The perch await Gord's fast and furious fillet knife
My friend Billy always says, “I don’t drive all the way to Canada to fish for perch”. No but he drives all the way to Canada to catch walleyes, musky, pike, bass, and trout. All of which can be had in Wisconsin.
The difference is the setting, the size, and the quantity of fish….for all of these species. The odd thing is, Billy never misses a perch fry. Some of us, most notably, the Perchmaster, waves his perch flag high, fast, and furious. He argued for years that there was a very narrow spring window for catching a sink full of perch. It’s easier in the early spring, but much to Gord’s dismay, they can be caught year round. He won’t share the secret widely unless you ply him with liquor. Or you can ask the Perchmaster very nicely. He may grumble and frown while cleaning a sink full of perch, but inside he is smiling. It just adds to the entertainment value.
I go up to Vermilion Bay Lodge to fish a diverse species of fish. Why leave out the perch for a mid-week adventure and tasty fish fry? With a sport fishing license, you can have a limit of 50 fish (25 with the conservation license). These fish were meant to be eaten.
Bag of Perch on Ice
When the year-round perch rodeo was announced in January of this year (See: http://eaglelakeblog.blogspot.com/2014/01/giant-bull-yellow-perch-found-in-eagle.html , it made me wonder. Does anyone sell a perch saddle? Is this the world’s first perch rodeo? Would Gord actively promote the event? Would he give us updates? Would the Professor and I dedicate a full two weeks to the pursuit of perch? The answer is no, no, no, no, and no.
Ride 'em cowboy!
For the un-initiated, there is already a white perch rodeo. A Park Improvement Association in Maryland already claimed that. See: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/15367043/Scholarship-Awards-White-Perch-Rodeo The white perch is actually in the bass family. It’s more like a white bass and has a taste that matches that profile. It’s also an invasive species that has a negative influence on the white bass population. This group gives out a $500 scholarship. Rumor has it that Gord will be providing a $500 scholarship to any VBL guest to attend the Professor’s 2015 Perch seminar. The Perchmaster will be invited but will undoubtedly have an excuse for why he can’t attend.
There was also rumors of another perch rodeo in Maryland, but according to this thread, it is actually a Perch Round-Up. See: http://www.tidalfish.com/forums/showthread.php/398730-Mssa-Essex-perch-rodeo?p=2447762 I suspect this is the dreaded Ocean perch that often shows up on the plate after being assured by a waitress that it is indeed lake perch/yellow perch. It is soft and mushy and not worth another mention.
But I digress. The star of the VBL Perch Rodeo is the yellow perch, a.k.a. the Ontario jumbo perch, a.k.a. jumbo perch, a.k.a. humpies, a.k.a “get that mess of fish out of the fish house”. The true perch family includes the yellow perch, walleye, sauger, and many darter species. I think they make better table fare than the walleye or sauger. All are excellent.
We are told that the famous Charles Weiss is creating some type of trophy for this year’s year-long perch rodeo and I would be honored to have that in my office. After releasing a few of these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiUlMT0SQHY I plan on keeping and cooking a few of these this fall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i6aoa_nANY
Gord....the master of the fillet knife.