Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More on the weekend

Saturday morning we were up bright and early heading out to Port Clinton to go perch jerking. It was a beautiful day - mostly sunny yet crisp. Unfortunately it only got worse from there.

I wore a long sleeved cotton knit shirt, a long sleeved hoodie sweatshirt, and a thick fleece jacket. I also wore a pair of polypropelene thermal underwear, a pair of leggings and a denim skirt with a pair of cotton socks and a pair of thermal socks. I figured layering was the way to go. I also had a second jacket, a pair of gloves, a fleece headband, and another long sleeved thermal shirt in a baggie just in case I got a little cold. And it was a good thing I had these things along.

We got on the boat and headed off about 8 am. By 9 am we dropped anchor. We started fishing and weren't really catching much of anything. Sure there were a few fish here and there, but nothing notable. Then the wind picked up. I added the gloves and fleece headband. The boat began to toss. They were only 1-3 foot swells, but it was enough to make it difficult to fish. Ya see, perch school near the bottom of the lake, so you want to keep your bait near the bottom. Well if the boat rises 3 feet, your bait rises off the bottom 3 feet - moving away from the perch.

If that wasn't bad enough, by 10:30 we were experiencing 7 to 9 foot swells. This was when my brain and my belly had had enough. I was absolutely green. Then it got worse! Yes, worse I tell you! Captain Joe decided to move the boat to a different location south of the islands where we could still find fish but where we would have some shelter from the wind. He took off and I was hit with a wall of water. Yep, 50 degrees, 9 foot swells, and now I am soaking wet! So much for all the layers I intelligently wore.

I was completely miserable at this point and ready to burst into tears. Fortunately the first mate took pity on me and he and the captain allowed me to sit in the cabin with him. There I took off a lot of my soaked clothing - skirt, hoodie, fleece, gloves - and sat in the sun. I had taken a dramamine early on and so I was quite sleepy. I laid out with my wet legs in the sun and dried out while I napped. The captain and first mate would come in from time to time to chat with me and see how I was doing. They even offered me a snack of some crackers and a very delicious smelling catfish cheese spread (I politely declined - it smelled good but I wasn't entirely sure the movement of the boat would allow my stomach to agree).

About 2 pm we started to head back into the marina and got in about 3 pm. In all, we managed to catch about 12 fish. No one had done very well on the boat. There was a group of men that took pity on us and gave us their fish, and the mate gave us a few of his. We dropped our catch off at the cleaning shack, unloaded the boat, loaded the car and headed to supper. In all, we had about 30 fish, mostly small. They were 7.5 lbs of live weight, 2.5 lbs filleted.

We found a little diner in town and had burgers for a very late lunch. We finished eating before the fish were ready so we did a little shopping. The used book store was not much to mention except they had a signed copy of Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative. The bead store was more to brag about. The store had every kind of bead and bauble you could imagine packed into this teeny tiny storefront. I had a ball looking through all the beads and wished I had hundreds to spend - I could have easily done it. In the end I got some lovely very large glass "pearls" and some black cut glass beads.

1 Comment:

The Kevin Trudo said...

When I was a kid I used to catch perch on a cane pole with my grandfather. We would walk way out of the breakers up in Milwaukee. There's two stories attached to this post that I save for later, but this brought me back to those incredible days and a less awesome trip catching dolphinfish in Mexico...I was ill.


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