Ice Fishing In Minnesota for Perch

Ice fishing for perch

Minnesota summers are gone, and we’re now in January. January and February are two of the best months for anglers – the lakes are frozen enough to be safe to go ice fishing. Even though lake homeowners can’t soak up the sun on their boats right now, they sure can go ice fishing. At Waterfront Restoration, we help lake homeowners keep their lakefront weed free. We care about our Land of 10,000 Lakes and know that ice fishing is a massive activity in the Winter for many lake homeowners and lake-life enthusiasts. Here is what we want to share about ice fishing for perch:

When to Fish

You can fish for perch any time during the year; however, early morning and late afternoon can be prime times for perch fishing. Ensure you are up-to-date on any limits and restrictions before fishing on a lake. There may be size restrictions or fishing for perch in a particular lake could be closed. The DNR also states that fishing regulations may differ on Minnesota’s borders from Canada, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. For example, on inland waters, the possession limit for perch is twenty daily and forty in possession. There are some special regulations regarding this limit, though.

Best Places to Fish for Perch

Ice fishing on Lake of the Woods

Large walleye waters can be where you find the best perch fishing. Popular lakes for perch ice fishing include Winnibigoshish, Leech, Cass, Lake of the Woods, Big Stone, and Mille Lacs. Throughout the winter season, the best spots to catch perch can vary. For example, perch can often be found in shallow water in the early Winter. As our winters get colder, perch move to deeper water, drop-offs, and other structures. Finally, when Winter ends, perch return to shallow waters to spawn. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner and don’t have a fancy underwater camera; you can get a pretty good sense of where fish have been biting by seeing where ice fishing houses are congregated or where others have driven and drilled holes. Remember, there is no guarantee these people were fishing for perch, but they were likely fishing in an area populated with fish.

Other important information to know

  • Always check ice thickness! If it is anything less than 4 inches, you should not be on the ice on foot. If you’re bringing your car, make sure the ice is at least 9-12 inches thick. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing and carry safety equipment.
  • You will want your line to be as invisible as possible since perch frequently examine their potential food before deciding to bite.
  • You’ll need your lure to possess enough weight to straighten out any kinks in the line but not be excessively large, preventing the fish from easily swallowing it. Common perch lure sizes are one-sixteenth ounce, one-thirty-second ounce, and one-sixty-fourth ounce.
  • When drilling multiple holes, it’s advisable to do so in a single session rather than adopting a drill-fish-drill-fish pattern. Maintaining quietness, especially in shallow water fishing, can be of benefit.


Ice fishing for perch in Minnesota offers a thrilling and rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. You can enjoy catching perch with the right equipment, techniques, and a touch of patience.

Now, gather your gear, embrace the cold, and head to one of Minnesota’s renowned perch fishing lakes!

Don’t forget that when Winter is over and you’re back to enjoying the Minnesota summer lake life, Waterfront Restoration will be restoring people’s lakefronts so they can enjoy a weed-free lakefront all season. If you want to get rid of lake weeds in an environmentally friendly way, our SCUBA By-the-Root method is for you! Feel free to contact us here or call us at 952-356-0614 if you have any questions.