Meandering Mendota Perch
By: Israel Dunn
from the blogs of Shore Bound Hero
It all started with a text message Thursday afternoon. JJMuskie was going to Lake Mendota and was looking for some company out on the ice. Always looking for an excuse to go fishing I made plans to join him when I got off work Friday morning. I don't get a lot of opportunities to catch deep water perch. Bringing perch up from 40-60 feet deep causes the fish to die due to accute pressure changes so I almost never head out the door in pursuit of them. This was an opportunity to try out my new rod and reel combo as well as fish with a great friend.
Arriving at the pick up point I phoned JJMuskie and watched for his ATV coming across the ice. When we arrived at the spot I found that he was all setup and ready to go having arrived earlier that morning. He already had a few fish on the ice and was in good spirits. I dropped my Echotail through the ice and watched my line waiting for it to go slack letting me know I hit the lake bed below. It never reached the bottom of the lake.
The fishing was fast and furious, for about 5 minutes. We iced a few perch than the fishing slowed a bit. It happens quite often fishing Mendota in January. The schools come and go so you just either keep jigging or move. At this point I convinced JJMuskie to stay put telling him that the heavy vibration from the Echotails would keep the schools in the area and interested in our bait. We were on the edge of a break watching the perch come up in waves and hit the lures. It is actually quite interesting to witness on a Vexilar. Deep water jigging is the one time I would want to own a Vexilar so getting to watch one is always a bit of an eye opener. As we were laughing and catching my St Croix rod suddenly doubled over and I fought what would turn out to be the largest perch I have caught to date. We high fived as I lipped a new personal best perch at 12 and a half inches long.
At this point the fishing slowed dramatically and we pulled out our phones to decide on the next spot (more on this in a future post). We figured the schools had moved off the break and decided to look for them in deeper water.
Once we were set back up the fishing continued to be slow. The temperature had dropped off and the cold front had turned off the fish. We ground out a few more meandering perch before I had to call it a morning. It's always good when you can get out fishing with a friend. Even if you don't catch your limit.