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Thread: Why are perch numbers down on Simcoe?

  1. #1
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    Default Why are perch numbers down on Simcoe?

    Ive fished Simcoe for 22 years and used to get lots of perch in typical places whether vast or focused, any season, even when I was a rookie. Ive noticed much less huts on the lake in the last 10 or 15 years as well. Is it the round goby, who's population density is heavy, that has been too much competition with perch (and other small fish) for food? The last nearly 10 years has been lots of dinks and only a few keepers and the rare jumbo or two. I went out of Gilford on March 6th and hardly got any, which I know can happen, but one hut close by got a few jumbos.

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  3. #2
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    If you compare today to the Simcoe of 30 years ago:
    Intro of zebra mussels - massive elimination of phytoplankton thereby also affecting zooplankton (primary productivity takes a hit)
    spiny water flea - big hit on remaining zooplankton population. Lake probably now devoid of some species. Further hit to primary productivity.
    Black Crappie invasion - direct interspecies competition, probably also predation. Massive biomass so comp would be substantial. Add another consumer species to a food web and your productivity goes down.
    Gobies - direct interspecies comp. Massive biomass so substantial.
    I've noticed that today's perch (compared to fishing it in the early 80s) are much smaller on average. You really see it when you fillet a bunch of 10 inch males. Hardly any meat yield now on the big females. Size at age and condition factor will definately be down if you compared growth data from the assessment unit's database. A spring trip to Atherley is a mere shadow of what it used to like 30 years ago.

  4. #3
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    I think they move alot more now too. Usr to be safe to say, early ice they'd be in the shallows still in cooks, then out to deeper mid winter, then back around d ice out....not sure if 100-200 huts in cooks with drills going, tunes, walking in huts etc play a factor, but I think they just may be moving around more....she's a pretty big lake to cruise....
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  5. #4
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    In my opinion, the major decline came when gobies began to appear. I think they do a number on the eggs.
    Iíve been fishing Simcoe for over 30 years and have always been able to get a meal when I wanted one, even during summer months. I fish Virginia Beach area and Itís been about 5 years now when I first began catching gobies while perch fishing. At first it was one here and one there but now I could see them strewn all over the bottom in my usual perch spots. Those perch areas are nowhere near what they used to be.
    I wish we could brainwash all those cormorants all over Georgiana island to only eat gobies. The increase in cormorants may also play a factor.


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  6. #5
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    Lots of jumbos

    Having fished many of the tournament's the size has actually gone up . Not uncommon for 10 plus Pound bags anymore for 10 fish. some areas a 6 to 7 pound bag and you are golden in the top places 7 years ago. Now that won't even put you in the top when you need an 8 pound bags to come close to a pay out there are some good size fish.

    Gobies have messed up many of the fish food habits . Lots of fish have changed and still changing. These Jumbo's are not feeding often kind of like a snake big meals less often. That's what a few of us are talking about . A few years ago they were stuffed with lots of little gobies would be common to see half dozen or more . This will make them eat more now they coming in and looking for 1 goby they are foraging on and that's it. Apparently they are eating these big gobies 4 plus inches how many will they eat before going to digest ? 1 four inch goby would compare several little ones. That's one theory lol.

    How do you eat when your digesting a big fat 4 inch goby and the head is the size of your thumb. Makes sense I haven't fished much for them this season so I have no idea and this is just a theory . The fish are there but not biting and the ones that do apparently feeding on these large goby.

    Jumbos are just about to pick up it's a shame the ice conditions took a crap so fast . In a way it's a good thing won't be many or fishing the prime time.

    Really hard to say what's actually happening. But there is plenty of big fish the lake has changed and so has their food habits .

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  7. #6
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    I fished Atherley once in late November about a decade ago while spot hopping there and the Talbot Canal. Got a few, one jumbo, but even then fishing was better. The canal has stopped producing and you can see the bottom and you can't even park there anymore. I did OK prior to Lagoon City construction once.

  8. #7
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    Atherly used to be incredible in April back in the late 70s and early eighties. You'd anchor in 18 ft of water and just use a pickerel rig with a bell sinker. Didn't cast. Just open the bail and let it fall. Click the bail over and give it a haul. Two to three perch on every lift and they'd be 10 to 14 inches each. You'd be up till 2am cleaning fish. Those days are long gone now.

  9. #8
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    Down here on the St Clair, the perch have been full of gobies, and have been much bigger. I suspect the Simcoe perch will be thinning out the goby population as well.
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  10. #9
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    Impressive. My last good days were the 2000s in Cook's Bay in 20 ft and a little bit of Virginia Beach.

  11. #10
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    Is toxicity a concern considering that gobies are bottom feeders? Of course the perch somewhat are, but I have to ask.

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