Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fish fry (time for perch jerking)

Without giving too much away since I'll be writing a story about the start of Lake Erie's spring yellow perch fishing bite I still wanted to share a couple of things.

On Tuesday I fished with two outdoor writing friends - Paul Liikala of Cuyahoga Falls and Bill Kiel of Doylestown. Our destination was the Wildwood unit of Cleveland Lakefront State Park.

That's where the party head boat Linda Mae operates. And it's often one of the finest go-to yellow perch fishing spots in the Central Basin. It certainly was on Tuesday where Paul, Bill and I caught enough perch to keep us steadily busy.

We never had to move once, anchoring up in 33 feet of water and north of the marina harbor area. Nearby was the Linda Mae, who clients also got into fish.

The nice thing was the size of the perch. In all, we caught six Fish Ohio qualifiers, each measuring at least 13 inches. Nearly all of the other kept perch measured at least 10 inches.

Our only problem was that the bite was light. Make that very light. The perch just pecked away at the minnows and wanted the bait resting flat on the bottom. This light bite appears to be a common thread this spring with other anglers reporting the same condition.

We did use sensitive Berkley Cherrywood rods and braided line and even would hold the line in one hand while clutching the rod in the other.

Once we figured out what the perch wanted we managed to reel up a good catch. And we only caught one round goby and one white perch.

Darn, I guess I gave away much of what I wanted to write for a future story. I guess that means I'll just have to go perch jerking again in the next several days.

Oh, yes, one other thing. While waiting to launch the boat I was visited by a marina shore angler who showed me his night-before catch: A large stringer of some truly respectable bullheads. I hadn't seen a stringer of bullheads like that in years which shows that the Wildwood harbor is a great place to fish.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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