9 Great Yellow Perch Fishing Lakes in Wisconsin

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Wisconsin has some of the best yellow perch fishing around. These tasty, deep-water dwellers have earned Wisconsin a reputation for anglers seeking the thrill of yellow perch fishing.

The state’s fisheries management has contributed to the massive populations of yellow perch, making it a must-stop for perch anglers.

After all, is there anything better than getting on a school of these voracious panfish and catching one after another for hours on end?

Maybe eating a delicious perch dinner afterward?

Wisconsin’s Top Spots for Perch

There are too many excellent waters here to list them all, so we’ve rounded out what many believe to be the top perch waters in the state.

Metonga Lake

Metonga Lake in the northern part of Wisconsin offers fantastic perch fishing.
Known for its clear waters, diverse aquatic ecosystem, and stunning natural beauty, Metonga Lake provides some of the best perch fishing spots in the region.

The eastern shoreline is thick with submerged structures and underwater vegetation.

Most of the time, you’ll do best fishing the edge of the weed beds on the drop-off side. However, anglers often find success by targeting the shallower waters near the shoreline during the early morning and evening when perch are actively feeding.

Use worms or minnows for bait. Once you catch the first fish in the school, you’re in for a good time.

The northern portion has deeper waters and hidden underwater contours.

Trolling along drop-offs and exploring the lake’s numerous submerged humps can help you locate the fish. Or use your fish finder to find schools of perch in these deeper areas.

Once you’ve locked onto a school, jigging or bait fishing straight down to them is typically the most effective.

Ice anglers flock to the lake’s bays and points, drilling holes and setting up shelters to create the perfect winter fishing experience. There are even RV parks that allow you to park on the lake!

Jigging with small lures or using tip-ups baited with minnows are popular techniques during the ice fishing season.

Crandon, a little over 100 miles northwest of Green Bay, offers plenty of amenities for you. There are hotels, lodging, and camping around the lake, including Forest County Veterans Memorial Park.

Crandon is known for crazy storms and wind, so make sure you are prepared.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan, renowned for its excellent fishing opportunities, offers avid anglers some of the best perch fishing spots in the country.

Of course, this lake is beyond massive, but the water around Sheboygan an hour north of Milwaukee allows you to reel in trophy yellow perch. The harbor, piers, and nearshore areas are particularly productive during the spring and fall.

Fish in the evening with crawlers or minnows. Perch eyes are like candy for other perch.

Another hotspot is near Milwaukee’s harbor, breakwaters, and shoreline areas. During the cooler months, schools of perch gather in these locations, offering anglers a chance to catch them through the ice.

Lake Winnebago

Lake Winnebago is among the best perch fishing spots in Wisconsin.

Target the expansive South Shore, particularly around Oshkosh. The lake’s southern reaches boast abundant underwater structures, including submerged humps, weed beds, and drop-offs, creating ideal habitats for perch.

You’ll likely be successful in the shallower waters during spring and fall when perch are actively feeding. The early morning and evening tend to be productive.

Another hotspot is the expansive Fond du Lac Flats, where the lake’s underwater terrain offers a perfect environment for perch to thrive.

Ice fishing enthusiasts also flock to Lake Winnebago during the winter months. Try jigging with minnows or mealworms beneath the ice.

Lake Winnebago is massive and has a variety of great fisheries. As just one example, it’s also on our list to Wisconsin’s favorite walleye waters.

Oshkosh has everything you need for a successful trip. Plenty of camping and resorts, lodges, and hotels are available.

Lac Courte Oreilles

Lac Courte Oreilles, located in northwestern Wisconsin, is an excellent perch fishing lake. The lake is also known as an insanely good muskie fishery.

Try using jigs or live bait near the edges of the weed beds, where perch tend to congregate. Hit them in the morning or evening for the best action.

The lake’s underwater structure, like submerged rock piles and sunken trees, serves as excellent hiding spots for perch. Targeting these with vertical jigging can yield some epic catches.

The southwestern corner of Lac Courte Oreilles is a local favorite, as the shallower waters and submerged humps in this area are known to harbor healthy perch populations.

Ice fishing offers exceptional opportunities to target perch through the ice. Drill a few test holes and see what you can find. If you happen upon a school of perch, you’re in for some fast action.

