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> > Skipped "the" opener, "my" opener was today

Jmd123 has attached these 2 pictures. The message is below.
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Not big but not a bad start either!  First of the year
Not big but not a bad start either! First of the year
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The brookies go back in but these do NOT
The brookies go back in but these do NOT
Jmd123May 2nd, 2016, 11:47 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2473
On Friday afternoon I noticed the traffic picking up in town, and the grocery store was crowded. At a party that night, friends said that their end of town was the same. Well, ya got trout, walleye, pike, and musky opening on the same day...

I didn't want to go to any of my favorite spots and find them crowded, so I let the "flatlanders" have a go at it, and it wasn't particularly nice either, cold and windy. Today was nice and sunny and I had [REDACTED] Pond all to myself, and though I had to fight the wind a little bit, I managed 3 brookies, 2 of 9" and a little guy, and ten keeper perch (always a bonus here like at Reid Lake). Not bad for such a cold spring we have been experiencing and the first time there! All fish took a #10 silver/grey KBF with bead-chain eyes, tried other streamers but that's what they wanted.

I hope all of you Troutnuts had a good opener if you're from Michigan or another state that just opened this weekend!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
WbranchMay 3rd, 2016, 4:02 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635

How do you prepare and cook the perch? Are they tasty? Better then trout? I'm not at all fond of trout. If trout tasted like Alaskan cod or haddock I might not be such a C&R proponent.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123May 3rd, 2016, 5:15 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2473
Matt, do you like walleye? If so, you'll like perch. Same family, just smaller and without teeth. I know a lot of folks who don't like trout that LOVE perch. White, flaky, tasty! I have recently had them cooked three different ways:

1) Baked in a casserole dish with lemon, butter, dill, and paprika. I usually do this with fish I clean myself, I'm not good at filleting (I need to practice!) so I leave them "on the bone";

2) Fried, in a pan with olive oil, after coating with milk or buttermilk & dipped in Drake's Frymix. Oh nummy...; and

3) Deep fried in peanut oil after "shake-n-bake" in Drake's - tasted like perch-flavored french fries!

I'm sure other troutnuts are also perchnuts and have other recipes to share. Tony (Gutcutter) once said on here that it was almost impossible to make lake trout taste bad, an opinion with which I most definitely concur! Well, I think the same goes for perch.

And they just love streamer flies! In this pond and another lake, they are competition with the trout populations, so I feel no guilt in harvesting them, and it's not like they're exactly rare or have low reproductive capabilities!


No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Kschaefer3May 3rd, 2016, 5:29 pm
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
I've heard many say that perch tastes better than walleye. I think they taste pretty much the same. Lightly coated in Shore Lunch original and deep fried in peanut oil is my favorite. Baked the way Jonathon describes would be fantastic as well. I'd even gut them, scale them and grill them with lemon inside like a trout. Their skin is great (really crispy) if you take the time to scale them.

Like Jonathon said, pretty much no wrong way to cook them.
RogueratMay 3rd, 2016, 5:57 pm
Posts: 456

A good opener for you!

Re: perch recipes, one of my favorites follows:
- place the filets in ice water to chill them and firm them up
- drain thoroughly and then dip in all-purpose flour
- dip the floured filets in beaten egg batter
- dredge them in Cheez-its or other cheese crackers run through the blender to make fine cracker meal; I add a touch of onion powder, seasoning salt, and coarse ground black pepper
- pan fry in oil deep enough to almost cover the filet, turning them once when browned
- pull from the pan and add a couple drops of lemon juice to each filet to add some zest
Then fight off the wife and kids for a bite...not easy.

LastchanceMay 3rd, 2016, 6:44 pm
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
That sounds good.
PartsmanMay 3rd, 2016, 7:50 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 320
Jonathon, just got from up there, camped at the campground. It was pretty good weather today and Monday, got a little cool in the tent, when I got up this morning it was 27 degrees. The fishing was a little slow, I got maybe 8 rainbows, and 2 brookies, but it was wonderful to back on the river. There seemed to be more people than in past years, I think some of them were more interested in the steel in there. I'm amazed at what those fish go through to get all the way up there. I'm all so amazed at how much trash people leave around there kinda of disappointing. I vote for drakes and peanut oil, all I used to eat the tails like potatoe chips, don't for get the cheeks to.

TimCatMay 3rd, 2016, 7:51 pm
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
Perch are arguably the tastiest of fish we can catch in Michigan. Nice catches Jonathon! Looks like you had a nice dinner. I agree that it is probably tough to make perch taste bad.

