Originally Posted by dallasdb
Ice will be a lot easier to catch numbers that is for sure.
From shore you can usually get a few but not like the numbers you can from ice or a boat.
From what I understand about perch behavior, they school together and the schools usually have fish of similar size. So small fish school together and vice versa and the bigger fish tend to stay a little deeper.
This is an exact description of my perch fishing experience. If you want to find big perch, find big mud flats (depths can vary). In the winter perch predominantly feed on mysis shrimp, midges, scuds, and other little bugs hiding the mud. Perch cruise the flats looking for invertebrates that have somehow found themselves on top of the muddy bottom.
An exaggerated example would be wigglers. If I remember correctly, a wiggler is some sort of mayfly larva. These larva lay in the mud and will literally "wiggle" their way around. If you have an under water camera and have ever turned the light on during the night, you will see hundreds of them. These wigglers are a perch's main winter food source in several lakes across the US.
In the glacial lakes region of SD (and Reudi here in CO) the comparative is the mysis shrimp. Perch scour the mud looking for the little things. That's how in some areas of the US the perch grow into huge delicious "swimming" tacos.