Perch are some of the most sought after fish by ice fishermen – and for good reason. These brightly colored schooling fish are a ton of fun to catch, and when the bite is hot you can pull dozens of them through the ice in a matter of minutes.
Beyond punching above their weight in terms of putting up a good fight, yellow perch are also one of the tastiest little fish out there. There’s nothing like coming back from a successful outing with a cooler full of perch fillets to fry up!
While they’re a ton of fun to catch, oftentimes you’ll need the right lure to get the perch to bite. Having a tackle box filled with a wide selection of perch lures will ensure you always have something to grab their interest.
Quick Answer: 10 Best Ice Fishing Lures for Perch
- Best Swimming Jig: Acme Hyper Glide Minnow
- Also Consider: Rapala Jigging Rap
- Best Blade Bait: Reef Runner Cicada
- Best Spoon: Acme Kastmaster
- Also Consider: Northland Forage Minnow
- Best Rattling Spoon: Northland Tackle Buck-Shot Flutter Spoon
- Best Lipless Crankbait: Rapala Ultra Light Rippin’ Rap
- Best Ice Jig: VMC Tungsten Tubby Jig
- Also Consider: VMC Hot Skirt Glow Jigs
- Best Dropper Chain: Lindy Perch Talker Ice Jig
Types of Ice Fishing Lures for Perch
Perch can be caught with a number of different ice fishing lures and baits, but there are several standouts that every yellow perch angler needs. Let’s take a look at these in more detail.
- Swimming Jigs: Swimming jigs are specifically designed to imitate the behavior of an injured baitfish moving through the water column. They typically feature a mounting location in the middle of the back, which makes realistic lateral movement possible when jigging. These jigs are highly effective for perch when fished alone, but are absolutely deadly when tipped with a minnow head.
- Blade Baits: Blade baits are a sort of a hybrid between swimming jigs and traditional spoons. They feature all-metal spoon-shaped bodies that create lots of flash and vibration, while also fluttering laterally when jigged.
- Spoons: Spoons are highly effective for all types of ice fishing, and fishing for perch is certainly no exception. Spoons come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and sizes, but all create plenty of flash and flutter in the water when they sink. This perfectly mimics an injured or dying baitfish struggling through the water.
- Lipless Crankbaits: These noisy, vibrating lures are an excellent option when other lures just aren’t cutting it. They were originally designed for open water bass fishing, but are now exceedingly popular among ice fishermen. Most have one or more internal rattles and feature a teeter-totter wobble that drives fish wild.
- Ice Jigs: Tried, tested, and true, small tungsten jigs are highly effective when perch are feeding on smaller forage. Tungsten is the superior choice for perch, as it’s denser and faster sinking than lead jigs.
- Dropper Chains: Last but certainly not least, dropper chains (also called perch rigs) are a fantastic way to attract the perch bite. They feature combinations of flashy and colorful beads, metal discs, and treble hooks to create an irresistible presentation to any nearby perch.
Best Swimming Jig: Acme Hyper-Glide Minnow
This unique swimming jig features life-like moving wings that open and close as you jig the lure through the water. The built-in fins opening and closing create a loud noise against the lure’s body – which further helps to attract the perch bite.
Like other swimming jigs, it’s designed to glide through the water like an injured minnow. This presents an irresistible target to a school of perch, and the fast sinking design means you can get it back in the water before the school has moved out of the area.
Acme makes the lure in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and in three different sizes (1.5”, 2” and 2.5”). All three sizes can work well for perch, with the larger ones more suitable to jumbos.
- Lifelike moving wings open and close as you jig
- Wings create a loud noise
- Designed to glide smoothly through the water
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Also Consider: Rapala Jigging Rap
The Rapala jigging rap is legendary in the ice fishing world – and for good reason. It’s designed to swim circles under the ice when jigged vertically, creating an alluring presentation for a school of hungry perch.
The lure’s ability to swim tight circles under the ice means you can easily target deeply suspended perch while jigging. Rapala makes the lure in a wide variety of colors and sizes, with the smaller sizes (03 and 05) being ideal for most perch.
Two reversed hooks on the nose and tail – in addition to a belly-mounted treble hook – ensures you’ll snag your prey no matter what direction they strike from.
- The balanced minnow profile is ideal for vertical fishing
- Swims tight circles under the ice
- Reverse hook on nose and tail as well as belly-mounted treble hook
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Best Blade Bait: Reef Runner Cicada
If you’re looking for a versatile lure that can be fished vertically as well as horizontally – this is the one for you. It’s visually striking bug-like appearance combined with a flashy and vibration-producing blade make this a surefire way to attract the perch bite.
The blade is designed to dart and flutter on the fall, making aggressive jigging highly productive. It also produces a pronounced wobble when retrieved like a crankbait.
Reef runner manufactures the Cicada in an impressive variety of colors and patterns, so matching your presentation to the local forage is a breeze. Sizes range from the diminutive 1/16 oz. all the way up to a hefty ½ oz. size. For perch fishing, the smaller 1/16 and 1/8 ounce sizes will work well.
These lures also perform well for larger species like walleye, pike, and largemouth bass.
- Unique cicada-like appearance
- Blade produces plenty of flash and vibration in the water
- Ideal for vertical jigging as well as casting
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Best Spoon: Acme Kastmaster
The Kastmaster is about as classic as it gets when it comes to ice fishing spoons. It’s constructed from solid brass and features a wild action without any line twist. The durable construction won’t bend, break, or corrode, and will provide rock-solid performance for years to come.
