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Perch gone wild

  • Published: Monday, 15 January 2018 20:05
  • Written by Matthew G. Hauge
  • Hits: 2079

20180114 Dammen 03Once in a while we experience the fish going totally bananas about our baits. It doesn't happen often, maybe a few times in our lives, but these two days where totally perch gone wild. This winter the ice had not gotten a chance to get that thick before we got snow. the result of early snow is that the snow isolates the ice so it slows down the freezing process. If there is a lot of snow, the ice gets pushed down, and we get water on the ice, that after a period freezes, and gives a second layer of ice on the water. Unfortunately this year we got just enough snow to slow the freezing process, and we didn't get more until january, so no one fished up by the dam until the middle of January. Sonia and Modi where the first, and then Sonia and I went out a trip, but none of us really fished the bay until January 14'th, and then it was Sonia and me that where out. 

 

I had been sold out of bait fish for some time, and had to catch some more, and Sonia  wanted some baitfish for her self. We use the roach for fishing pike, and tourist that come here don't know where to catch them, and nor do they have the time, so they'd rather buy them. This presents a good opportunity for me to promote my sales of other fishing gear, so I always keep a drawer in my freezer full of bait fish. Of course this meant that we chose the spot where the Roach go. The bay is not big, a couple hundred yards (meters) wide, and with maybe the same in length, but it is on a river, so the current and bottom dictates where the various species spend the winter. Up, out on the left side we usually find roach and whitefish. The same goes for the upper right side of the bay. In the main middle are the school of larger perch patrol, and the inner part of the bay we usually find the small perch, though we can find them just about everywhere else in lesser numbers, stealing our bait. The pike are kind of everywhere, but they too have their areas. Also in the upper right side of the bay we can catch grayling. the chances get better the closer to spring we get. Well, today it was time to try the upper left corner for Roach, and maybe a nice whitefish or two. As usual we both start by catching a couple small perch. Good to get them out of the way so they don't go stealing our bait all the time. the smalles of them are down to 4 cm long, and they can be quite irritating. Only thing that is worse at stealing bait are the small whitefish. they are about 4 inches (10cm) and have tiny mouths that are virtually impossible to hook as the suck the maggots off the hooks that are too big for their mouths. We do however catch some of those as well. I like using very light gear as it will catch everything from the smallest to the largest fish. 20180114 Dammen 02
Somia pulls up a couple nice whitefish. nothing unusual for this place, but the roach seem to be totally absent. It actually takes about an hour before I catch one, and by the end of the day I have only four. not near enough to sell as I sell them in bags of ten. Bored of the lack of roach I decide to try the other side of the bay. The first hole I drill, I catch only whitefish. several of the mini's but a couple larger ones as well. they will do as bait, but not for sale. I use them my self. The next hole I catch only perch, nice perch, so I swap rods, and and start fishing with a swedish pimpel and  chaines hook. The perch start biting faster and faster, and soon I barely get my line in the water before they are there. SOnia, bored of fishing for roach, decides to go for some perch for the dinner table. She finds a spot where I've been catching them, and starts pulling fish as well. 
My Deeper doesn't show any fish, but this is a common problem in shallow waters. It is only a meter or so deep, so the fish finder only sees fish that are directly under the hole, which of course they aren't until they are about to strike at my hook. They pop in so fast that we barely see them before they are on the hook, and when my hook is out of the water I can see a fish or two swim by under the hole before I get my lure back in. If it had been deeper water I would probably see a huge school of fish standing there, and the entire school go after my lure as I move it up and down in the water collomn. 

20180114 Dammen 01After a while it starts to get dark, and Sonia starts to get cold, so we call it a day, but we also agree to go back the next day. The next day the weather is much better. while it was snowing the day before, this day was sunny, but also a bit colder. As the day before, we go first for the roach spot in the upper left corner of the bay. Today we catch a few roach, and some whitefish before I start getting cold, and have to move around a bit. It is not that cold out, so I didn't take my sweater on before we left. We are also both fishing without gloves as the fish are biting with such short time between that we don't have time to put our gloves on. Making more holes warms me up, and I decide to test a new jig (Mormyshka that I have made. I call it Gammarus after the lating name for the animal it is supposed to imitate. A more common name for this creature is "Scud". it's a small shellfish near related to the shrimp family that fish love to feed on. It is also what gives trout their delicious red color to their meat. I bait my hook and drop the "Gammarus" to the bottom and start bouncing it just over the bottom. Nothing happens, so i start fishing it in the same bouncing motion up from the bottom so it looks like it is swimming up torward the suface..... Smack.. a nice perch hits the jig, and I quickly pull it up. Down again with the Gammarus, and seconds later another fish is on. this one the same size as the last. nice eating size. I concider eating size between 100g and 500g or from four ounces to a lb. Much bigger and they start getting tough to fillet. their skin with scales starts getting tough. They also start getting more valuable as breeders and to keep population control in the river. take the big ones away, and the small ones take completely over and desimate the food supply. The result is a river full of miniature fish that no one wants to eat. Therefor I very rarely take perch over two pounds (1kg) for food. 99% of the time I let them go back in. 
This fishing is just way too fun. I completely forget to keep an eye on Sonia if she needs help. the one fish after the other pops up from the water. The time between each fish landing on the ice is merely seconds. Finally we just have to say that enough is enough, and start packing our gear, or we'd end up having to walk several trips back and forth to the car. I only want a few fish for our dinner, but Sonia wants everything she's caught, and I've of course will ahve to carry. It's a fairly heavy load I carry back to the car. We bot agree that we've got enough fish for a while, and the next time I'm out I will only be fishing roach and whitefish for bait. This was fun, but there is no need to decimate the perch population. I know that there wil be others like Sonia coming here that have no limits, and they are able to carry everything they catch with them back to the car, let alone take two trips if needed. 

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