Well yesterday, we enjoyed another fine day on the hardwater chasing yellow perch on Lake Simcoe … undoubtedly one of the finest perch fisheries in all of North America. Today was remarkably similar to last weekend when my son Izaak and I took home about 15 jumbos for about three hours of fishing. Unlike last time though these perch were a little deeper (33-34') and way more finicky. In fact, if it wasn't for the addition of a bunch of puny little items we brought this time- that we didn't before … we may have walked off the ice empty handed!
Our most productive lures ended up being identical to last time; an HT Glow Grub Jig and Storm minnow for Izaak and an HT Football Head and Trigger X Nymph for his dad. I had the same 36"HT Polar Light rod and HT Accucast reel matched with braid and a 4 lb test mono leader. Izaak had his trusty 30" HT Ice Blue rod, reel and 4lb mono. He relied on his Lowrance Ice Machine to determine where the fish and his bait was, while I watched my Lowrance Elite 5 unit.
We started the day fishing the same area as a week prior - in 28' off a long tapering point. Admittedly, I began by using a variety of other proven perch lures all pre-rigged on various HT rods. I could see the perch react to the baits on my screen but they didn't provide any of the desired hook ups. Izaak stuck to the same lure and was having some success but the fish were small. "I'm gonna move deeper Izaak," and when I did I too began catching a couple small ones. I could see Izaak packing up, ask how deep I was (30') and trot past me on his way a little deeper still. It didn't take long before I noticed my son start setting the hook with significant rod bending results. A quick whistle indicated I should get my butt over to where he was … so like any obedient father- I did as I was told!
Izaak Wegman with a couple jumbo yellow perch
"Whatcha using," I ask? "Same as last week," came the reply. I quickly punch a hole and drop my football head and nymph combo down and then slide the transducer in as well. As the jig nears bottom the screen lights up with fish - but none inhale my bait. Meanwhile that dastardly son of mine is slamming them- one 11-12 incher after another. "What are you doing different than me?" I inquire.
"I dunno- you are using those maggots we brought this time aren't you?" "Ah- no!" "Well you might wanna, cause I wasn't getting them until I put them on!"
Wil Wegman with a nice perch of his
Needless to say I quickly reel in, open my HT bait container and hook a couple of juicy pink maggots onto my jig. As I watch it sink towards bottom, I see a nice sized mark come up from bottom and then the two become one. I love when that happens! A quick snap of the wrist and the hook was set ... and finally Izaak wasn't the only one catching nice sized jumbo's.
For the next couple of hours we enjoyed steady action - releasing several nice perch and the occasional small one. When it was all over though, Izaak still outfished his dad thanks in large part because of those puny little items we didn't bring with us last week. Of course the results were just fine by me as we enjoyed another great outing together- catching, releasing and yes keeping enough nice perch for a great lunch afterwards.