Its the day after the fourth of July and I was thinking about all the perch we have been catching lately, and what shows up in my memory feed on Facebook…a perch article about last year’s fishing. I guess this year is really shaping up for a repeat performance like last year, at least we can hope it will be that good. Throughout what we typically call the perch season on Lake Erie, every time we went fishing last year, we limited out. The longest it took was five hours, the shortest amount of time it took was less than two hours. When the fish are flying into the boat that fast I can promise you will lose track of how many fish you have if you are using one of those clickers to keep count.
I know, because I was one of those guys about four or five year’s back. We would be catching like crazy and the perch were flying in the boat. At some point my fishing buddy would look at me and ask, “Did you click that one?”. I would be like, “Which one?”. Then the next think you know we are dumping them out and counting them one by one as we put them back in the cooler. More than once we would get back to house and get the Tumble Drumm scalers set up and started counting the fish for each batch to get scaled only to come up one or four fish short of our limit.
That is when I made a phone call to Port Clinton, Ohio and talked to Tony Sebastiano for the very first time and had my first CatchCounter being delivered shortly there after. One thing you can say about Tony is that he did not sit back and be happy with the first product he put on the market. Over the year’s since then, he has continued to improve the product based upon customer feedback. Hence, the BigMouth CatchCounter was developed and brought out to the market. I am still using the first generation “BigMouth”, but again Tony kept improving the product and there is even a better product available. You can use the CatchCounter for perch, bluegill and crappie, on open water or when drilling through the ice, it is that versatile of a product.
You can purchase the CatchCounter in three forms, the first is to buy the head and mount it on a bucket or cooler that you already own. This involves having a few of the necessary tools needed, but it can be done without too much difficulty. Perhaps the most versatile option is using the bucket; it fits in any boat, can easily be used while ice fishing and doesn’t not take up too much room. All that said, I prefer the cooler with the counter mounted to the lid. Despite there being a hole venting out cold air, one bag of ice will last all day while you are catching fish. The perch actually insulates the ice and I just leave the ice in the bag while fishing and the fish stay chilled. Many of our favorite bait shops in the Monroe area, like Jeff’s Bait and Tackle, have the heads in stock now.
No more losing track of the perch in the boat, without fail…knock on wood, not once has my counter failed to keep an accurate count of the perch that went through the BigMouth shute. You just know that if you are catching 100 fish in less than two hours, there is no way the clicker method is going to give you an accurate count. One ticket from the DNR is too many, and for less than the fine, you could have purchased a BigMouth CatchCounter.
Last year was an awesome season, and I know just where to start fishing this year. Hopefully this spot will continue to produce and will be again able to harvest this yellow gold. If not, there was one more spot two hundred yards away.
Hopefully that weed bed is still there.
Last year the deadly combination with my St. Croix ultra light rods, braid and Daiwa reels, was using the Michigan 2-Fly Rig. I used to make rigs that allowed three hooks to be used, but I found that the top snell caught more junk than perch. Yellow bellies feed off the bottom, they dine where the bugs and minnows live. So I secure one snell to the snap where the weight goes, and typically I am using a 1 ounce bell sinker. The second snell goes nine inches above the weight snap and since I tie them eight inches long, they will hang roughly two to three inches above the lake bottom. Right in the strike zone!
Limits are already being caught, and spinner rigs for walleye are pulling up some really nice perch. If you are ready to hang up the trolling gear, and I am not just yet, but if you want to catch a different flavor, it’s not too early to get started. The yellow gold is out there ready for you to throw them down the BigMouth CatchCounter shute!