Monday, November 1, 2010

Barrie Bonanza

 It looks as if Lake Simcoe has produced another bumper crop of perch again this year and if today is any indication of things to come, mining Simcoe's gold will be a true bonanza this winter. I got the call this morning and by 2pm we were buying a bucket of shiners just a few blocks from Kempenfelt Bay in downtown Barrie. 
Barrie Marina
 As we walked from the car out onto the breakwall at Barrie Marina, a dozen boats could be seen working the drop off for smallmouth bass, as there's still a full month left in the season. These bass fishermen must be true fanatics because although the thermometer said 7 degrees Celsius, the wind chill was well below zero.

 That being said, we quickly baited our hooks, cast out with the expectation of being able to light a smoke and (at least on my part) put on my gloves. This was not to be the case as we both had fish on immediately and it continued that way for the next half hour nonstop. Finally I had to take a break just to warm my hands up in my pockets. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining but it's the same thing with me every year at this time; I look out the window or watch the weather report and dress according to that information. WRONG. It may be early November but if you are going to do this: DRESS AS IF IT'S WINTER!
Bass Fishermen

   As it turns out, the perch came into the
marina before the bait fish and had voracious
appetites, aggressively competing for our
offerings. This is about as close as it comes to
"production fishing". Five times in the first hour I had true double headers. That's two fish on my line at the same time!

 The perch averaged a good 9", with the occasional one upwards to 12", all of them giving an excellent fight for their size on ultra-
light tackle. A 5' rod makes almost anything
feel big but these guys were truly insane.
Perch Double Header

 Believe it or not, after an hour or so of non stop action, we decided to explore the area in search of a school of true jumbos. We made our way out to the end of the breakwall where the water is deeper and less weedy. Unfortunately it was also less "perchy" too.

 Amazingly, before we returned to our original spot, we noticed several schools of lake trout cruising the drop off. Unfortunately we were not geared up for these large fish, what with the ultra light rods and pinhead shiners. We didn't stand a chance of hooking one let alone landing it, but it was a truly incredible thing to see all the same.

 In a matter of three and a half hours, we caught well over a hundred perch each (most of which were of suitable size for the dinner table), but only kept enough for a good feed. Simcoe's perch population may seem inexhaustable, but erring on the conservative side is never a bad thing with regards to catch and keep.
Tonight's Dinner
 Todays outing was an unexpected surpise that I hope to repeat several times before the big freeze, but if not, the day will always remain a memorable day on Barrie's waterfront.

Until next time, see ya

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