Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
blackdog1101

Small Perch for Bait

27 posts in this topic

I realize this is a pretty small topic in light of the major events happening around us these days, but it crossed my mind the other day when I was fishing. Why can't we use small perch for bait? I was panfishing on Minnetonka, with a tip up nearby for northerns. I had stopped on the way to buy 6 sucker minnows. Of course it turns out that many of the fish I was catching while panfishing were small perch, and would have been perfect bait. (I moved to another location for sunnies.) I can't see where there would be any harm if an angler were allowed to catch his own small perch and use them for bait. Say a max of 12 perch under 6". On lakes like Minnetonka perch are not a sport fish since they never grow big enough. Anyhow, it struck me as silly that I had to buy minnows when I was catching perfect bait-sized perch right where I was fishing for northerns. Anyone have any comments or thoughts on this? Like I say, it's no biggie, just something I thought of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to see sunnies and some other panfish to be allowed as bait, under a certain length here in MN. Other states allow it. Now with all of the problems we are have trying to keep bait such as shiners at the bait stores, we could expand the options a little. There are many lakes around me that have stunted growth and would probably benifit from some smaller fish being taken out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops, that's exactly what I did for a little bit on Saturday. Caught a 3" perch then put it on my tip up. I honestly thought it was legal if it was under 4". Oh well, I guess I know now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's because they are "game fish". I would like to see you be able to use the small guys, but I don't think that would ever happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

legal in Wisconsin.

Their is no money in us using perch or sunnies for bait, so we'll have to keep buying minnows and be taxed on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know many a fisherman who filled his livewell full of walleye on good old fashioned cutbait. Fillet a small perch and it stays on the hook forever and drives the walleye crazy. Of course, I would never do such a thing since it is against the law, but I know guys who do!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was comical when my neice's were sitting on a dock and the CO came by and asked what they were catching. The told him small perch, the kind Dad likes for northern fishing. They were quite young at the time and didn't know any better.

All he said was "tell Dad not to let me catch him doing it". shockedcrazy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep like Sand, said they are "Game fish" and you can't use them as bait! I know we use to when I was little a millon years ago! frown Use Sunny eye's to catch more Sunny's after we ran out of the worms we dug up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but it makes no sense that fish which will never grow more than 6" or so are considered "game fish."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but it makes no sense that fish which will never grow more than 6" or so are considered "game fish."

Since when does "Making Sense" and "Making a Law or Passing Legislation" go hand in hand? cry

Have you seen some of the bills and new laws in the last couple of months? sick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did that when we were kids too, except we had a small strip of bacon to start with when it was too dry for worms....and that was a looooong time ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i know a guy that has a walleye on the wall he caught with perch eyes.....on the mighty mille lacs!!

i asked a warden if that guy could get in troulbe

he looked at me kinda funny and said its border line dont let me see him doing it

this is a few yrs back

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

legal in Wisconsin.

Their is no money in us using perch or sunnies for bait, so we'll have to keep buying minnows and be taxed on it.

Legal but it counts against your daily bag in panfish. Yes I've tried it and I will say sucker minnows seem to work a lot better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raw....You gotta remember, we were like 12 years old at the time...We were fishing Birch Lake in White Bear, from the shore....we thought they were all keepers at that time. Thinking back, they were fairly small sunnies. crazy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really don't get it with regards to not using fish parts for bait.

I catch and kill a fish. I take part of that fish and use it to catch other fish. No limits have been violated - no invasive species have been introduced - no dynamite or nets or spears are in play.....

Using a strip of fish belly or several other parts seem to me the ultimate in fish recycling - getting good use out of those parts we don't eat anyhow!

This is another one of those funny Minnesota laws that really don't bear up well when you take a good long look at them.