Acme produces the lure in a huge variety of colors, patterns, and sizes, and even manufactures models with integrated rattles. Sizes from 1/12 oz. up to 3/8 oz. work well for perch, while larger sizes are ideal for targeting pike, walleye, and lake trout.
If your fishing in warmer weather, then the lure will also work exceptionally well for casting and trolling.
- Solid brass construction provides ultra-durable performance
- A wide variety of colors, patterns, and sizes are available
- Can be fished like a traditional spoon, or used as an attractor without the treble hook
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Also Consider: Northland Forage Minnow
Specifically designed with the ice angler in mind, the Northland Forage Minnow is one of the most realistic looking jigging spoons on the market. It features a holographic coating and an erratic crippled-minnow action that acts like a magnet to any nearby perch.
It can be jigged fast or slowly with equal effectiveness and will catch everything from perch to bass, trout, and panfish. Northland Tackle makes the spoon in a variety of different patterns and smaller sizes (from 1/32 oz. up to 1/8 oz.).
Tipping the treble hook with a minnow head or worm will take the jig to the next level of effectiveness.
- Highly realistic holographic coating
- Can be jigged fast and slow with great effectiveness
- A variety of smaller sizes are available
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Best Rattling Spoon: Northland Tackle Buck-Shot Flutter Spoon
Rattling spoons combine the flash and flutter of a traditional spoon with an irresistible rattle to drive nearby fish wild. The spoon features an exposed glass rattle as well as a proprietary s-curve design that creates a ton of flash and flutter in the water.
Molded with z-alloy, the spoon is completely lead-free. It also features a durable UV coated finish, so it’ll last for many seasons of hard use.
The lure flutters excessively when jigged, making it great for picky fish that prefer a slow-moving lure. Northland Tackle makes the spoon in a variety of bright, eye-catching colors and three different sizes (1/4, 1/8, and 1/16 oz.), so you can also use them for catching walleye, pike, trout, and crappie.
- Proprietary s-curve flutter design
- Clear glass rattle in the middle of the spoon
- Z-alloy construction with UV resistant coating
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Best Lipless Crankbait: Rapala Ultra Light Rippin’ Rap
Noisy, flashy, and producing plenty of vibration, Rapala’s Rippin’ Rap is without a doubt one of the best ice fishing lures when it comes to attracting the perch bite. Lipless crankbaits are a great option when you’re not having luck with other lures, and their design means you can fish them in heavy cover and vegetation without snags.
Textured scales and gills with deep-set 3D holographic eyes create an ultra-realistic appearance, while the tall, deep-bellied profile creates major flutter on the drop. It will work well when retrieved fast or slow, and two razor-sharp black nickel VMC hooks seal the deal.
Rapala makes the lure in a variety of sizes and color schemes, with the ‘ultra-light’ configurations being ideally sized for yellow perch.
- Distinctive loud BB rattle.
- Ultra-realistic textured scales and gills
- 2 black nickel fast-piercing VMC hooks
- A tall, deep-belly profile creates plenty of flutter
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Best Ice Jig: VMC Tungsten Tubby Jig
Tungsten jigs are ideal ice fishing lures for perch fishing, as they offer the same weight as lead in a half-sized jig head. This lets you fish a more compact presentation without sacrificing weight.
If you’re fishing in a spot with a clear bottom, then a simple ice jig can be deadly effective. The Tungsten Tubby features a precision balanced 90-degree tie line to keep the jig in an ideal position at all times. The power gap hook increases hook setting power and performance, while ultra-glow colors create a visual smorgasbord for deeply suspended perch.
One minor gripe is the quality of the paint at the hook eyes isn’t great, but this doesn’t affect the overall performance.
- Tungsten construction provides the same weight as lead at half the size
- Power grab hook increases hook setting power
- Ultra glow UV colors
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Also Consider: VMC Hot Skirt Glow Jig
While a traditional ice jig can be highly effective at catching perch, a skirted jig is another important weapon to have in your quiver. The jig combines a traditional minnow-style jig head with a unique glow-in-the-dark skirt that reflects light and creates a natural presentation.
Flashabou fibers embedded in the skirt reflect light, which creates an irresistible target for finicky perch. A VMC high carbon steel hook seals the deal, while the smaller sizes make it ideal for perch and other panfish.
A good variety of bright, vibrant colors means you’ll have no problem finding the right match for your local forage. Keep in mind these jigs can also be fished effectively while trolling and casting, and are also renowned for their ability to catch walleye.
- Flashabou fibers embedded in the glow-in-the-dark skirt
- Combines minnow style jig head with a skirt
- Ideal for coaxing bites out of picky perch
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Best Dropper Chain: Lindy Perch Talker Ice Jig
This legendary perch jig is without a doubt one of the most productive perch lures on the planet. It might not look like much, but the series of brass beads and discs create the perfect level of flash and vibration to stimulate perch to bite.
The dropper chain is designed to be separated from the hook by a considerable distance – so those skeptical fish are more likely to strike. Lindy offers the chain in a wide variety of colors and combinations, as well as several different sizes.
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- Beads, disks, and treble hook provide ideal flash and water displacement
- The hook is separated from the rest of the lure to entice skeptical fish
- Proven track record of attracting the perch bite