So far this February I have caught chain pickerel, fall fish, brook trout, brown trout, and now yellow perch. That makes a broad extension of what I usually get during this month: brookies and browns and more often than not, next to nothing.
The perch were a bit of a surprise. I checked the pickerel pond which was muddy from the rain, and I'm not totally sure the fish were feeding anyway. If the water temperature is right pickerel spawn under the ice, and because this pond cycles fairly quickly that is most likely what happened. In fact it is uncommon for pickerel to still be active after ice out. Nobody really knows where they go, they most likely just faze into a post spawn lethargy and wait for the water to warm up to return to feeding. But the lake is totally ice free now (amazing what two days and rain can do to a sheet of ice a few square miles in size), and any body that knows carp knows that as soon as the ice goes it is time to hunt.
Because of the water level I knew my best shot was the canal. The stream flowing in was dirty and rich with food, so something had to be there waiting. I did not find carp, but there are still quite a few yellow perch hanging out there. Not the biblical number from December, but a small school of vertically striped fly eaters.
I did not catch that many, maybe 10, but I was glad to see them and it was plenty fun to jig bright colored flies in their faces and watch them nail them.