David Oulette unhooking a juicy Salmon River jack perch.
Brothers Dave and Stan Oulette invited me to go for perch in the Salmon River last Thursday.
Launching at Pine Grove, we headed downstream. Just past the bend in the river, we anchored 10 yards from shore, in 12 feet of water and cast upstream between the two islands.
Using a 2-inch YUM grub, I caught perch ranging from eight to 11 inches in each of my first 10 casts, and then it was every other throw after that.
The brothers kept pulling in perch in rapid succession on minnows. In less than two hours, we had enough to feed us and our families a couple times over; and that's after releasing the 20% that was less than eight inches.
"Spring perch fishing used to always be like this," claims David. "Then the cormorants did a number on them. The DEC's cormorant controls reduced the birds' numbers to the point perch populations are coming back."
While we were getting the minnows, Karen Ashley, employee at the local bait shop on NY 3 in Port Ontario, told us she and a some family had good luck with walleyes ranging from 18 to 22 inches in Sandy Pond last week. As proof, she showed us the fillets.
"Troll worms on Stico Spinners in front of Carnsey's Wigwam restaurant," she advises.