Monday, February 22, 2010

A Good Day for Perch

Here is the proof that I actually caught perch!

Last week Tony Gulisano from Chrome Zone Outfitters, known for being a Salmon River NY drift boat steelhead guide, offered to take me ice fishing for perch on Sandy Pond, something we all know I have been less than successful at in the past. I was hopeful because this time I was going with a guide and not my family (no offense but you don’t really catch a lot of fish when the circus rolls up on the ice).

When we arrived at the pond, I thought we’d walk about 20 feet out and then set up shop. I was wrong… WAY wrong. We almost went across the entire pond! I wasn’t aware that a rigorous training regimen was a pre-requisite for this trip. I can’t complain though, because Tony knew where the fish were, and if it meant hiking for what seemed like miles then so be it, because we were going to catch us some perch!

As soon as the shanty was set up I had long forgotten about my hike. The shanty had built in seats and a heater! I was fishing in style!

Tony set up my jigging rod and as soon as the bait was dropped in the hole I had a bite! I had to fight a little, which surprised me because perch aren’t exactly big fish. Much to my surprise a northern popped his head out of the hole. I was excited because, although average for a northern, it was the biggest northern I’ve ever caught (which wasn’t difficult considering I’ve only caught one prior in my lifetime). I had a little photo shoot and then sent the northern back.

We were hoping once the pike left, the perch would come back.

They did, and we actually caught them… loads of them. When one location slowed down, we moved the shanty to another spot on the pond. I’d say throughout the few hours we fished, we caught over 50 and only kept around 30 of the bigger ones. Some were around 6 or 7 inches.

We had an entertaining walk back as we passed a man attempting to turn his two Labs into sled dogs. He tied them to his plastic child’s sled holding all of his equipment and himself, hoping to be pulled across the ice. The dogs thought they could jump on for a ride too. It’s those moments that make my adventures all worth it – it’s when I realize I’m not the only spastic person trying to enjoy the great outdoors.

Tony offered to fillet and bag up the perch for me to bring home, something he does for all of his customers. I passed because I don’t usually eat fish. He told me I was missing out and next time he’s going to cook them for me so I learn to enjoy perch! Maybe I can attempt to cook the perch myself which would make for a very entertaining blog because my cooking skills make me look like an expert sportswoman.

I’m going to leave you some of the photos of our day. It was a lot more fun than I expected – partly because I was warm, and mostly because we caught a lot of fish! If you’d like to book an ice fishing trip with Anthony J. Gulisano (Tony G.), PO Box 395, Pulaski, NY 13142 - you can call him at 315-885-8092 or find him on

My first surprise catch - a northern pike!

My guide, Tony, with one of the first big perches we caught

Checking out my little guy


Here's a good one!

Another close-up

More photos = more proof I caught fish!

Showing off the day's catch