Yellow perch, sometimes known as Lake or American perch, are another hugely popular fish found throughout Maine’s waters. Like several other members of the perch family, yellow perch are native to Maine, though they have been introduced artificially into a limited number of waterways, mainly for the purposes of fishing. Though yellow perch are not particularly sought-after fish as far as seasoned anglers are concerned, they do offer a superb fishing opportunity for young or inexperienced anglers, and as such remain one of Maine’s most popular game fishes.
Typically, yellow perch are around 6-12 inches in length with a weight anywhere between ¼ and 1 pound. However, Maine is renowned for superb yellow perch, with larger fish reaching 15 inches in length and a weight nearer to 1.5 pounds. The advantage of this is that even beginner anglers are handed a challenge, particularly if they land one of the larger fish.
Yellow perch are great looking fish with a number of distinguishing features. The top side varies in color from rich green to olive whilst the sides range from a yellow-green color to golden yellow. The belly is typically white, while the fins are bright orange in color. Yellow perch also have 6-8 dark bands that run vertically from top to bottom, making them easily distinguishable from other species. Typically, yellow perch are found in warm, weedy waters, though adults are more prone to heading for deeper and more sheltered spots.
The fall and winter months are arguably the best time to land yellow perch, but like white perch, are a good all year round catch. Earthworms, minnows, shrimp, and artificial lures can all be used to great effect, and will almost guarantee you a yellow perch in some of the more abundantly populated rivers and lakes. If fishing in deeper waters, adding a small weight to the line and letting the bait sink to one-two feet from the bottom will yield the best results. Also ensure that the line is fairly tense, as yellow perch in particular has a habit of taking the bait without alerting the angler.
Yellow perch can be found in countless rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams across Maine, making them one of the most accessible fish in the state. Particularly popular spots include Great Pond, Yellow Pond, and Cochrane Lake. Their ease of catch, fantastic looks, and abundance has ensured that yellow perch continue to be a firm favorite and one of Maine’s most commonly fished species.