| Fishing for Perch
Lake Nipissing is one of the top destinations for jumbo perch fishing. Generally, over looked due to the excellent walleye (pickerel) fishing on the lake, recent slot restrictions imposed on walleye has increased the interest in Lake Nipissing perch. Yellow perch are fantastic table fare, some would even say better than walleye. They have firm white flesh and once battered and pan fried, they are absolutely delicious. The average Lake Nipissing perch is 9 -11 inches, the perfect size for filleting. Jumbos in excess of 12 inches are also caught on a regular basis.
The key to the healthy population of yellow perch in Lake Nipissing is the abundant food source for these voracious predators. The lake supports an abundance of forage minnows, and small invertebrates, like scuds, mayfly larvae and crayfish. The main tactics for yellow perch include trolling with small spinners, worm harnesses, jigging with small tubes and live bait fishing. Perch rigs with minnows or worms are always productive, especially when you are on top of an active school. Anglers will often catch two fish on the same line, during these times.
One of the most productive times for yellow perch fishing is during the ice fishing season. Perch are very active during winter and will readily hit flashy spoons, jigs and of course live bait presentations. They will often form mixed schools with walleye, so if you are catching walleye, don't be surprised if you land a few jumbo perch as well. Lure choices vary, although buckshot spoons, jigging raps and swedish pimple spoons are usually favoured. Tipping the spoons and lures with small live minnows can be deadly. Times when perch are finicky, just tipping the spoons with a minnow head to provide a small morsel of meat can produce bites when nothing else will. Experimenting with colours and lures sizes is also important for days when the perch are not aggressive.
If you haven't tried perch fishing on Lake Nipissing, you are missing out on one of the most abundant and best tasting fish in the lake. It can be both rewarding and challenging, finding and catching jumbo perch. So the next time you go fishing, give these feisty fish a try.