Camping, lodging, and resorts are all around the lake. Plenty of amenities are available locally, and the resorts cater to anglers.

Lake Onalaska

Lake Onalaska sits on the Wisconsin side of Mississippi River just east of Minnesota.

The northern shoreline is full of submerged structures and shallow bays, providing ideal perch habitats.

The area around Brice Prairie also offers promising conditions, with its mix of rocky structures and weed beds attracting schools of perch. Fish along the drop-off near the shore next to the town.

Hit the mid-lake section for underwater points and drop-offs. Try near the navigation buoys and markers, as these structures attract baitfish, drawing in hungry perch.

The southern parts of the lake, particularly near the Lake Onalaska Dam, are known for their consistent perch populations, with the deeper waters providing ample opportunities for anglers seeking larger specimens.

Lake Onalaska is also a top-rated crappie fishing lake, so don’t be surprised if you catch a mixed bag of delicious panfish that also might include bluegill.

Onalaska, Brice Prairie, and La Crosse have all the lodging and amenities you’ll need. Check out the local bait shops for the latest information.

Green Lake

Green Lake, or Big Green Lake, is a perfect perch fishery. Come winter, when the ice sets in, this place looks like a town filled with ice shanties.

One of the top spots for perch fishing on Green Lake is the west end, near the weed beds and drop-offs. These areas provide ideal habitat for perch, attracting them in abundance. Try live bait, such as minnows or worms, around these structures.

The northern shoreline is another hotspot for perch, especially around rocky points and submerged structures. Perch tend to congregate in these areas, providing you with ample opportunities to hook into some quality fish.

The town of Green Lake, roughly an hour and a half north from Milwaukee or Madison, has several resorts and lodges keyed toward anglers. All the amenities you need are readily available.

Red Cedar Lake

Red Cedar Lake sprawls across 1,800 acres, mainly within Barron County, and offers a diverse ecosystem that supports healthy perch populations. Walleye, smallmouth bass, and northern pike also call this place home.

The northern portion of the lake, particularly around the numerous submerged structures, including sunken islands, submerged humps, and brush piles, create ideal habitats for perch to congregate. The lake has a max depth of 53 feet.

During the spring and early summer, shallow bays and weed beds along the eastern shoreline become hotspots for perch activity. As the water warms, these areas attract schools of perch seeking both shelter and abundant prey.

Try live bait like minnows and worms, or artificial lures like small jigs and spinners.

There are hotels, resorts, and camping in the area. The local bait shops have all the gear and local knowledge you’ll need to get on the fish.

Lake Namekagon

Lake Namekagon is a popular perch fishing destination. Great fishing for northern pike, walleye, and muskie are also available.

One of the best spots for perch fishing on Lake Namekagon is the southeastern shoreline near connected Garden Lake. This area features expansive weed beds and underwater structures, providing an ideal perch habitat. Target these weed beds with jigs or live bait rigs.

The deep-water humps and points in the central part of the lake are another hotspot. These underwater structures attract schools of perch.

Ice fishing during the winter months is prevalent on Lake Namekagon. The lake’s southern basin, with its mix of sandbars and drop-offs, is great for vertical jigging and ice fishing tip-ups.

You have your pick of hotels, resorts, and camping in the area. The local towns have most of what you need, and the resorts cater to angling.

The local lake and community names also are spelled Namakagon.

Lake Wisconsin

Lake Wisconsin offers a perch experience like almost no other, with several hotspots around the lake.

One standout location is Merrimac, where the waters are teeming with perch year-round. The underwater structure near the Merrimac Ferry Landing provides an ideal habitat for perch. This area’s rocky points and drop-offs also create prime conditions for success.

Sunset Bay is full of shallows and weed beds, offering a perfect environment for perch. Target the areas around the island. Ice fishing or casting from boats in the warmer months are both successful.

The lower Wisconsin River, which feeds into the lake, is also a perch haven. The river’s slower-moving stretches and eddies create favorable conditions for perch feeding and spawning.

Resorts, campgrounds, RV parks, and hotels are everywhere around the lake. Merrimac, located northwest of Madison, has most of the necessities you might need. Try out Remi’s Thirsty Moose for a great atmosphere and good food.

Catch More Yellow Perch

Be sure to read up on the top tactics we use to catch a mess of perch.