This perch forum needs some current reports, so here's one...
I did a spur of the moment trip late yesterday afternoon. Short on time, not well-planned, gear not ready and disorganized, but I had a blast and caught some big yummy perch.
It's almost 3 months since the Ocean Kayak has voyaged for the open-water perch. The gear was scattered and I didn't have a single rig tied. Threw it all in the van and headed out hoping I didn't forget anything vital. Being without any rigs, I just bought a single crappie rig at Henry's and hastily tied it up and that's all I used. Haven't used one in years and found they are not nearly as clumsy to use as many make them out to be.
Halfway out to the pack of boats @95th, the 3V converter for my GPS crapped out. The internal batteries were also near-dead, so I lost the GPS. I ended up taking the 2 batteries out of my camera and got some "non backlit" use out of the GPS.
I couldn't figure out why it took me so long to paddle out to the happy fishing grounds. I mentally thought it was a mile out to the breakwall area, but Google-earthed it when I got home and saw it's more like 1.75 miles.
Arrived on the fish at 3:30 pm which would only give me an hour to fish
before I had to beat it back because of the approaching darkness. Fishing was decent with some sorting. I marked the thickest schools I have have seen in my life. In 33 FOW some of the schools were 12 feet thick! Ironically most of my jumbos came drifting through some barren flat-bottomed areas where no fish were being marked. The gobies knew better than to try wasting my limited time. Didn't see a single one.
About the time it was time to head in, I had 10 in the basket. A kindly boater offered to tow me back in so I could stay a little longer and hopefully get my 5 remaining fish. Darkness arrived and it was time to get my free ride - only his big 225 hp motor would not start. I thought I'd have to tow his big craft in with the kayak instead
. Fortunately he also had a kicker and used that to get us to the ramps. It was my first time out on LM in the kayak after dark. The city lights sure looked cool.
Now it was time to return the favor. The boaters had launched out of Indiana, not 95th and started calculating how many hours it would take to get back to their ramp (if the kicker would hold out, plus they were having overall electrical problems). Ended up giving one of their crew a lift to Indiana to get their truck&trailer so they could leave out of 95th.
They generously insisted on giving me some cash for my time and gas and also gave me the 5 fish I needed to fill my limit. Heading out onto Lake Michigan, you never know what adventure the big lake has in store for you.