Do Perch eat minnows?

Perch is a very popular fish that many anglers target each year using both live and artificial lures in both open water and when ice fishing. For those who are just starting out fishing for perch, you may want to know do perch eat minnows? Let’s find out. Minnows are essential prey for perch both yellow, white, and black perch across the country. But for those of us who are just starting out fishing, we want to know what bait we should when targeting perch.

Do perch eat minnows? Yes. In fact, perch of all species eat small minnows and other fish at a very high rate and is a big part of a perches diet. Small baitfish like shiners, fathead minnows, mosquitofish, and even smaller perch are eaten when the opportunity arises.

Smaller perch and even adults will also eat larva, small shrimp, and other plankton particles that flow within the water.

Do perch like minnows?

Minnows are a big part of a perch diet but it’s not the only thing they will eat. Adult perch will feed on crayfish, fish eggs, and small minnows, and other juvenile fish. Study shows that an adult yellow perch consumes about 20 percent of its diet on other small fish including minnows.

What type of minnows and other small fish will perch eat?

Yellow perch and white perch can only consume small fish that will fit into their mouths. Perch in nature have small mouths so this will limit the species it can eat. In general, perch can feed on:

  • Fathead minnows
  • Shiners
  • Shad
  • Small bluegill
  • Small crappie
  • Baby bass
  • Baby walleye
  • All types of other minnows

How to use minnows as perch bait

Minnows for perch

Perch will love minnows and they are one of the top choices when targeting them. Minnows can be fished on a small hook with either split shots or on lightweight jig heads. Both life minnows and dead minnows can be used to catch perch.

Minnow in the size of 1 to 1.5 inches is a great size for catching perch in both warm and winter months. When using live minnows you can hook the minnow through the lips and out of the front of the head. Be sure not to go too deep into the head or it will kill the minnow.

Another method is to hook the minnow under the pectoral fin area. This method when you drop a split shot down with a foot of line from the weight to hook will make the minnow try and swim up causing perch and other gamefish to strike.

Hook size for perch and minnow fishing

Hook size should be geared towards the bait. This means if you are fishing small minnows then you should be calling your hook size down to match the size of the bait. For small minnows, you can use hook sizes 6,4, and 8 size hooks that should work fine.

Jig size for minnow fishing for perch

When jig fishing an all-around size that works great is a 1/16-ounce jig head. This size should work great tipped with a minnow or soft body that should get the perch to bite. However, depending on minnow size you could scale up to a heavier size jig-head that could way 1/8 ounce or even lighter at 1/32 ounce size. This will depend on depth, minnow size, or even if there is some current in the area you are fishing.

Round 1/16-ounce jig heads are just right for most perch jigs, though heavier (1/8-ounce) and lighter (1/32-ounce) jigs might be preferable in certain situations.

Will perch eat minnows year-round?

Yes. Perch and most other fish will eat minnows or other small fish when they can get them year-round. Some of the best ice fishing for perch on done on minnows and the same can hold true for the summer months. Minnows are a top choice for perch no matter what this month is.

Related questions

Will perch eat crayfish? yes, perch will eat small crayfish and other hard-bodied prey like freshwater shrimp when they can find them.

Will white perch eat minnows? Yes, all perch species love to eat minnows and forage on basically the same types of food. Both the yellow, white, and black perch eat minnows.

What can you feed perch in captivity? You can feed perch minnows, earthworms, feeder goldfish, and other types of live worms. A perch will try to eat almost anything it can fit into their mouths both in the wild and in captivity.

Final thoughts

Perch are aggressive eaters that eat a multitude of different types of live baits. Minnows are at the top of the list and consist of a perch major diet. While perch eat many different types of both live and article lures minnows are consistently at the top of the list when trying to catch perch year-round.

Be sure to scale down your tackle and match the hook size to the bait and you will start catching more perch with live minnows on your next fishing adventure.

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