I trekked up to the black for the opener. Same thing there as in your neck of the woods. Got in the water at the town corner lake steps. Looked downstream, saw a guy swinging flies. Nymphed upstream for a bit with no fish landed and caught up to a couple guys who were fishing spoons up stream... I got out and fished Town Corner Lake for bluegills and largemouth. Had fun doing that at least.

All of the other access points checked before that had at least 2 trucks parked there. Tin Shanty bridge had 5 trucks parked on the shoulder! No thank you. The black isn't much wider than 15-20 feet on average in that stretch. The water was 42 degrees when I checked. Rolling nymphs on the bottom for spooked/dormant brookies didn't seem too appealing to me at that point.

I should be heading up your way some time in the near future. I'll let you know when if you would like to join me on the pine.
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
Jmd123May 3rd, 2016, 8:56 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2473
Mike, the steelheaders are all still out - that's another thing to avoid early in the season around here! Plunking their heavily weighted spawn bags into a nice quiet run...sheesh. And there's always several of them, they seem to travel in groups. Back in 2012 I ran into two guys in a johnboat with reeeeally squeaky oars on the freakin' Rifle - all of two rod widths wide..."We were looking for steelies but we didn't see any." Gee, I wonder WHY? A couple of years ago I went through Buhl Dam on the Pine to fish the pool above and there were three steelhead sitting there, right in front of me, that of course wouldn't touch anything I threw at them. Like I could have handled them on a 3-weight anyway!

Tim, yeah too many people on the opener...that's why I waited until yesterday and had the pond all to myself. Of course, it's not as well known as the streams, it's tucked back in the Huron NF on some very windy gravel roads with nothing but numbers on them, and where you park you still can't see the water until you go over a hill. A kayak or canoe is necessary, however, as shore fishing is not productive, the fish are all too far out, same as at Reid Lake, you need something that floats. Come this way and I can hook you up with a kayak and take you there! But the Pine is also fun, true small-stream trout fishing. That's my next destination, quite possibly later this week.

Tight lines to all!! It's just going to get better from here on!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
RleePMay 5th, 2016, 8:12 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
The only freshwater fish that is even close to being in the same class as yellow perch and walleye for eating is the Crappie, although bigger/colder water (as in Great Lakes...), Rock Bass are right up there as well. Lake trout are also very good if you can get them.

That's freshwater fish. So far as my limited experience with saltwater fish, there are a lot of them that are also pretty good. It sort of depends on individual taste and species, etc. I've found that the key to optimizing the flavor of most saltwater fish is to make sure you've removed all the shrink wrap and little remnants of price stickers, etc. before cooking....
Kschaefer3May 5th, 2016, 8:44 am
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
I actually don't think walleye, perch, crappie or any sunfish are that good, and I've heard people argue all of them as the best tasting. They're not bad, they just don't have that much flavor. Then, add on that most people fry them, and they really aren't special. I think that trout tastes much better, mostly because it actually has some flavor. Sure the other fish are white and flaky, but that doesn't really mean "good" (as subjective as the term is) to me. I would argue that northern pike out of cold and clean water is a much better fish to eat. Cut out steaks and grill them with salt, pepper and lemon juice. They must be out of cold and clean water though, otherwise they just taste muddy.

I'm partial to salt water fish. I think fish from salt have a lot more flavor, and a lot more variety of flavor.
RleePMay 5th, 2016, 1:29 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
Pike (as you say, out of cold, clean water..) is pretty good once you do something with all those bones shaped like aerial views of exits on the interstate highway system.


AKKK! Blasphemer!....:)
RogueratMay 5th, 2016, 4:45 pm
Posts: 456
Cod, Scrod, and Pollock- I think these are all Cod, anyway- good eating!

Walleye and Yellow Perch are waaaay up there on the taste scale, IMHO.

'Gills and sunfish, Crappies, OK.

N Pike...the one and only time it tasted like what I'd imagine motor oil would, maybe worse. But then it was likely an older fish and definitely not cold-water since the lake was weedy and maybe 8' at the deepest. Y-bones only made things worse.

Roguerat (I'm no fish gourmand, just picky!)

Jmd123May 5th, 2016, 7:21 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2473
Wow, I meant this as a story about my first fly-rod trout of the year. Of course, as things do on this site, the thread got off-topic...well, sort we have a full-fledged (though certainly friendly) argument about which fish tastes better, on a website visited primarily by people who practice catch-n-release!

I have eaten pike, and they are tasty once you get rid of those god-awful Y-bones! Nothing like a mouth full of needles to encourage your consumption of fish.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MartinlfMay 5th, 2016, 7:43 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3042
Bluegill rolled in white cornmeal and deep fried.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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