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Best Perch Bait: Catch More Perch Than Ever Before

It’s always a happy moment when you see a perch on the end of your line. The fish is quite beautiful, with its slashed sides looking like ebony bars. It has iridescent lower fins that glow in vibrant orange color under the water. Needless to say, it’s one of the prettiest fish your cast can catch. But what is the best perch bait?

Perch are a type of panfish that are quite common in ponds, lakes, and even streams. But even if there’s a large population where you’re fishing, you’ll only manage to catch a fish if you offer delicious bait.

In this article, we’ll discuss the best perch bait for the majestic yellow fish.

The 6 Best Perch Baits for an Easy Catch

Luckily for you, perch is among the easy fish to catch. If you have the right bait, you’re already halfway done. Here’s a roundup of the best baits for catching perch.


Mealworms are among the easiest baits you can get for perch. They’re easy to use, affordable, and always available in most local bait stores. Not only that, but they can also catch a couple of other species, such as crappie, bass, bluegill, catfish, and trout. So if you buy a large amount, it won’t go to waste.

Top Tip: Perches love mealworms because they’re the closest thing to insects and worms—the main diet for the yellow fish. 

Mealworms are also small, so they’re better for small hooks than crayfish and minnows.

How to Fish Using Mealworms

To fish for perch using mealworms, thread one or two worms into the hook. You only need to thread them once, and they’ll hold onto the line.

For the best results, try to fish with mealworms on gravy areas. Those are the most common habitats for insects and grubs, so yellow perches will surely visit.

To buy mealworms, look at local fishing stores or online. Alternatively, you can catch them yourself. You’ll find them near old, rotten tree logs and fallen stumps. They also love muddy areas.

Night Crawlers

Perch, fish with bait

Nightcrawlers are often a favorite of anglers when fishing for perch. For one, they’re quite easy to keep alive, which is a hassle you face with most baits. Secondly, they attract yellow perch like a flame attracts moths. 

Nightcrawlers will make your mission easy when you fish for perch. They cling to the hooks like their lives depend on it, so you’ll rarely lose one in the water. They’re also affordable and easy to find anywhere, online or in stores.

Bear in mind, though, that you’ll need to keep nightcrawlers in the fridge or a damp area. Otherwise, they’d die instantly.

How to Fish Using Night Crawlers

To fish using nightcrawlers, tie your bait hook to the line, making sure to place it approximately 24 inches above the line’s end. Afterward, get a bell sinker and tie it at the extra line’s end. 

Next, grab your nightcrawler and put it on the hook, threading the hook in the worm 2–3 times until you’re sure it’s secure.

Now, all you need to do is cast your line and pray for a perch to appear!

Yellow Perch

Okay, we know that species eating each other isn’t healthy for the food chain, but hear us out. Yellow perch is an excellent bait to use if you’re catching perch. Although these fish may seem adorable, they don’t mind eating a couple of their species if they’re significantly smaller. It’s harsh, we know, but that’s just how nature goes.

Author Note: The thing with using perch as bait is, you have to catch a fish first to use it. Plus, the pieces may not stay on the hook as other baits do. Still, it’s worth a try. You may get extra lucky if the fish in your area are in the mood for cannibalism!

How to Fish Using Yellow Perch

Fishing with yellow perch is like fishing with any other bait, except you have to catch a fish first to use it. When you catch a yellow perch, cut the lower jaw or the eyes, they’re the most common parts for baiting.

Then, thread the part of your choice onto the hook, and cast your line. However, keep cautious of the dorsal spines when handling the fish because they may injure you.

If you keep catching yellow perch, you’ll never run out of bait.

Berkely Honey Worm

Many anglers may shy away from Berkley honey worm because it’s an artificial bait. However, what they don’t know is, Berkley honey worms are exactly what you need to catch a yellow perch.

The worms are large and heavy enough to handle large fish—up to 18 times larger than what a regular bait handles. So, under all circumstances, you won’t have to worry about your fish falling off the hook.

The perches will also keep holding on to the worms even after biting, thanks to the sweet taste of honey.

Moreover, Berkley hornworms have a strong scent that attracts fish easily. They’ll smell horrible to you, but the small perches will love it. The good news is, the tiny worms won’t dry out in storage, so you don’t have to worry about the scent going off.

How to Fish Using Berkley Honey Worms

Fishing with Berkley honey worms is quite easy. You’ll buy a jar that contains 55 worms, which is enough for a couple of successful fishing trips.

All you have to do is take the worms out, thread them onto your hook, and cast your line. The bait will do all the hard work for you. 

Author Note: It’s worth noting, though, that honey worms work best for bobber fishing and ice fishing. You can use them to catch multiple species, like bass, crappie, and trout.

Live Minnows

Minnows are a favorite of perch. In fact, perches keep feeding on minnow species at the early stages of their age, such as fry and zooplankton. If you want to catch the beautiful yellow fish, a couple of live minnows will finish the deal for you.

The live bait is also excellent for landing large fish. They can’t resist it.

You can find minnows in local bait stores. Mosquitofish, bullhead minnows, and fathead minnows are recommended for perch. However, finding them for sale may be a bit challenging, and dead minnows aren’t as effective.

If you want to live the whole experience, you can always buy a minnow trap and catch some yourself. They’ll be alive and fresh for your fishing trip.

How to Fish Using Live Minnows

The first thing you need to do before fishing with live minnows is to make sure it’s illegal to do so. Some states prohibit fishing with live minnows because they’re invasive species (like Arapaima in Thailand).

If your state allows it, you only need a small hook to use live minnows. Yellow perch fish have small mouths, so a large hook won’t do. 

The minnows should be hooked from the bottom jaw. Thread them upward, then back out through the nose. No need to worry; this won’t kill the minnow, and it’ll still look natural so that the perch will get tricked.


Caught fish perch on ice

With crayfish, there is good news and bad news. The good news is, they’re an excellent choice for catching perch; the yellow fish absolutely love them. The bad news is, they may be a bit challenging to deal with if you don’t have enough patience.

For starters, they’re not readily available in fishing stores, so you’ll likely have to catch them yourself. They’re easy to find because they live in a variety of places, such as shallow lakes and rivers. They may also be hiding under rocks or logs. All you need is a flashlight and some digging, and you’ll find your bait.

Just keep in mind to catch smaller crayfish because they’re easier for the perches to bite on. 

But your mission doesn’t end here. Crayfish needs to stay alive and to make sure that happens, you’ll need to keep it in a bucket of water. Bear in mind that these small creatures don’t stay alive for a long time outside the water, so you’ll need to provide a bucket as soon as you catch them.

How to Fish Using Crayfish

To use crayfish for catching perch fish, you’ll need to cut the crayfish into two halves. You don’t need to use the whole thing. Instead, cut the head and pinchers on a side and the legs and tail on a side. 

This way, you have more bait than a whole crayfish, and it’s easier for the perch to bite because it’s smaller.

All you have to do is hook the bait onto your hook, and cast the line. 

To Wrap Up

Catching perches is an enjoyable experience, and having the right bait makes it even more fun. No matter which bait you choose, all the six options we listed will work just fine. Of course, live bait may have leverage, but it’s not easy to deal with.

As long as you take this into consideration when choosing, you’ll be able to handle your bait well.

Happy Hunting!


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