I just wrapped up another fall fishing season on Lake Erie for jumbo yellow perch. This year weather in September and October was poor to say the least. It seemed that most days I had available did not coincide with calm days, and on Lake Erie, we all know how rough it can get in very little time.
Jumbo Yellow Perch on Lake Erie
Just check out one of the roughest days on Lake Erie below as shown by the weather buoy data from October 15, 2012 (10 miles south of Port Colborne, Ontario). Wow, now that’s rough. Waves were over 10 feet high at 6 am!
Waves Lake Erie-Oct.15-2012
When estimating wave height in my fishing area, as a rule, I usually double the wave height recorded at the weather buoy when there is a W, S or SW wind because I fish about 3-4 miles downwind of the weather buoy. Hopefully Lake Erie won’t be this rough in the spring.
Maximum Winds For Yellow Perch Fishing, Lake ErieI find the maximum winds from the S,SW, or SE that I can tolerate with my 17 foot fiberglass deep-v hull is about 13 km/hr (about 6 knots). If winds are any higher, it starts to get really rough, tough to anchor and less enjoyable to fish. Anyway, I did manage to get out a couple of times for jumbo yellow perch in November. Although temperatures were a lot colder than October, the winds were unusually light. Normally, November winds are higher. This is some weird weather happening and I wonder if this is some kind of fore-cast of strange things to come.
Fog On Lake Erie Is a ConcernMy last trip was in really heavy fog out of Port Colborne. The fog was so thick when we got on the water I literally could not see more than about 100 feet in front of me. Needless to say, it took a while to get out to where the jumbo yellow perch were, in 65 feet of water. It was also pretty scary going through the canal opening at Port Colborne, not knowing if a freighter would be coming through. Later I realized that all freighters use fog horns before entering the channel, and also, the big ships don’t like to travel much in the heavy fog either. Anyway it was still a bit of an intense situation. Next time when I go out in heavy fog on Lake Erie, I’ll bring a radar reflector.
I managed to take a video of my last 2 trips of jumbo yellow perch fishing on Lake Erie. I hope you enjoy them. Jumbo Yellow Perch on Lake Erie
Induce Jumbo Yellow Perch To Bite With Natural MovementI want to include a few points that forgot to mention while making the video.
1) You will notice that I use minnows for bait and I actually hook the minnows through their 2 lips instead of hooking them through their backs. I find I get more hook-ups this way because most predatory fish (jumbo yellow perch and walleye) attack their prey head first. If you hook minnows through their back, there is a chance that the predatory fish will hold only the head of the minnow and pull it from the hook. By attaching the hook in the lips, I believe I get more hook sets and lose fewer fish.
2) Another key to hooking minnows in the mouth is that they will swim more naturally while they are hooked and still appear to be wounded. I want to make sure my bait is always moving naturally. 3) Whenever placing the hook through the lips of the minnows, you need to be careful that you don’t penetrate their brain, as this would kill the minnow instantly, and you will not get the natural movement of wounded minnow. Jumbo yellow perch are best activated into biting if the bait is moving naturally. 4) Although regulations allow 4 hooks on Lake Erie, I never use more than 2 for a couple of reasons. First, with 2 hooks I feel I will get fewer deep hook sets (i.e. the fish is less likely to swallow the hook). I like to try and release the smaller perch so I want to avoid deep hook sets. Second, with 2 hooks, I am able to get 2 fish off the hooks, re-baited, and back down much faster than 4 fish. With jumbo yellow perch, I think it’s important to maintain active bait in the water at all times so they will hang around. Keeping jumbos around longer is the key to sustaining an active bite longer. Well that’s about it for now. I’ll be posting some more ice fishing videos for jumbo yellow perch as soon as the hard water sets in. With some luck I’ll even have some underwater ice fishing footage for you, so stay tuned.
Maddalena Environmental Inc.