So I sort of stole the title from the shark movies on that science fiction channel, but “Perchnado” sort of fits the bill after two days of fishing on Lake Erie where the perch were flying in the boat. There were times when you would want to get the bait back in the water as fast as you can, wait a second or two, and wench them up the water column as fast as you could. We also got some time on Monday to break out the Church Tackle boards, which proved to be sort of fruitful, but will get into that later.
We had grand plans for Monday, get our limit of perch and then bust out the Deep Husky Jerks, make one long pass back into the bay and call it a good day. Truth be told, the grand plans hardly ever work out, often too much time is spent doing one or the other to get a limit and we just say phooey on the 2nd part of the plan. Monday was a very good day though.
As we headed out into the lake, we almost stopped to fish in a pack of boats in about 23 foot of water (fow), but we didn’t want to be “pack animals” and headed out for deeper water. There were only three boats about where I had some waypoints from last year, and they all had some good separation between them, and none were on “my” spot. We took our position, dropped the anchor and started fishing. Less than a minute, probably closer to 30 seconds, BOOM. First fish came up, a nice 9 inch perch and that set the tone for the rest of the day. Notice the fly of sorts that I was using on the bottom of my perch rig, it’s from Domka Outdoors, and it just gives a bit of flash to the shiner, and also a slightly bulkier presentation. Which is a bonus when every bait shop in town has really small emerald shiners. For part of the day I even ran a small Impulse shiner from Northland Tackle in addition to the live minnow to give it even more of a bigger presentation.
For the most part the anchor held, and we were off to a great start, and it really never slowed down. Some times you go into a lull between bites, not so much on Monday. All in all, we had 13 doubles (two fish on the rig at the same time), most of them coming on my neighbor Cliff’s line. We had less than 10 throwbacks where we thought the perch were too small, and kept everything eight inches or bigger. We had our 100 before two o’clock so it was time to break out the big St. Croix’s and start to troll our way back into Brest Bay.
I busted out the TX-12 boards from Church Tackle with the double action flag kit. I have a tourney on the Saginaw River towards the end of October and wanted to get the flags dialed in before then. We threw out a combination of deep running husky jerks to see what we could get into. Standard colors, some customs from Big Eye Custom Lures and to get a little more action for the middle of the water column, the jointed version of the DHJ-12’s (JDHJ-12). These do not run as deep at the original, but at the 2 mph speed we were trolling, they impart a lot of action to the lure, in my book, perfect for targeting walleye actively feeding in the middle of the water column.
Breaking out the boards means I get to bust out some of the tools of the trolling trade, and in this case the Planer Board Caddy from Traxstech. Although the TX-12 is quite a bit smaller than the TX-22 or Walleye boards from Church that I normally run out on Erie, they stayed locked in loaded in the Caddy through a pretty bumpy ride out to the perch grounds. I made sure, several times I caught myself looking back to make sure, never had an issue! Besides the boards, they hold tools, lures and I even zip tied my hand towel to one of the corners. When mounting your track, will say this, position them where you will get the most use out of it, those back corners are where we bring the boards back into the boat with a fish on, and they are so handy to have right where you do the business end of trolling!
The TX-12’s handled the bigger cranks perfectly, riding nice and easy through the water.
The trolling pass back in came with one bonus walleye coming back to the boat. This 18 incher wanted to sink the TX-12, but just couldn’t do it. It buried the flag and jumped back three or four feet, but we broke out the Cumings net that I always carry while perch fishing, you know, for emergencies like this. That was our one and only keeper, the weeds took over and fouled up a few lines when we got inside the bay, so we called it quits.
That was Monday Funday, with high hopes Tuesday morning we stopped in at Jeff’s Bait and Tackle outside of Sterling State Park and reloaded with some emeralds, its my one stop shop when launching out of Sterling. The insulated buckets from Clam Outdoors are awesome for transporting minnows with the aerator. One frozen bottom of water and the water stays cool for hours. About 10 am we made our way back out for Perchnado 2. The winds kicked up a notch compared to the day before, which was nice, there were times Monday when we were covered in bugs. After a long bumpy ride there were a few more boats out there, but still we had our spot to ourselves so we dropped anchor.
After a minute I was starting to get nervous and then Cliff pulled in the first one. In the first 30 minutes we had 21 perch in the Catch Counter Big Mouth. Quick plug, in two days of perch fishing the counter was right on the mark both days.
The waves busted us off anchor a few times, but before we pulled up to get back to the waypoint, there were 43 perch in the cooler. Once back on spot the anchor got dropped and it was time to get back to fishing. Nothing, not a nibble at first, and then one or two came up. The anchor busted loose again and we dragged it for 100 yards or so before it took hold again. The wind settled down and it looked like it would hold.
For a half hour, it was dropped the line down, hit bottom and wench them up. The jaw jerking action was so good, I had to mark it, #136 on the GPS. We had a slight stoppage in the action, and then it was game on again. As the counter clicked higher and higher, I would name the perch after some of my favorite Detroit Lions; #54 Chris Spielman, #56 Joe Schimdt, and had to click off everyone on the Silver Rush defensive front; #60 Bubba Baker, #75 Dave Purifoy (EMU Hurons), #78 Doug English and #79 Bill Gay. After tight end David Hill #81, it got a bit harder to think of names, but luckily the last 19 came in pretty quick and I didn’t have time to dwell on it anyway!
By 2 pm we were done again and heading home. I broke out the twins, the Tumble Drumm scalers and loaded them up for a long evening of cleaning fish. Twenty-five at a time, counting them out as I went, they were right on with what the Catch Counter read on the counter.