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icebum1

Jumbo Perch ?

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In any of your guy's opinion where is the best lake in Minnesota for catching those big jumbos? I've had the opportunity to fish your great state the last 5 years ,but we always went after wallys.Headed up the 1st of feb and just wondering where to go.

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I would have to say that Mille Lacs, winnie, and lake of the woods are your top choices, depending on how far you want to drive.

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Try finding a secret farm pond that could be loaded with these babies. There are a ton of them out there that are left untouched.

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Winni gets my vote for Jumbo perch. I have had good luck on Leach, but found that the perch from Leach tended to be wormy.

I am also very interested in what the rest of you think needs to be done to increase the size of "Jumbos" and the number of lakes that have what are considered "Jumbo" perch. Many of us practice catch and release with the larger fish that we catch and just keep the "eaters" I do not believe anyone does this with perch. Should we have differnt limits and regulations on differnt bodies of water?

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"I'd rather be fishing"

Mike

[This message has been edited by Minnetonka (edited 01-24-2004).]

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Winnie and my small honey holes get my vote although the very biggest jumbos I've caught have been on Mille Lacs. I've heard they've been down at Mille Lacs for the past few years so I have not been back. Maybe it's picked up again. I seem to be a magnet for 7 inchers on Leech so I stay away.

I also have a comment on the worm issue. I think alot of people miss out on some good meals becasue of misunderstandings about this. If it's the white worms you're talking about, the DNR consistently says that these cook out and cannot hurt you. I've heard this from other sources as well (in case you don't trust the DNR). I take jumbos from a few of these secret small bodies of water that have these worms. I just flick out what I can (I'm usually not cleaning a bucketful of fish) and the ones that get missed cook out. I've been doing this for years and no ill effects.

Do not fear the worm, boys, put that jumbo in the cooler for dinner.

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Hey Minnetonka, I also would like to know what can be done to increase the size of the "jumbo" perch. There are very few lakes in the state with true "jumbo" perch. To me the 8 to 9 inch perch are not in that class. I was watching a fishing show today where they were catching that size and ranting about how big they were. Winnie is a prime example of overharvest that pulled the size down but I know of other lakes that it seems they just go in cycles because they do not get fished that hard. Any ideas!!!

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Over fishing is the biggest problem. Jumbo perch can be fished out just the same way as any other fish can.

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"Study to be quiet"

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I agree that overharvest has been the biggest factor that prevents more jumbos. Personally, I was happy to see the limit drop from 100/200 to 20/40. I know that many resort owners weren't happy with such a large decrease in the limit, but I couldn't believe the numbers of fish (including small-medium sized fish) that people were keeping in the good old days. Since a slot limit on perch is probably not too reasonable (1 over 10"??), and I'd hate to see them close the season for part of the year, dropping the limit seems to me to be the best way to increase the size of the fish.

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I agree with Perch Jerker on this. I went to college at Bemidji State to get a degree in Aquatic Biology back in the mid to late seventies. I can remember going over to Winnie while in school and there was no limit on perch at that time. Jeff Denny was going to school at that time ( Denny's Resort on Winnie) Jeff was working on his masters degree in fisheries and I remember his discussing the decrease in size due to over fishing even at that time. sometime about 1980 or shortly thereafter, they out a limit of 100 perch per day with 200 in possession. My brothers and father and I started going to Winnie for perch fishing every February about 8-9 years ago. It is our experience that the average size of the perch has started to come back up after the lowered the limit to 20 per day. I believe that if this limit is enforced, the average size will start coming back up. Each lake is different and some lakes may be over populated and should have more fish removed (50 ?)and others should have an even tighter limit (10?)Each lake needs to be tightly monitored to ensure the maximum production in size not numbers.

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"I'd rather be fishing"

Mike

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Sorry guys, but the perch limit never was 100 a day with 200 in possession.

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Hey guy's I'm not talking about 100 to 200 fish in the bucket. I'm driving 11 hrs to catcch some fish! Although a limit would be nice once in a while but not the first priority. We would like to get the true jumbos 2# or better. I've fished the big pond got a lot of 10"rs the seldom 15", nice fish enjoyed every bit of it. Also I've been fishig up there for 5 years now and have never brought any fish home.CpR.But I would like the wife to get to eat a couple ,at least once . I think she thinks I'm fibb'n to her. Refreshments all around !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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wow a 15" jumbo, thats gotta be huge, the biggest i have landed is 13 1/2", how about the rest of you? the best lakes i have found are leech, mille, and lakes connected to winni. the woods holds some monsters, but i have never got into numbers of fish up there. GOOD LUCK

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Snipe:

You may be correct. I have no way to verify what the regs were back about 1980. I thought it went from no limit, to 100, to 50, to 20 per day. Perhaps it went from no limit to 50 to 20. In any event, I would not want to be cleaning more then 20 per day anyway. When my brothers and my dad and I go to winni, it seems like a real chore to clean 20 apiece with a walleye and northern thrown in.

