Fishing with Mark Bray and Hannah 9/19/18by Capt Juls on 09/19/18
A little background on Mark Bray before I begin...
Mark hails from Wisconsin, and had fished on the Co Angler side of the FLW for many years...back when I was fishing it too. Mark was one of my Co's back then, but don't ask me which event, because I couldn't tell you! That was too long ago for this old brain to remember. lol
Hannah, is one of the engineers that work for Mark's company, and they were down in Toledo on business when I got a phone call Monday afternoon, asking if I had any availability this week. I did. We set the date for today (Wednesday), and I explained that the perch bite had just started to pick up, so it might be a good idea to go after some, rather than the walleye. Mark said, "We're up for whatever's biting. Hannah doesn't fish, so this is new to her". I replied, "I think we should go for perch then, it will be much more fun for her".
They met me at my house at 6am this morning, and we loaded up in my Excursion to head to Rickard's for some shiners and ice. Then, we hit the gas station to top off the Ranger. After a yummy breakfast at Big Bopper's, we headed to East Harbor to launch, because it would be a couple miles closer to my destination, than Mazurik's would be. It would be nice if we had Catawba launch to use, but that won't be usable until next spring....we hope.
The wind was out of the NE at 9mph with gusts up to 14. It was mostly cloudy in the AM, and the air temp was around 68 degrees. The lake swelled with the NE rollers and occasionally white capped with the 2-3 foot waves on top of that....but, it wasn't that bad navigating out to the cans west of the islands, since we could ride the trough all the way out.
We set up over 27 foot of water, near one of the cans on the east side of the firing range. There was a pack of about 10 boats to the west of me, and as we motored closer, the Helix lit up with tons of marks that looked "perchy", so I deployed the Ulterra and hit the Spot-Loc feature to anchor us over that spot.
I gave them each a 4 1/2' Ultra Light rod to use and some homemade crappie rigs with different colored beads. Hannah's had chartreuse beads and Mark's had opaque pink beads. Mine had chartreuse beads also. Mark was the first one to catch some "Lake Erie Gold", and gave me confidence that what we had set up on was indeed perch.
Hannah needed some coaching on how to do it, but got the hang of it pretty quickly. Soon, she was catching perch too. She also kept me busy, because I was baiting her hooks and taking her perch off for her, because she didn't want to touch them...lol Which is certainly okay...not everyone wants to touch a slimy fish. ;)
When Mark's ratio was noticeably more than Hannah's I switched Hannah's bead color to dark orange/red beads instead of the chartreuse....it did the trick, because she was on fire! I hardly had time to catch any perch myself, because she was keeping me busy, busy, busy! Woot! Woot!
We caught our 90 perch in 3 hours, and then headed in. They wanted to get an early start back to Wisconsin, since it was an 8 hour ride for them.
They said they had a great time, and Hannah was such fun to fish with...a real "natural" if you ask me...she should really fish more in the future, I think. She would be good at it.
I'm canceling my Friday trip, due to the wind forecast, and Saturday is still on the table as far as wind is concerned, so I'm watching that, but not making the call yet.