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MONSTER Perch - 'Nuff Said

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Planning any sort of fishing trip to a new body of water always presents plenty of challenges that need to be overcome by a lot of time and effort. When you throw in ice fishing and going out of state, well, that's a whole 'nother ball of wax. But, one of the best things about Fishing Minnesota is the ability to gather information and make connections in hopes of bettering your trip. For over a year, I have been watching the information and stories unfold about trophy perch fishing in the state of Michigan and finally Ken M. (FM - hawkeye43) and I were able to put a trip into motion and head North last Thursday morning. Bar none, probably one of the best trips, open water or ice fishing, ever. The fishing in the UP of the state of Michigan is absolutely unbelievable. To say we were trophy perch fishing would be an understatement. The average size perch was 13.25" carrying a weight between 1 #, 5 oz. to 1#, 8 oz. with girth measurements between 8 - 10"! We also left 3 fish up there for mounting that were over the 14" mark that weighed between 1#, 11 ozs. and 1 #, 13 oz. with girths between 9.5 - 11". Again, absolutely unbelievable. However, without the help of Greg M. (FM - perch king), less of our success would have been possible so we owe a huge THANK YOU to Greg for all of his extra time and effort that went into this trip. Also, Greg recommended accomodations, places to eat, etc, etc and was right on the mark on all of it. Greg, again it was so nice to meet you and all your buddies. You can bet your life savings we'll be back!

It took us a bit to get our feet underneath us but once we figured out "the game", well, no pun intended, it was "game on". Patience rules over mobility and keeping a close watch on your electronics rules the roost. You also need spring bobbers, a powerful rod and mayfly larvae. The local bait shops refer to them as "wigglers".

Day 1 started out under a bit of intimidation with the lake size and what not but once we got settled in, guess who struck first?

It's hard work holding up fish like this


However, not to be outdone, I quickly connected with what the locals call "bed wetters"...

12.5"+ Males; yes, Males!


Typical Fish - 13.75" Toads


Day 1 ended with a day long tally of about 12 - 15 fish and Ken and I felt pretty good, all things considered. We missed fish, lost fish and had a lot of lookers but no takers. However, when I talked to Greg that night, he said, "didn't go to well today, huh?". That's when I knew Day 2 and 3 could be more than special. Well, not a lot changed from our original game plan, it was just that Ken and I now had a better idea of what we needed to do to put more fish on the ice consistently and boy did our observations pay dividends.

Day 2 we spread out as a group to see if there were concentrations of fish anywhere. By mid-afternoon Saturday, um, yes there were...

Greg - "The Perch King"


Group Shot - "Show the Love"


And then, Ken had to go and start a party out on the ice when this happened...

NOTE: All I heard was a lot of screaming and for someone to help get his transducer out of the hole.

14.25", 1#, 11.5 oz., 10.5" girth SLOB


So, we get back to the motel Saturday night, weigh the fish and take the preliminary steps to preparing the fish for the wall, when Ken says to the motel/bait shop owner/taxidermist; "what happens if I catch one bigger tomorrow?" Famous last words...

Day 2 ended with a much better tally in that 25 - 30 fish range and so our confidence was on the rise, especially knowing that the weather was warming and the fish seemed to be getting more and more active by the hour.

Remember what Ken said about catching a bigger fish? Um, this is what happens...BOTH of us catch one bigger!!

Twins; 14", 11" girth, 1#, 13 oz.


Here is an individual shot of my personal best from the above photo with Ken...

"Wiggler" Belly Not to be confused with "beer belly"


Day 3 was more of the same and Ken and I had definitely settled into a groove. In fact, he finally told me to wipe the smile off my face, put my camera away and fish. grin.gif

Folks, these fish are GIANT and there isn't a lake anywhere else that can produce perch like this. They have the same mystique to them as the slab crappie on URL. Until you see one first hand, it's hard to explain.

What a trip!


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Well said, Gus just called me and asked if the "boys" made it back to MN ok, he is just a good all around "Yooper".

I just want to let everybody know these were Typical to Good days out there, can you imagine what a great day is? I can, I have seen it alot this year. I can also say these pictures don't do these fish justice, I have caught 100's of these and each time I pull one through the ice I still giggle..

Ken and Jamison it was a pleasure meeting you, I hope to do it again some time.

As for Perching for the rest of the season, it should only get better and they are only going to get bigger and bigger and bigger...

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 Originally Posted By: perchking

Well said, Gus just called me and asked if the "boys" made it back to MN ok, he is just a good all around "Yooper".

Love that guy.

Thanks again and keep in touch. I see a 2#, 8 oz'er in your future...

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Glad to see you guys got on the Perch! Lake Gogebic can be intimidating for a Yooper, let alone a new guy from MN. Great report and great pics! Greg, I may have to skip the Brule opener on the 29th and head home for the weekend......

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I do miss the U.P. I have never fished Lake Gogebic but hope to some day soon.

My Best old fishing Buddy grew up in the UP and retired there.

( my father in law ) rest his soul. They lived in Caspian and we spent many summers fishing the local lakes. Chicagon , Ottowa , Emily , Indian and few few others he would not want me to name.


It has been years since his health forced him to move and years since I have been there.

With any luck this summer !


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Perchking, I don't even know how to thank you for what you shared with Otter and I. I do know that I have 2 trophy fish that will never be forgotten because of you. It has set a new bench mark, up a few notches on what big perch are. I can say that until you slide a hand under and get hold one of them fish, there is not a picture in the world that will do these fish justice. I do want to Thank You for that.

I have fished many perch lakes for a long time, none of them even come close to this lake. I can truely say that a 3# perch will come from this lake this year from what I have seen this weekend. This whole trip was great, I would give up numbers of fish anytime for the size of them sows. If this was typical to good day, I know I coming back for a great day.

As for the "little girl crying" from that blue house, the words I heard were the best choise ones given the reason. You will get another shot, trust me you have the tools to do it. You will not make that mistake twice, trust me.

As for that Yooper Gus, you tell him this bucketback will be a pain in his backside for a long time, he will know.

Thank again, Happy fishing and Have Fun. Ken

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I guess I wasn't crying but I know something nice wasn't coming out of my mouth when I missed that big one. It was my pleasure showing off this lake, it truly is a awesome lake during the winter. I just apologize that we didn't move around alot, the lake is 18 miles long by 1-2 miles wide and for 3 days we fished an area about the size of a football field. I really wanted to show you around the lake more, because I have better producing spots but as Gus told you, it would have been dumb to move. It is weird out there you will always find fish but to get on a good school like we did and then to have them stay around for that long was a bit unusual, but fun. I am heading to Bingham Bay this weekend, I know there is a record breaking hog just laying down there right now sucking up wigglers, I just need to go and find her...

Ken, we are still having COLD nights I think the ice will be here until the 1st to 2nd week of April then it really heats up, I will tell Gus to get the Jon-boat ready on shore...

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Awesome fish guys--it reminds me of the days (when southern MI actually had cold weather) that we would head out to Muskegon or White Lk (drowned river mouths that open into Lk MI) and could catch and keep 50 of those pigs a day. I remember my Dad telling me that if it wasn't bigger than 11", throw it back! You guys got me going to memory lane--I could probably convince my wife and son that they need to visit my mother-in-law in Houghton but leave me in Bergland!

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