Fishing in Lake County: Yellow Perch

Ah! There’s nothing better frying in a pan than yellow perch fillets. A popular sport fish, yellow perch are sought for their delicious, mild flavor.

Yellow perch are one of the most adaptable of predatory fish. They can be found in ponds, lakes and slow-moving rivers and streams. They tolerate water that is acidic or oxygen-deprived. They thrive close to the shore amid aquatic vegetation and also can be found up in waters up to 40 feet deep. And they can be found feeding at any time, making for great night fishing. Perch have tolerance to both higher water temperatures (up to 85°F!) and cooler temperatures. They remain active year-round, perfect for the ice fisher.

Spawning normally occurs in April or early May, closer to the shore. Yellow perch often travel in large schools, and can be caught rapidly, with adults ranging in length from 4” to 10”. Because they prefer cooler temperatures, the best fishing is usually in deep water. Yellow perch are primarily bottom feeders with a slow deliberate bite. They eat almost anything, but prefer minnows, insect larvae, plankton, and worms. Tackle may range from a simple handline or a fly rod in summer to a short, whippy, jigging rod in winter.

So get the frying pan ready. Yellow perch is on the menu—part of the bounty of Lake County.


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