While many anglers attention is on the Lake Erie, NY State bass fishing, others have been capitalizing on the consistent jumbo perch action off the Port Colborne to Crystal Beach, ON stretch. The lager jumbo perch are still in the 55-65′ depths and they are getting ready to move shallower to spawn. The surface water temperature is around 48F.
Tony Brecknock and I fished about 1/2 mile off the west-side of Point Abino and started looking for the larger perch in 45′ of water. Baitfish schools were scattered throughout the entire area. Most of the baitfish schools were located within 20′ of the bottom and there were also suspended schools of baitfish from 20-30′ down.
After moving around and trying 3-different locations, we finally intercepted a large school of jumbo perch in 58-64′ of water. We used 5/8 oz. bell sinkers with a “pickerel-rig” and #8 bait hooks. Small, live emerald shiners worked well hooked either just behind the head, or between the dorsal fin and the tail. Most of the hits were light, and it seemed that the larger the fish, the lighter they hit.
As everyone knows, we have had very windy weather almost every other day, so making a trip out on Erie is really a gamble. On our outing, we had excellent water conditions from about 8:30am – 11am, than it got windy and “lumpy”.