Morone Americana

Moronidae

Perciformes

inshore

0 - 3 pounds

7" - 19"

White Perch Game Fish Quality Very Good
White Perch Meal Quality Decent
White Perch Fly Fishing Quality Excellent

White Perch 

White Perch 

The White Perch (Morone americana) Fish Description

The White Perch is a small freshwater game fish. It is silvery in color with a dark, high-domed back. It has 3 anal spines and several spines in its dorsal fins. They are carnivorous and their diet consists of insects, squids, fish eggs, small crabs, and small fish. 

This fish mainly thrives in brackish waters like estuaries but it can also live in freshwaters as well.

 

Interesting Facts About the White Perch

  • Despite its name, the white perch is actually a member of the bass family, which is why its body resembles more of a bass.
  • The white perch loves to eat eggs. It is considered a pest for some states because it can destroy fisheries; they eat the eggs of other species and outcompete other species on food and space.
  • The white perch is semi-anadromous. They live in brackish waters but migrate to freshwaters to spawn.
  • Their eggs are clump together and have an adhesive quality that helps them attached to vegetation and rocks. The parents leave the eggs on their own once they have laid them.

 

White Perch Size

The white perch is a small fish with an average size of 7-10 inches and it usually weighs less than a pound. The biggest one ever caught was 19 inches and the heaviest was 3.48 lbs.

 

White Perch Habitat & Distribution

The fish can be found in several places in North America,  scattered along the western Atlantic ocean. Their range is from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. They thrive in brackish waters so look for tributaries and estuaries to find one. Go check the Chesapeake Bay and Hudson river where they are most abundant. If you want to get adults, check open waters that are close to the shore.

Anglers have a higher chance of finding one catch during spring. From April to June, when the temperature hits 50-60°F, large schools of white perch will migrate to slightly brackish rivers with fine gravel or sand to spawn their eggs. A female can lay 20,000 to 300,000 eggs per spawn.

 

White Perch Fishing Techniques and Gear

Catching a white perch is fairly easy. Anglers can just get bait and fly fish on a hunch and they get doubles in no time. The white perch likes warm water but not too warm, so look for shadowed waters where they most likely stay. 

The best time to fish would be early in the morning and evening hours since they’re fairly abundant and easy to catch; any time of the time would do. 

Fly fishing with a reel of 6-7 feet is enough since you don’t need a long casting range for this fish. An ideal rod would be a 6-8 lbs foot medium-light rod with multiple hook rigs, about 2-4, so you can catch more of the fish. The recommended line is 4-8 lb monofilament or braided line. Hook size recommendations are 5-8 hooks for this tiny fish.

This game fish likes to chase their prey, try to mimic their prey by letting your bait settle in the strike zone then jig it up a bit to recreate a chase. Use hair jigs to catch more of the attention of the fish. For baits, white perch loves the baits like bloodworms and minnows. You can also use soft plastic lures that look like their food. Other recommended lures are rooster tails and hair jigs.