My thoughts turned to Joe Grega.

As they should be caught from boats on or near shore on Lake Michigan over the past few weeks with some yellow perch sizes.

Late fall/winter has become perch fishing season.

In 2015, I visited him at his home to talk about his Illinois-record perch (2 pounds, 8.75 ounces), which he caught on January 5, 1974, off the old Arrowhead Club, now part of Braidwood Lake .

It was then and still is the longest running significant fish record in Illinois.

Grega, who climbed a ladder to bring the mount down from its place of honor amid crossed guns and baseball artifacts, understood its improbability.

“I’ve heard stories of people who said they caught big ones,” he said. “I’m surprised it’s standing this long. I keep thinking it’s going to fall.”

Even in 2015, Joe Grega expressed surprise that the yellow perch he caught on January 5, 1974 still stood as an Illinois record. It still stands.

I wonder about our perch.

Lately, I’ve been curious about the size of some perch – as winter caught perch tend to be smaller overall than spring/summer catches.

“Given the rate of growth of perch in southern Lake Michigan, we can assume that the jumbo perch you are referring to is several years old and likely from relatively strong 2015 or 2016 year classes,” Lake said. Vic Santucci, Michigan’s program manager, emailed.

I wonder why perch usually come back to those sheltered areas (slips, harbors, Calumet and Chicago rivers) in late November.

“I can only assume that this is related to food availability and/or protection from harsh conditions in the main lake, especially for young and annual fish,” Santucci emailed.

Charlie Roswell, an assistant aquatic ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, made an interesting point in Appendix B – “Winter Yellow Perch Angling Effort and Catches in Chicago” – the most recent “A Survey of Sport Fishing in Chicago” in the INHS ‘. Illinois portion of Lake Michigan.

”Strong winds can prompt fishers to seek sheltered areas, and prolonged strong winds can increase turbidity (anglers often attribute poor catch rates to turbidity, C. Rosewell personal observation) via wave action.

The findings of those winter creel surveys in 2020-21 and 2021-22 show what winter perch means for Chicago, “representing nine-tenths of the total estimated perch harvest. , , , The perch harvest this winter represents a larger proportion of the total annual perch harvest than in any of the eight previous winter surveys conducted since 1985.

Santucci said: ”For now, I think we’re just seeing recruitment to stronger year classes and harvestable sizes and patchier distributions from time to time, which should lead to more frequent perch fishing. They move as the fish move to their preferred habitats and locations. year.”

wild Things

Once again, there were several reports of sandhill storks roaming the Chicago area over the weekend.

illinois hunting

Because of a permit issue, the application deadline for the first lottery for the spring turkey hunt was extended until Friday.

Muzzleloader deer season is Friday through Sunday. When the harvest numbers for the second half of the firearms season come in, I’ll post them on Chicago.suntimes.com/outdoors,

stray cast

Watching “Yellowstone” is reminiscent of spawning sturgeon on the Wolf River.



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