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White Perch

General Facts
White perch are found in estuaries, rivers and lakes. Known for their table fare qualities, white perch are a schooling fish and are easy to catch when located. Seldom venturing in shallow water, white perch are an open water species. Considered omnivores, feeding behavior is closely associated with whatever forage is available in large quantities.

Where
White perch can be caught in the Delaware River and its lower tributaries, such as Crosswicks, Rancocas, Cooper, Big Timber and Mantua Creeks. Additionally, coastal rivers such as the Raritan, Mullica and Great Egg Harbor River, and deeper lakes and reservoirs, possess excellent white perch populations.

When
White perch can be caught year-round. Depending on the time of the year, they can be caught from the shoreline, boat or through the ice. However, early spring is the most productive time to catch white perch. At this time white perch are tightly schooled and ravenous.

How
The first step to catching white perch is to locate a school. Schools can be found by using electronic fish finding equipment, hit or miss fishing, or by visually observing white perch feeding at the surface. Water depths of 15 - 25 feet are ideal locations for finding suspended white perch.

Once a school is found, start fishing at the appropriate depth with live bait such as grass shrimp, worms or minnows - white perch will be caught immediately! Artificial baits, such as spinners, minnow imitators and jigs, can be equally as productive as live bait if fished properly.

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: August 18, 2004