Big yellow perch, aka jumbo perch, is a top gamefish for ice anglers as they’re willing biters and excellent to eat. Wired2fish’s Nick Dumke simplifies the lure selection learning curve by sharing his list of best ice fishing lures for perch. With his expertise and basic tactics, Dumke showcases his confidence baits, from aggressive minnow imitators to those more akin to insect larvae.
TACKLE AND GEAR LISTING (retail links)
- Rapala Slab Rap, color: Glow Yellow Perch: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- Yo-Zuri Rattl’N Vibe Mini: Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- Rat-L-Trap Tiny-Trap: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- SWIVEL – VMC Touch-Lok™ Snap Swivel, size 10: Buy at Rapala
- VMC Rattle Spoon: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- VMC Bull Spoon, 1/16 ounce: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- VMC Tingler Spoon: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- ALL ICE FISHING SPOONS: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- PLASTIC – Z-Man LarvaZ: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- PLASTIC JIG – Z-Man Z-Man Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jighead: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- Eagle Claw Tungsten Arctic Wide Gap Jig: Check out at Eagle Claw
- FLY – VMC Tungsten Bullfly Jig: Buy at FishUSA
*Additional product links at the bottom.
As Dumke illustrates, targeting jumbo perch requires a specific approach. Unlike ice fishing for panfish like crappies or bluegills, perch often exhibit more aggressive behavior, especially when heavily schooled. This characteristic calls for a selection of larger, more aggressive baits such as lipless crankbaits and spoons. Dumke skillfully demonstrates the use of these lures, highlighting their ability to attract perch through sound and vibration.
Adaptability is key in ice fishing, and Dumke emphasizes the need to switch between various lure sizes and types depending on the perch’s behavior and environmental conditions. He explains how downsizing to smaller spoons or plastics can be more effective in certain situations like cold weather or at the end of the winter season. These lures mimic the natural perch diet, making them an excellent option when bigger, more aggressive baits fail to produce.
Let’s be honest, sometimes the situation demands meat. Dumke recognizes the importance of live bait in perch fishing. He explains how using minnows, euro larvae, and wax worms can provide that extra edge needed to entice a bite. His comprehensive lineup of artificial lures with live bait will cover you no matter the situation.
- ROD – Daiwa KAGE Ice Fishing Rod (KAG26L): Check out at Daiwa
- SPINNING REEL – Daiwa QR 750 Spinning Reel: Check out at Daiwa, Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- LINE – Sufix Invisiline Ice Fluorocarbon: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- FISH FINDER – Humminbird ICE HELIX 9 MSI+ GPS G4N MEGA Live Fish Finder Bundle: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- CLOTHING – StrikeMaster Surface Bibs, color – Charcoal Red: Buy at StrikeMaster
- HUB HOUSE – Frabill Fortress 260: Buy at Walmart