Heck, everyone knows small perch are an excellent walleye bait at certain times and in certain places. That's why Rapala and many other companies have perch-colored/flavored lures! I am hard-pressed to find a downside to using small perch (legally caught) for bait.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dude, oh the good old days! I remember trying gum, corn, bugs, candy, frogs, tin foil, bread, anything you could find to put on the hook! Maybe that's how Al Linder learned his stuff?? laugh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jackpine is making some sense here, if you count it against your limit of perch why can you not recycle parts of the fish. Here is another spin, can you go into the fish cleaning house and use parts of the discarded fish guts that people have thrown away and use that as bait? It is not fish that you caught, it is now garbage that you picked from the waste can? Riddle me this, boys!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with this is you cant prove where you acquired the bait. Wether it's from a fish cleaning station, the lake your fishing on or a different lake you fished yesterday. I personally dont have a problem with using small panfish for bait..there definitely is no shortage of them, escpecially on Mille Lacs. I would think that suckers would work better because they are a soft finned fish...I'm betting we have all pierced our hands and fingers on the perch's spines and gill plates before. Food for thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laughlaughlaugh i have used that line myselk once or twice!!! bacon for bait? cant afford it to eat. smirkgrin why is that, some lakes perch get big some dont? on the lake our cabin is on when you do get a perch big enough to keep its wormy. just like winnie and cutfoot. they are connected winnie they are ok cutfoot most are wormy. confusedconfused

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm guessing that size has to do with predators in the lake, and food for the perch.

We only used a small strip of bacon to catch the first sunnie...then it was use the eyes to catch the rest. And bacon was only about $.29/lb back then. laugh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when i was young i would spend the summer in illinois on the rock river and an old timer would bring me out to check and rebait his trotlines every day and he used sunnies for flathead catfish. he used some nice gills too, well they where nice looking at years old or so. but i remember him nailing 40 and 50 pound flatheads on em. I am in the boat of wishing we could use forage (dnr term) fish for bait too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh and on another note......the craziest thing ive every used was a black jelly bean and it worked on a sheephead go figure.

but im not that surprised really they do make some soft plastics infused with anise which is in black licorice and black jelly beans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Have a friend that does this....   http://aquaculturenorthamerica.com/Finfish/fresh-water-fish/profitable-commercial-production-for-walleye-and-saugeye/    
    • There's a live rescue going on in Wis Como Lake I think it was right now for a guy that went through but it doesn't look good as they just sent the divers down.   WISN 12 NEWS
    • Ho Ho....   or       Use the fake news thing as a way to censor speech not acceptable to the left.  Yah sure. 
    • Pen raised walleye?   Sounds like fake news.   Lots of Canadian walleye but I think it is netted from wild in places like Lake Winnipeg or Red Lake and so on.   Must be Putin trying to discredit the Canadian Walleye providers. 
    • Quick question. On the striker models they have a setting called the A-scope. It basically widens the right hand part of the screen where it starts so that it works kinda like a showdown at the beginning of the graph which I like on the ice.  Can you check and see if that unit has that?  
    • 5 x 5 will be nor problem for one guy and gear.  I speared out of a two man flip over otter sled for several years and had not problem.  Use to spear out of a 4 x 6 permanent and that is less sq foot than the 5 x 5 hub.  It is nice to have a large hole and yes it lets in more light in those low light conditions but I always used a 3 x 2 spear hole and never had any issues.  It worked, could it be better?  Of course but you just have to figure out what is right for you.  Get a 5 x 5 foot piece of cardboard draw out your hole on it, set up your chair and put all your gear on it and then sit down.  This is probably the closest way to experiencing it prior to doing so...... Good Luck 
    • I've seen walleye at grocery stores in the cities for a buck or two more than king crab.   Yeesh.
    • Well got the unit today first Impressions are I'm really happy with it...I like how the maps included have depth shading...The screen seems very nice...The only thing I don't like so far is the quick release bracket, I feel like I'm going to break it when I pop it off. The transducer is pretty darn huge, not sure if all side imaging ducers are like that or not...Overall very happy for $499, cant wait to get it on the water.
    • Hey you guys!...had to fly into Phoenix couple days ago to check on some golf stuff and while wandering through a big supermarket saw a display of Canadian pen-raised walleye.  It was 18.99 a POUND.   Can you believe that!?  A stinkin'  little 16 ounces of walleye for THAT much money. If a guy could put up with all that sloppy, soft wiggle-wiggle of a battle to boat one a guy could make a pile of money catching them.  Personally,  I'd fall asleep in a walleye hot bite.
  • Our Sponsors