| White Perch,
a "secret saltwater fishery"
As the autumn starts in October, the white perch fishery starts
to heat up. White perch are a freshwater species, very similar to
the striped bass & white bass, however lacking the large size in
older fish. Typically white perch range from one half pound to 2
pounds in size. Like the striper, the white perch are indigenous
to our New Jersey Freshwater River systems. Parts of the rivers
that empty into saltwater rivers and bays are an excellent place
to fish for white perch. Fishing from shore means, finding a bridge,
dock or lagoon shore area to fish from. Bring your lightest rod
& reel and small hooks. Many anglers will rig up for flounder, to
perhaps land a winter flattie, while tending to the white perch
action. This means baiting with bloodworms, sandworms, night crawlers
or clams. The difference between flounder fishing and white perch
fishing is the size of the bait. Flounder are sight feeders and
rely on their ability to see the bait, therefore larger pieces of
worm would be used, white perch on the other hand would "nibble"
on the ends of a large worm, so using a smaller piece of bait is
American Eels also frequent the brackish water areas of the rivers,
but most would not be able to take the hook for white perch, so the
eels have a tendency to nibble on the bait when the perch are not
around. White Perch also make an excellent "live" bait for stripers.
Many times, when I catch a small perch, I will rig it up with a live
bait hook and a pyramid sinker, just in case any resident stripers
are in the area. White Perch are also a hearty fish, and stay alive
in live wells or on a stringer. When the perch are biting, you can
fill up a bucket in an hour, and the meat is very delicious. Meat
fisherman prize the white perch as a late fall, winter fish, when
many of the more popular food species are not available.