In the world of ice fishing, few species are more sought after than perch. Each fish produces two fillets for your dinner table, and you’ll appreciate the outstanding flavor and texture at the fish fry. The challenging to catch yet tasty jumbo perch (a term that is applied to any perch that exceeds 10 inches in length) is particularly coveted among ice fishermen.
But what, exactly, makes ice fishing for perch so much fun? Well, perch are a schooling fish, meaning once a school is located with your electronics, the fishing action can be nonstop. The key to making the most of these days is having the right lures in your tackle box, and we’ll show you the 10 best ice fishing lures for perch below.
What Types of Ice Lures Catch Jumbo Perch?
By understanding the specific foraging habits of perch, you can more accurately determine the types of lures that are most likely to attract attention and prompt a bite.
Like other panfish and crappies, a steady diet of small baitfish, minnows, insects, freshwater shrimps, small crayfish, and even juvenile perch allow yellow perch to grow to jumbo proportions.
So, what are the best ice fishing lures for perch that match what they eat? After studying the top fishing guides around the world, we have put together this list of ice fishing lures ideal for catching perch.
- Small Jigging Spoons – An exceptional search bait, small jigging spoons are great for helping to locate schools of fish. They are designed to mimic the look and movement of small baitfish, enabling them to draw fish from considerable distances. Small jigging spoons are particularly effective under the ice and perfectly sized to attract perch. After you have gotten their attention by fishing your small jigging spoon in fast and jagged motions, you can slow your fishing down by using other forms of bait.
- Swimming Lures – This type of lure is designed to “swim” beneath the surface of the water in attention-grabbing motion. A swimming lure that is particularly good for perch ice fishing, the Jigging Rap suspends amidst schools of perch and swims in enticing circles. By vertically jigging this lure, you can easily provoke a perch into a strike.
- Small Jigs & Soft Plastics – Both of these lure options are perfect for fishermen who want to control every jump, twitch, and hop of their lures. So, if you take a finesse approach to ice fishing, you’ll love testing your hand with small jigs and soft plastics. For additional perch-attracting power, you can tip these lures with live bait.
- Bait Rigs – Also known as dropper chains, these perch rigs add extra alluring flair to any live bait that you might choose to use. Bait rigs employ various combinations of colorful beads and/or glinting metal to produce extra noise and flash that perch simply cannot resist.
Top 10 Perch Lures for Ice Fishing
1. Northland Buckshot Spoon
Designed for maximum flash and lifelike realism the Northland Buckshot Spoon is the loudest jigging spoon on the market that is specifically crafted to imitate a minnow. It is especially effective among rocks, weeds, or other submerged features and structures.
The thumping and clattering of the Northland Buckshot Spoon’s rattle chamber make a tremendous amount of fish-enticing noise, and its holographic 3-D shell projects an incredibly compelling image of one of the perch’s favorite foods. To best attract perch under the ice, jig the Northland Buckshot Spoon violently in a lift-fall motion.
2. Acme Sidewinder
Like other lures that are built for ice fishing, the Acme Sidewinder will sink quickly and move effectively when fishermen employ an effective vertical jigging motion. This all-purpose spoon produces a unique combination of color, flash, vibration, and action to attract schools of perch.
Ideal for ultralight to light tackle jigging beneath the ice, Acme Sidewinder is an extremely versatile lure that throws like a bullet, and works great trolling or repeated casting. Fishermen can crank it rapidly near the surface of the water or drop it deep to produce slower and more rhythmic movements.
3. Northland Forage Minnow
Billed by Northland as “the most proven miniature-sized jigging spoon,” the Forage Minnow Spoon is specifically made to mimic a wounded minnow – quite possibly the perch’s favorite forage.
Like the Acme Sidewinder, it can be jigged aggressively to maximize flutter and flash, or it can be slowed down for a subtle twitch and tremble. After its lifelike holographic 3D image provokes a strike, the Northland Forage’s high-performance VMC cone-cut treble hook is extremely effective at driving the catch home.
