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Perch are excellent fish that can easily be caught from shore. Their large mouths, in comparison to their body, along with black vertical stripes, make them easy to identify, and they are decent fighters for their size. Perch are also a breeze to take off the hook if they haven’t swallowed it. They live in similar habitats as bass sticking to the weedy shallows. In the middle of lakes, it is common to run into a school of perch where action can be outstanding until the school disappears. Perch like to hide under docks, logs, and in the weeds. They are abundant in Toronto waters, being in almost every body of water. Ice fishing at Lake Simcoe is one of the best in Ontario. Lake Simcoe boasts of having a jumbo perch that is approaching one pound in size.

When targeting perch, anglers will have the best luck using worms. Night crawlers on regular hooks or jigs in weedy, shallow areas will be most beneficial. Anglers can also try using very small minnow baits. Anglers who use small minnow baits and are targeting largemouth bass sometimes land a perch instead. Perch are open all year in most fishing zones and do have daily limits according to certain fishing licenses. Ice fishing in Toronto is decent for perch as well, with some locations such as Frenchman’s Bay having great perch ice fishing. Grenadier Pond used to have exceptional ice fishing for perch as well; however, due to overfishing, the pond has become almost empty of perch. If you plan on keeping the fish, make sure it is a decent size. Do not keep small perch, as the preservation of Ontario waters needs to be sustained and requires everyone to do their part.

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A map of the Greater Toronto Area.