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Fishing with Bob and Bruce Brenton 10/2-5/2023

Day one of four, perch’n with Bob and Bruce….

Day one, we launched out of Catawba, (a later start) and hit the G Can area. We started at 8:45 and finished at 2:45 with 87 of our 90 allowed perch.

Day two, we launched out of Mazurik’s at 8am. We were going to join the pack of boats out in front of Lakeside, due to good reports of perch being caught there the day before, but the lake was flat, and the Vexus wanted to run, and I don’t like fishing in packs, so we let her run.

We went up the east side of Kelly’s to look at the green can on the north end of the shoal. Last year, at this time, we did well on jumbo perch there, but the Helix wasn’t marking anything when I went around the can, this time, so we didn’t stay.

We headed towards Gull Island Shoal, to look there. We found some decent marks just south of the line, in 34 feet of water, so the Terrova was deployed and the Spot-Lock engaged.

We were using two hook crappie rigs that I make myself, with Emerald Shiners, both fresh and frozen (mine are frozen in Wintergreen Rubbing alcohol). I was using the frozen, while I let Bob and Bruce have all the fresh ones. They both worked well, and I can’t say that either out-fished me with my frozen shiners.

The perch were much bigger up there, than they were at G can the day before. At G Can we had 87 for 24 pounds, and only 56 at Gull for 24 pounds.

Day three I picked my guys up at their hotel at 6am, and we hit Hi Way Bait for more shiners and ice. Then, we hit Mazurik’s again, but launched while it was still dark out. This time, I wanted to try by the Marblehead lighthouse. After setting up in the first spot, I felt the bottom was too soft…softer than I like it. I like to be able to feel when the weight hits the bottom, and I couldn’t really feel that happen all to well, so we moved.
I turned the Down Imaging on the Helix, so I could see where the rocks were, and ended up setting up over 24′ of water on the east side of the lighthouse. The bottom was nice and rocky, so the weights could “tap-tap-tap”, and make noise down there. That brings the fish in when it’s a scattered population, in my opinion. Once they find you, they usually hang out, and bite well.

That’s what happened yesterday. They found us, and we ended up with our 90 perch for a total weight of 33 pounds. So, another nice grade of perch.

Day 4….

I picked the brothers up at their hotel at 6am again, but this time, they followed me in their truck, because they were checked out, and would be heading home after getting their fish cleaned.

We hit Hi Way Bait again for some more shiners, and ice, and hit Mazurik’s again. The wind was still light, so we took a nice leisurely ride over to the lighthouse again, and set up on exactly the same spot we were in yesterday. The bite was slower, and the bite was A LOT lighter than it was yesterday, but we managed to catch 46 more perch, to add to their stash headed back to MI.

I have to tell you about this one fish this morning, though….

First, let me tell you where I sit when I’m perch fishing. I sit on a step stool, in the back of the boat, on the live well, so I’m higher, and my right arm can stay relaxed, because I don’t have to hold it up.

Okay….the fish of a lifetime…

I set the hook on what I thought was a smaller/medium sized Sheephead. I’m reeling it up, and it swims into the corner of the big motor and the transom, and does a flip…that’s when I see what I have….a GINORMOUS perch! Now, I have caught a few 15″ perch out of Cleveland before, and some even bigger in Northern Wisconsin, while ice fishing, but I have never seen a perch this big before.
It dwarfed that 14 1/2″ perch we caught last year (that trip was with Bob and Bruce, too).

I didn’t have a net handy, so I had to try and lift it, but when I did, it did another flip, and landed on the back platform of the transom (spitting the hook), and laid there, on its side, long enough for both Bruce and I too get a good look at it, but not long enough before it flipped off the boat, and escaped. When Bruce saw it he shouted, “OH MY GOD!”, and his jaw was left hanging open…and, at the same time, I said, (pardon my Scottish), “Holy ****!”, and also had my jaw hanging down, in awe, as I turned to look at Bruce, to see if he saw what I just saw. lol

I kid you not….this fish was easily 17 inches long, and the prettiest specimen to come out of this lake. The colors were vibrant, like a northern Wisco fish. Dark back, and stripes, pretty yellow sides, and super dark orange fins. Just gorgeous.

Deep sigh, I just looked up state records and it looked bigger than this one… Your browser is not supported |

Oh well….we’ll never know. But, at least I had a witness, and now we know there are some monster perch there by the lighthouse. 🙂

It made for a fun morning either way. Bob, however, was disappointed that he didn’t get to see it, because of where he was sitting in the boat, and it was gone before he could get up. 🙁

It’s raining now, and it’s going to blow for the next couple of days, so I won’t be out until later next week, if conditions are good. I’m scheduled for Wednesday through Saturday.

Stay tuned….

Capt Juls

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