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Gary Howe perch

Gary Howe holds one of the jumbo perch he caught during a recenth fishing trip on the Mississippi River new Genoa.

Hello friends,

Why would someone that has a well-rigged 18.6 War Eagle in his shed, fish out of a canoe on the Fox River, and two days later on the Mississippi? There is no easy answer other than that same person tried to canoe up the Mississippi back in 1987.

Thursday, March 29

High 45, low 26

On the first two days of this week I was on the Fox River, and now the Mississippi River. I will end the week in Canada. When I get home I am going to find a cave and hide.

So here is the scoop on this trip. Today, my plan is to paddle troll for walleye and northern pike near Genoa, and then anchor near the dam and fish for perch.

Bad luck came my way when just about every fishermen that I spoke with at Blask Landing told me the perch bite was non-existent, but was awesome the day before.

For anyone that fishes the Wisconsin walleye and perch run, the extremely cold spring and very low waters have created a stagnant bite. I do have to say that I kicked some serious butt on the Fox River at De Pere, so I was still basking in the glory of that experience.

I was paddle trolling up river and the occupants of every boat that I passed told me they were not catching anything, and it was very obvious that they thought I was nuts.

When I got close to the dam, I set anchor right among the perch fishermen, rigged two poles with red worms, and another one with a minnow. Just like that, I caught a 25-inch northern and a couple of red horse.

After two hours of only seeing two perch being caught, I moved into a secret spot, and just like that, caught one.

A couple of minutes later I caught another, and at dark, though I only had four, it was twice what I had witnessed being caught by my neighbors earlier in the day.

After dark, I paddle trolled for monster walleye and lost both of the blue/chrome Husky Jerks that I had done so well with on the Fox River.

At 2:30 a.m., with my canoe on the trailer, I hit the Chevy Hotel for a three-hour nap and a change of plans.

Friday, March 30

Today, I would fish with a couple of my pals, and in a boat. Gary Howe, Michelle Chiaro and myself would spend the day in Gary’s 16-foot Jon boat. The last time I was in this boat, a bad storm ate it for breakfast and Gary and I almost went to heaven.

This morning we were heading up river in the dark towards my secret spot with perch on our mind, and boy, would we ever have fun today.

We spent about 10 hours in the boat and had quite the show watching people and trying to catch what I feel is Wisconsin’s best eating fish.

Gary and I thoroughly enjoy verbally abusing each other and having near-death experiences together. I was ever so happy when I had two jumbo perch flopping in the boat before Gary had a worm on his hook.

Rather bad luck came my way when I went into a serious cold spell and Gary and Michelle started putting a hurting on me. Gary asked me if I was going to write that he kicked my butt.

We were on the water until 4 p.m. Today I tried something that really worked and it was fun. I used a 1/16-ounce pink jig, tipped with some red worm, and vertically jigged it like I was ice fishing. This increased my harvest a bunch, and for awhile, Gary had fear in his eyes that his buddy that has taught him everything he knows about fishing, and especially coyote hunting, was on a comeback.

In the end, you can congratulate Gary when you see him in Prairie Du Chien, and tell him that you read about how he beat Mark Walters in a contest for the most perch.

We always have fun!