4. Lindy’s Rattlin Flyer
The Lindy’s Rattlin Flyer boasts a unique hybrid design that combines the fishability of a jigging spoon with the motion of a flutter spoon. The result is a lure that dances, darts, and glides in a way that other ice-fishing lures simply don’t.
Given its ability to get perch to bite when other forms of bait simply can’t cut it, it is no surprise that many ice fishermen count the Lindy’s Rattlin Flyer among their most cherished lures. In addition to its intriguing movement, it features a built-in brass rattle and a look that resembles an injured and bleeding baitfish.
5. VMC Tingler Spoon
This uniquely curved lure has garnered positive reviews for perch ice fishing on multiple tackle and fishing websites. Designed to replicate the death throes of a baitfish when jigged erratically, the VMC Tingler Spoon is virtually irresistible to perch and any other species of fish that eats forage of a relatively small size.
Its large holographic eye and compelling baitfish patterns both demand attention and offer a lifelike verisimilitude. It is also available with a bright, ultraviolet pigment that is perfect for the dark conditions of night fishing, which are only furthered beneath a thick sheet of ice.
6. Northland Forage Minnow Jig
Regarded by many as the most lifelike miniature-sized jigging spoon available today, the Northland Forage Minnow is crafted to imitate a fingerling shiner minnow. Like many the other successful lures discussed above and below, it mimics the motions of a baitfish that is crippled or otherwise injured.
The Northland Forage Minnow Jig can be paired with the same three-pronged VMC cone-cut hook as the Northland Forage Minnow. The mid-sized to small versions of the Forage Minnow Jig are ideal for perch.
7. Custom Jigs & Spins Demon Jigs
While the majority of recommended perch ice fishing lures are made to resemble minnows or other types of baitfish, the Custom Jigs & Spins Demon Jigs mimics the shape of a beetle. Its ability to attract a wide range of fish has made it a staple in the tackle boxes of ice fishermen everywhere.
The size 8 Demon Jig is perfect for getting perch to bite. To visually capture their attention under the ice, this lure is painted in bright colors and coated with a fluorescent Glow Brite finish.
8. Lindy’s Perch Talker
Sometimes a name says it all. Lindy’s Perch Talker was tailor made specifically to catch jumbo perch. Its numerous beads and discs offer maximum flash and sparkle. And it is also designed to produce alluring sound and water displacement.
Because perch tend to be wary of lures that are too close to a deadly hook, the Lindy’s Perch Talker incorporates an 11-pound-test dropper chain that provides considerable distance between its shiny beads and discs and is red chrome treble hook.
9. Clam Drop Jig
Just because it is designed to attract a wide range of fish, don’t assume that Clam Drop Jig lacks the specialization to catch jumbo perch. Its super dense tungsten body drops quickly through the ice hole to hit the desired feeding zone in no time.
Its bulbous head and tapered body are not only designed for maximum visual appeal, but they cause the Clam Drop Jig to hang at approximately a 45° angle. This gives the Clam Drop Jig the tempting appearance of prey with its head hanging vulnerably low. For extra effectiveness, try pairing it with live bait such as waxies.
10. VMC Tungsten Nymph Jigs
Like the Clam Drop Jig, the VMC Tungsten Nymph Jig is composed of heavy-duty tungsten to drop quickly into your desired strike zone. For perch fishing, some authorities recommend pounding heavy tungsten jigs against the bottom of the lake.
To make it even more irresistible, the VMC Tungsten Nymph Jig comes pre-rigged with Trigger X Nymph soft baits that offer incredibly realistic taste and lifelike texture. It also features a VMC Power Gap hook with a wide round gap to boost your hookup percentage as well as a phosphorescent finish that glows for up to 15 minutes beneath the water.
Want more ice fishing tackle? Check out our articles on the best Pike Ice Lures, Lake Trout Ice Lures, Walleye Ice Lures, and Bass Ice Lures.