By Montana Grant

Posted: December 17, 2020

Roe, Roe, Roe your perch! Many ice anglers target Yellow Perch. They are tasty and fun to catch. Limits are liberal and catching lots of fish is fun. Ironically, most of the Yellow Perch caught through the ice are females and filled with Roe.

Roe is the fish eggs in female fish. It is the Poor Man’s Caviar! Most Montana Fishermen, that I have talked with, throw it away! What a waste of premier fish egg Caviar! They may keep, or sell, fish eggs from Paddlefish, but generally, the Roe goes in the trash.

When I ice fish in Montana, most of the Yellow Perch that I catch are females. Many are full of Roe. Their fat bellies prove my point. A limit of say 25 perch may yield several pounds of Roe. Generally, for every 3 lbs. of perch, you throw out one pound of eggs. 73% of the perch is meat and 23% is Roe. Trashing this much of the fish could be considered “Wanton Waste”. You can also feast on any trout or fish roe.

You can use Roe as chum. Save some Roe sacks and sprinkle the eggs into the ice hole, or area that you are fishing. Check the regulations to make sure that this is allowed in the waters that you fish. In the Chesapeake Bay, in Maryland, anglers would often save unused Roe and other fish cleaning parts. These would be frozen into blocks and used as Chum when anchored for Strippers or… All fish will be attracted to Roe and fish parts.

If you have never eaten Perch Roe, maybe try this recipe.


1 Beaten Egg

1 Tbsp. Flour

1 Tbsp Corn meal

Salt and Pepper and maybe a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning.

Add enough milk to make a batter.

Beat the mixture together and make enough for the Roe that you plan to cook. Now take your fresh, chilled, rinsed, clean Roe Sacks/Skeins, and place into the batter. Fry lightly in Butter. It will only take a minute or so to cook these tasty Skeins. DON’T OVERCOOK. I have also used Ollivelle flavored Olive Oils. Their Blood Orange flavored oil is amazing with fish and seafood.

One fisherman that I talked with mentioned how he takes the Perch Roe and creates his own Caviar. I have yet to get this recipe, but Perch Caviar could be the Poor Man’s next delicacy.

Other anglers simply add the Perch Skeins into their regular scrambled eggs. A dash of hot sauce or… and you are perched and ready for a feast!

I hope that this recipe Eggs You On!

Montana Grant

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