Fishing with Dave and Tracy 7/20/2022by Capt Juls on 07/20/22
This was a morning I was looking forward to all season. I was finally going to get to do a perch trip. As you all know, I love perch fishing! :)
Unfortunately, the wind forecast was not going to allow me to go where I wanted, because it was going to be gusting into the 20s. Tracy had told me that her husband Dave didn't like it rough, so I said, "Well, I haven't been fishing for perch yet, but it's a south wind, so we could just go out in front of the launch from Catawba to the lighthouse and try to see if we can find some. It won't be rough near shore. The further out you go, the rougher it will be". I offered a reschedule if that was what they wanted, but they wanted to go, and liked my proposition of staying near shore.
We met at Mazurik's at 5:30 and were launched by 5:45. I'm going to make this a very short story, because I'm not giving up where we did end up finding some after our 4th move.
I will say, though, that at one point, when I didn't think it was that windy, that we did go out west of Catawba to find some, and we found good marks, but they were not biting. There was a Mayfly hatch over there last night, as was evidenced by the Mayfly husks coming up, and floating on the surface of the lake, so maybe they were already full. I don't know. The waves were only 1-3 feet at the time, with an occasional 4 footer, so it wasn't that bad.
The wind picked up a little more, and the lake was white-capping over there, so I decided to make a move back to the protected shoreline. I didn't want anyone feeling uncomfortable, and the fish weren't biting, so it was an easy choice.
We stopped at a spot that I have fished previously in years past, about this time of year, and set up. The Ulterra didn't have to use as much energy to hold there, as it did west of Catawba, either.
I dropped my crappie rig down and almost immediately got a nibble. "This is a good sign", I said. Then, Dave got a nibble, and caught the first perch....which was really a good sign! It was not a hot bite by any means, but we did manage to put 30 nice perch in the cooler for them to take home. We had to work for them, and I explained how I was catching them, by "teasing" them with the bait, rather than just setting it on the bottom and leaving it there.
It was a mix of light bites and slam bites, but the slam bite usually ended up being a sheephead or a white perch. The yellow perch were much more Houdini-like, and were very good at stealing the bait off your hook without you even knowing it.
Patience, was key. They would bite, and then they wouldn't, and then they would bite again, and then they wouldn't. So, it was never an "up and down" bite, like we all love, but it was enough action to keep everyone interested, and fishing....and, that made me happy. :)
I've rescheduled my walleye trip, with one of my regulars, due to stronger west winds tomorrow, so I won't be back out until Friday.