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White Perch

White PerchScientific Name

Morone americana

Other Common Names

stiffback, silver perch


Not really a perch, but a member of the temperate bass family along with white and striped bass. Averages 8 to 10 inches but reaches up to 2 lbs. Silver gray above, fading to silvery-white below with no longitudinal lines. Has a deep notch between spiny dorsal and soft-rayed dorsal. No teeth on tongue.

Best Fishing

Lakes: Western Branch, Whitehurst, Gaston, Buggs Island, Motts Run, Occoquan, Anna, Waller Mill Reservoir, Harwoods Mill Reservoir, and Back Bay. Rivers: Tidal rivers (Pamunkey, James, Rappahannock, Chickahominy, Mattaponi, North Landing, Northwest and Potomac) and most of their tributary creeks.

Fishing Techniques

Live bait such as minnows, grass shrimp and blood worms, plus artificials such as small spinnerbaits and jigs. Fish near structure such as old wharves, pilings, and sunken logs, on a falling tide, which moves baitfish and shrimp out of cover.

Feeding Habits

Favored natural baits include mummichogs, mud minnows and other small fishes, insect larvae and grass shrimp. They are school fish throughout the seasons, tending to spend daylight hours in deep water, moving into the shallows at dusk to feed.


Brackish tidal rivers and streams and freshwater impoundments of formerly tidal waters. Can overpopulate quickly.

Spawning Habits

Spawns March through early May, running up rivers to spawn over gravel and rocky areas where eggs are broadcast randomly. Lake-locked fish will spawn over similar areas in impoundments.