Perch fishing on Saturday was a lesson in bait versus gas money. Bait won, but not without a little turmoil in the process. I called far and wide in search of emerald shiners before heading out in the afternoon. From up near to Erie Metro, to down by Turtle Island, and every place in between, before choosing a place on Jefferson, who guaranteed they had emeralds. When we got there, the kid working informed us it was a mix of “shiners”. Think the kid knew we were a bit upset, because the scoops that went in the bucket looked big enough to be four scoops anywhere else I have been in years!
We set up in a pack of boats near Stoney Pointe, and in 30 minutes, maybe had five fish in the Catch Counter cooler. Ok, this where I do a quick plug for a pretty sweet product, the Catch Counter. The unit mounts pretty easily to a cooler or even a bucket, and the bucket set-up can be used for all seasons as it will fit nicely in an ice fishing sled or shanty. They are well worth the cost, I have had (and still do) have the little handcounters that you click for each fish, and the concept is great, if you actually remember to click it for each fish! Been there and done that, and just got tired of all the second guessing, trying to remember countless times during a trip if that fish or the one before was counted or not. It is even worse when there are multiple people in the boat tossing in perch, while you are trying to fish at the same time. Throw in the fact that it is not worth the cost of the ticket to have an unreliable count, and you will want to be sure too. They are made down by Port Clinton, Ohio, and you can find them locally (according to the website) at Trout’s, Rose Marina, and Fisherman’s Cave down on Summit St. Pretty sure I saw them at Matthews Bait and Tackle, also, but I would call ahead to make sure of that. Alright, counting rant over, back to the perching.
After that first half hour, we moved to the eastern side of the pack, in 23 foot of water. The first 20 minutes or so were about as unproductive as the first stop and we started discussing where to go next. Then my neighbor Cliff popped a couple of nice 9 inch fish, and I picked up a couple of small ones that went back in to grow. A little times goes by, and its approaching 5:30 pm. We start talking about moving again, and then they turned on for the last hour and half we were out before it got dark.
It wasn’t exactly what we call a “flurry” of action, but with the time and bait left, it was enough to hold us there. Except for the occasionally swallowed hook, the large percentage of the fish that went in the cooler were 8 inches or bigger. We ended up with 32 that night, and decided to call it quits when the sun touched the trees behind the rock wall at Sterling State Park.
Went back out again Sunday morning, and popped another 44 in the same place. Would have stayed in later, but we both had stuff to do. Besides, the Tigers and Lions were both on television! All in all, it was a good weekend, and on Saturday I got some pictures of what could be the prettiest sunset on Erie I have ever seen.