After the past few weeks, area fishermen are enjoying a flashback to the gold old days.
That’s because, after several years of futility, perch anglers are suddenly filling their buckets with limit catches of the highly prized little beauties in the cold Lake Michigan waters out of Grand Haven.
For a time, bait shop owners couldn’t keep enough minnows in their livewells to meet demand as perch fishermen flooded into their shops.
And it’s not only those who are fortunate enough to have access to a boat who are catching fish.
True, a boat gives you much more freedom to move around and find the schools, although on weekend mornings, there are so many boats anchored just outside the pier heads in 20-40 feet of water, there’s not much room to maneuver.
Pier anglers are also having success, although not with as much frequency. While salmon fishermen line the outside of the piers (especially the north pier), perch anglers are spending their time fishing in the warmer dirty water of the channel and catching fish sporadically.
The toughest part on many days is finding bait, especially if you’re trying to catch alewives off the pier with a throw net.
Pier anglers are also catching a few salmon, but if you want a spot, you’d better set your alarm clock early and be out there at the crack of dawn. Last weekend, the north pier was choked with fishermen by 6:30 a.m.