! Even in one and the same federal state, different regulations apply to each body of water. As associations, clubs and some districts of the federal states also have different regulations, it is advisable to inform yourself in advance!
Seasons and minimum dimensions go hand in hand. The background is that the fish need a time until they are adult. If it were allowed to fish anytime and anywhere without limits, there would soon be none left. In many places in Germany there is no minimum size for perch, depending on the waters. In addition, the minimum sizes range from approx. 15 to 60 cm. You should therefore really inform yourself before you start, otherwise it can be expensive!
Types of water when fishing for perch
Perch stay close to currents. The food fish of these predators like to be in shallow water or directly in the currents. So it’s no wonder that they like to stay close by. Then they also want to leave quickly.
Perch love sheet piles on the canal. That’s where their food fish stay. Because of their size, these predatory fish are ideal for hiding in the hollows in the sheet pile wall and then attacking.
In the lake these predatory fish like to stay close to the shallow water. On closer inspection they are still in the depths!
Perch fishing mounts
Drop shot mounts
This technique is relatively simple. Rubber baits are most often used here. But leeches, fish shreds or worms are also successfully used here. The drop-shot technique makes it possible to fish a hotspot longer than with conventional spinning fishing. The fish are less disturbed by this type of fishing than by jigging or plugs. Drop-shot fishing also allows sophisticated lure games that are otherwise not possible.
A drop shot hook is tied into the middle of a 1.5 metre fluorocarbon leader. A special knot that allows a 90 grand angle hook alignment, the jumper knot, provides the best conditions for this. Furthermore, long legged hooks or offset hooks are used. At the end of the leader a special Drop-Shot rod lead is attached with a clamping mechanism. This allows the lead to be adjusted so that the depth can be controlled efficiently. Finally, the Albright knot is used to tie the leader to the main line.
Carolina-Rig / Texas Rig
This type of mounting was developed in Carolina and Texas. Both techniques are extremely successful. The special feature is that the weight is released from the lure. This causes a delay in presentation (compared to the traditional lead head!) The lure moves slowly to the bottom. The bite then usually goes immediately into the rod thanks to the free-running lead! The biggest difference between Carolina and Texas is the exact distance between the lure and the weight. The Carolina Rig has a longer distance and therefore longer hovering phase. This method is ideal for easy flowing rivers and still waters. First of all cartridge lead is pulled onto the braided main line. Then comes a glass bead. This produces the “clicking sound” when it hits the bottom, which perch love. Then the braided main line is connected to the fluorocarbon leader by a simple swivel. The leader is then attached to the offset hook.
The Texas Rig uses the same ingredients. Instead of the glass bead a stopper can be used. The size of the hook depends of course on the size of the bait. The classic bait for this rig is either a worm-shaped rubber bait or any kind of Creature Baits, such as imitation newt. Rubber crabs are especially suitable. Fluorocarbon is ideal as material in front of the leader, because it is very abrasion resistant.
This is the oldest and easiest finesse rig fishing method. This method originates from America and was used for black bass fishing (bass fishing). This technique is extremely catchy when used correctly. It is mounted with specially developed, worm-shaped rubber baits (twisters, creature-baits). These are placed on an offset hook and attached to the main line. Then small shot lead lines are attached at a distance of approx. 5 – 10 cm in front of the hook eye (main line).
This is a relatively simple assembly. First of all there is a special wacky jig head for this purpose. This is flat on the sides and has silicone fringes (skirt). The wacky-jig head is then pierced in the middle by a worm-shaped softbait. And then the bait can be cast out. Light plucking breathes “life” into the bait.
The weight for the Neko-Rig (Nail-Sinker) looks like a nail. This is inserted into the end of a worm-shaped bait. A “Neko-Master” (Neko-Rig- Master) is a small spiral which is then turned into the bait. At the upper end there is a device to attach the hook firmly. This mounting is good for being held in one place for a long time.