Does anyone know for sure what the first regs were? I would also be very interested in a DNR or other studies that would show a trend towards larger perch after the 20 per day regs were put in place????

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"I'd rather be fishing"

Mike

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100 a day is right. From what I understand the dnr and resort owners are starting to see the size and numbers of perch over 10 rise again.

Biggest perch I've ever heard of caught was a 16 incher from Leech. My personal best is 13 1/2 inches.

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"Study to be quiet"

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It was 100 a day for a long time. Of the big lakes I've only really fished mille lacs, and caught a lot of nice perch, but this year was a bust. My biggest perch actually came out of a little polluted city lake during the summer, 13".

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It was 100 not too long ago. The perch size has increased. Last week I got 16 perch off Winnie.
All we're 12 to 15 inches. Don't have cheeseheads coming over now and keeping 50 6inch perch with the limit at 20 now.

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How about Farm Island? Ihave family that live on the lake. They are pretty old and don't fish much. Except from thier dock,and they just boat around in the summer. Anyone ever fish there?

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We make an annual trip to Winnie and use the fish cleaning service at the resort. Back when the limit was 100 per day they were cleaning over 1,500 fish each night on the weekends and over 1,000 each night on the weekdays. That was every night during the ice fishing season, and that was just 1 resort.

Now that the limits are lower there's drastically fewer fish being cleaned every night at this resort.

The owner said he supported a limit of 20 per day and 50 in possession, since that would let him "sell" 3 days of fishing to his guests. I understand his point of view, but personally I'm glad to see the 20/40 limit.

To answer the original question about where to catch big perch, my biggest perch have come from Mille Lacs, but that's definately been hit or miss (more miss the last few years). For all around quality and consistency I like Winnie. I've never been to Devils Lake, but I'd love to go there.

[This message has been edited by PerchJerker (edited 01-25-2004).]

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If you want true jumbo's, drive out to Devils Lake ND..They don't even consider a perch as a jumbo out there unless it's at least one pound..

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My views on Jumbo perch locations.Millacs has the largest perch I have caught,though there are larger ones on LTW. Largest to date is 15.5 caught by my son some years ago on Millacs.
Winni is my current choice for numbers and quality-if you stay away from the crowds.Millacs will be good late this winter but you will have do do some hunting to find the biggest bulls.
Worms in fish can be avoided somewhat by fishing deeper waters. I know more wormy fish tend to come from shallower weed and rock areas, but that depends entirely on the body of water you are fishing. Just my .02 worth.

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If you nose around Waubay area lakes you can get into the 13-15 inchers...

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Chells

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Chells where is that at? I dont see it listed on the map anywhere.

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vikingtom,
Not all cheesheads fish with the attitude you present in your reply, it's unfortunate that some people do fish like that, but I think "Cheeseheads" are taken too much of wrap on this. I'm a "cheesehead" that's been coming over to fish Winnie for ten years now. We have taken quite friendly to a few of the locals up there and we have a blast coming up. I remember seeing some of the guys take pails of fish in to be cleaned (From MN and WI), some that I wouldn't use for bait. I was disgusted to see guys cleaning 5 and 6" perch. That has to be like eating popcorn chicken at KFC, "Where's the Meat?". We have noticed, especially last year, the quality of perch up and also the quality of fishermen up! We come up for three days and get our limit of nice perch and then try for some slab crappies. We stand by a rule, if a perch is not 10", it goes back. It takes a little longer to find the big ones (12+), but once you do, it's fun pulling (20) 12" perch. Even when the limit was 100, we kept absolutely nothing under 9". I think the limit reduction will, if nothing else, put some ethics back in to fishing. I know I want my children to enjoy the same priviledges tomorrow that I have today.

Good fishing!!

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What do youdo when you catch a 6" perch out of deep water and its stomach comes out of its mouth? I hate cleaning little perch too, but what else can you do? it is illegal to leave em on the ice, and they can't swim back down if you put them back.
I don't think a minimum size limit is a good idea. Why protect the overabundant dinks, it isthe big ones that need protection. I think the reduced limit is doing that.

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simul iustus et peccator

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I agree, there are occasions like you describe. The fish is dead when it comes out of the whole! Then you have to keep it, clean it and eat it. No harm, no foul. However, IMO, I don'tunderstand intentionally keeping every small fish you pull out the hole. I know there are debates upon debates about either fishing them all out or letting them all go, but I have definatley seen a size increase on Winnie Perch since the limit was dropped. Maybe a slot limit is a better solution, it seems to be working for Winnie Walleyes.

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