Bold Gold and Garney Green
Growing Perch for Fishing
It was a place called Kiss Lake, connected by a shallow channel to Joy Lake. Northern Wisconsin, and forty-some years ago. It was our first time on the lake. We were in a canoe and in exploratory mode, just working our way around the lake. The water was incredible. It was clear, to the point that you could see fine detail on the bottom in 12 feet of water. In fact, we could see perch… big perch, despite their bars of yellow and green that camo them so effectively. I dive fresh water frequently, and this camo feature means that at times I can be right in a school of dozens of fish and not know it until they flush.
But that first day on Kiss Lake was memorable…we had live bait, probably worms, and by working the bait near the perch, with just a small hook and split shot, we caught a couple dozen fish from ten to thirteen inches. Walleyes are in the perch family, and both perch and walleye are excellent eating. Perhaps the quality of the water comes through subliminally, but those fish, as well as the largemouth bass we took from that lake, were delicious. Some of the bass broke the six-pound barrier, which is a very good bass in northern Wisconsin.