White Perch

white perch

In the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, the white perch is very common. This small member of the temperate bass family is caught near piers, jetties, oyster beds and other structure. Baits for catching white perch include bloodworms, squid, shrimp, peeler crab, sea clams and other baits.

White perch are also caught with a variety of artificial lures. Effective lures for catching white perch include small bucktail jigs, panfish jigs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, inline spinners, tube lures, and slug-type soft plastics. Lures should match local prey in size and action. When white perch are found in turbid or dark colored water, colors such as white, chartreuse, or bright yellow are often productive.

White perch are anadromous; they are able to move between freshwater and saltwater environments. In most areas, they migrate seasonally, moving into deeper, higher salinity water in winter. In late winter or early spring, perch begin migrating up rivers and creeks to spawn and feed.

Although white perch seldom exceed 10 inches in length, they make excellent table fare. White perch can be headed and gutted or filleted. Fresh perch is delicious fried, grilled, or baked. White perch roe (eggs) is a seasonal delicacy throughout the Mid Atlantic region.