Fishing with Levi, TJ, and Garrett 8/27/17
by Capt Juls on 08/28/17
My crew for the day was a three generational crew consisting of a Grandpa (TJ), Dad (Levi), and a 5 1/2 year old son (Garrett). I was told that while Garrett was an accomplished young angler already, he had never fished for perch....and, neither had Dad or Grandpa. So, it was going to be a fun day of firsts for all of them. :)
I met them at Big Bopper's after running to both Hi Way Bait and Rickard's Bait, hoping to find some nice emerald shiners, but that was not to be. Hi Way only had the goldies, and Rickard's only had the goldie/pinhead mix. I had heard Jeannett's had nice sized emeralds, but she only takes cash, and I seldom ever have cash on my person. Anyway, I had some of my frozen emeralds that were the "good size", so I was good with our bait situation.
It was a nice morning, with partly cloudy skies, 58 degrees, and a light east wind. The temp was supposed to rise into the low 70's.
We launched out of Mazurik's at 6:30am and headed north towards some old numbers there in the "triangle" (between Lucy's, Middle Island, and Kelly's NW corner. There are a lot of perch out there, but it was a tougher bite for us again. We moved a few times, and found some piggy perch that were willing to bite, but it was one of those bites where they would come in....we would catch 6 or 7, and think it was "starting", and then they would disappear again for 15-20 minutes...then, come back again and do the same thing. Every time I would say, "Let's move" they would start catching again, and I would stay. lol That's so frustrating. The size was very good, so it was hard to move when they would show back up.
Levi told me that he fishes the FLW Bass events, and has been doing so for about 6 to 7 years. His son Garrett is only 5 1/2, so Garrett has grown up fishing with his Dad. He learned how to use a spinning reel at 3 years old....and, I explained that I caught my first fish at 4 years old, but back then, it was a line tied to a stick...not a fancy spinning reel. lol
I was a little concerned as to whether a 5 1/2 year old would be able to last a full 6 hours out there, and not get bored, but Garrett showed me that he has fishing in his blood and loves it. He was catching and reeling in his own fish, and keeping up with the rest of us, and even doing better than us at one point, because his arm got tired and he laid the rod down, so the baits were just laying on the bottom. When he picked his rod back up, it had a fish on it. He did that several times and each time it worked, and had a perch on the other end. However, when I tried the same trick, it didn't work for me. Ha!
Garrett fought a big sheepshead, and only needed a little bit of help from me, mostly because I was afraid of him losing my rod over the side of the boat, not because he actually needed my help. I just wanted to make sure it didn't happen. :)
By the end of the trip, they had brought in a bunch of big perch...not sure on the count exactly, because we found out later that Garrett admitted to playing with the flapper in the "Catch Counter" that counts the perch as they are tossed down the chute....but, it didn't matter, because we know it wasn't even close to a 4 person limit. But, there were enough for a couple very nice family fish fries.
Everyone had a good time, and liked perch fishing....and, that made me happy.
My next trip is Wednesday, with Ben Welch, a previous customer who bid on a donated trip at an auction for the Red Cross through the Catawba Island Club, and his two guests, who are psychologists with the VA Hospital in Toledo. We will be looking for more perch again.