For many years it had been a great way to fill out the depleted tackle and fly boxes on the cheep and meet a few fishing celebrities, but if it hadn't been for TS winning the tickets on a message board joke contest I would have asked for a refund. There were only a handful of tackle vendors participating and very few deals to be had. My biggest regret was that after leaving the show I realized local blogger and tournament angler Ashley Rae at http://www.shelovestofish.com/ was demonstrating her new found kayaking prowess. Ashley is one of those rare anglers who eagerly sets personal challenges and then accomplishes them with spectacular results.
After leaving the show with little more than a free newspaper and a pack of Fat Boy Jigs TS and I headed north to Simcoe for another round of perch fishing. The persistent morning rain turned to snow immediately after leaving the city and it wasn't long before we were faced with stop and go traffic for the next 30 miles in near white-out conditions. The adverse conditions had little effect on the turnout at the lake though as Perch City appeared to be busting at the seams with activity.
Tackle Shop and I must have been spoiled over the last five weeks pulling our sleds over bare ice, because when suddenly faced with dragging our equipment a mile out through six inches of drifting powder we both simultaneously voiced the opinion we were either too old for this crap or we had altogether too much stuff! Feeling like one of Pharaoh's older, chain smoking slaves working on a pyramid, I'd quickly decided that where I stood was good enough to catch the multitudes of perch below the ice.
Over the next four hours we'd managed only about 30 tight lipped tiny perch each, which was about as good as everyone else was doing. The day turned out to be a complete wash out except for some info we got earlier at the show that the main lake basin had finally frozen over and we were no longer confined to this particular bay and it's tiny perch.
The area doesn't hold fish all the time like Gilford, but is more like a drive through diner. We set up near the transition area and within the first minute I lost a 12-13 inch fish right at the hole. Several minutes later I landed my first jumbo of the year, a fat 12 incher that probably weighed as much as half my entire catch from the previous day!
The action was sporadic over the next few hours with long periods of inactivity followed by a feeding frenzy when the next school came through. I eventually resorted to my old habit of hole jumping, moving with the schools of fish. I'm not sure whether it produced any better than staying in one spot but it kept me busy trying to anticipate their movements. By mid afternoon we'd caught 50-70 fish each, ridiculously low by Gilford standards, but iced 18 respectably sized fish for dinner.
|potato salad, baked beans and perch fillets fried in bacon grease|
We'd heard about the ice conditions at Sibbald Point from Doug Poirier who's organized a charity derby at the park on March 3 8am-1pm. Check it out at: Perchin for MS and hope to see you there!