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Team Otter

Clear and Mostly Perch!

33 posts in this topic

When a person talks perch fishing, typically the conversation involves lakes such as Mille Lacs, Winnie, Leech, URL and Lake of the Woods. Folks, I'm here to tell you we have the same quality perch fishing right in our back yard. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of one of the best late-ice perch bites I've ever seen for the better part of 3 weeks now. And, finally, I can safely say that a pattern has been established. A lot of time and effort has gone into this bite through a handful of us and now we have just been having fun catching beautiful perch. I can easily look past crappies and 'gills for these perch. The action is phenomenal, as well as the quality of fish and the company. You all have probably read my previous reports on this bite, so let me get to "the meat" of what I have seen take place over the course of the last few weeks.

This pattern involves several different items but I think the #1 factor is knowing and understanding where perch spawn, whether that be when the ice is still on the lake or just off. Right now, the male perch we're catching are milting, so the spawn is right around the corner. Another factor is staying in and around bottom content that is as hard as concrete. Whether that be sand or gravel, it doesn't matter, but the harder the bottom the better. We found fish over mud that were suspended and very active but also very skiddish and not as concentrated as those fish on the sand and gravel. Mobility has been a key too. 5 minutes is about the maximum amount of time I am spending in a hole. If nothing is happening, move on. Sometimes, a move means 10' while other times it may mean 100 yards. You need to be ready to stay on top of the fish. Presentation has been small, vertical jigs gobbed with spikes that drop quickly but also have a tight twitch to them. The fish are not smashing the bait unless you get on the right school but for the most part, it takes some work to entice them. 21 - 28' of water has been the predominant depth and most of the quality fish are between 2 - 6' off the bottom. Today, we actually had some really nice 'gills and crappies in the mix, which was a pleasent surprise. Water clarity is also playing a role in our success. Over mud, the water is crystal-clear down to 20' while the visibility in the sand and gravel areas is 6'.

If you do happen to cash in on this late-ice perch action, please be sure to practice selective harvest and/or catch and release. This is a resource that needs to be protected, just like anything else.

By the way, Eric, I'm glad you remembered your camera. Pictures will be coming soon!

2 Da Gills, nice to meet you. I hope you got into some fish this afternoon/evening.

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What a gorgeous day to be out on the ice! Gettin' a sunburn before we even get to spring! cool.gif

The fish were predominantly timid today, although the bigger bruisers were more aggressive. Just to add to TO's post/comments.....TO was nailing the fish using a Fiskas jig while I was picking up a fish here and there with a marmooska. Lime green/orange/white were the predominant colors tipped with colored spikes. And yes, the water clarity difference was amazing!

Anyway, as promised, here are a few pics from today's outing.

TO with a sumo perch!

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TO with a couple more colorful bruisers.

p3170062fo5.jpg

Your's truly with a couple more dandys.

p3170065fk3.jpg

And two of the healthy 'gills we got today.

p3170064fh9.jpg

As TO mentioned, it was nice to meet you today 2 DA Gills. Hope your day went well.

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Great photos Eric. They sure turned out nice. Again, it was great spending the day on the ice with you. We need to do more of that. Enjoy the fish!

Ken, we missed you. smirk.gif

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Are you going to be out running around there in the a.m? I will be out there around 8:00 or so. Did you drive out .

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Actually, I may take tomorrow off. If I go, it's going to be late in the afternoon. I've been out 7 out of the last 10 days, so I think it's time to hang with my wife and daughter a bit. smirk.gif

We drove out but the drive in was not pretty. I would recommend walking.

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Yeah, that wouldn't have been pretty if I had needed to call my wife and ask her to pull me out of the lake. blush.gifshocked.gifgrin.gif Not sure how I'd explain that one. tongue.gif "Uhhh....honey....guess what I did today?" blush.giflaugh.gif

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I wouldn't call.

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What happens out on the lake stays out on the lake, eh? wink.gifgrin.gif

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I use that same line when I'm in Chamberlain. grin.gif

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I will give you report tomorrow night, we are going to try the spot were Ken was talking to use last weekend and go from there. I would like to get in to a few pannies later on.

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Where was Ken at?

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Good luck. You should do just fine.

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TO that spot has been great for me for the last 5 or 6 years the crappies move in there just days before the ice goes out big and fast good luck

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Great to see you got a shot with my house in the backround. I just knew I should have stayed, but what can a man do.I can't be in two places at the same time and only so many hours of daylight. Eric you need to trust me it only gets better. Waders and boards are alot of fun.

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Quote:

I just knew I should have stayed, but what can a man do


One word....RETIRE! grin.gif J/K! smile.gif

We'll see how the rest of the season goes. I got some honey-do stuff tomorrow and next weekend. And, by the weekend after that I might be headed out to South Dakota, or the lakes might be open.

Regardless of what the weather and ice does, I'll be back again as soon as my schedule allows. wink.gif

Was good to see you again Ken.

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Ken I will see you in the A.M? My uncle and I will be out there with the ranger. Go Gophers

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The crappies were there today just not in the numbers that will be to come. Perch are still ruling the roost. grin.gif

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He was there for a bit in the morning and then had to go buy "work stuff".

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We wanted to make sure you didn't feel left out. smirk.gif

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I was thinking about what the IRS would say about a wilcraft for work dedution wink.gif.

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I would say it will work Ken as you need it to get across those muddy fields. I would bet that Tom would be willing to cut you a fairly good deal this time of the year. You wouldnt have to worry about early or late ice for sure.

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It will be afternoon the soonest, need to put some time in working at a turkey dinner in town.

T.O. I will talk at you in the morning. wink.gif

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Sounds good. Give me a ring before 10:00.

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The bite started really good and then when the cold front came in they just shut right down, but we managed a few.

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TO and Basscather it was nice to meet both of you as well. Saturday I did some exploring for a good part of the afternoon. I was mainly looking for the bluegills, but did come across some perch. I caught one 9 incher and few smaller perch as well. No big numbers for me. After some considerable searching I did find some quality bluegills. It was late in the day when I finally found them.

I was able to get clearance to head out again Sunday afternoon and thought it may be slow with the weather. I actually caught bluegills steady until heading home at 5:30 pm. The bite was mainly light, but with the drop technique I was able to detect bites when the line went slack. Most the bluegills on Sunday were in the 7 to 8 inche range with a some just shy of 9 inches. I also found that if I dropped to less then 1 foot off the bottom and then raised the bait, the activite and larger fish would follow. I would then dropped my jig extremely slow until I had a taker. It was a fun afternoon.

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