The few, the proud, the perch anglers of Vermilion Bay Lodge

The perch await Gord's fast and furious fillet knife

My friend Billy always says, “I don’t drive all the way to Canada to fish for perch”. No but he drives all the way to Canada to catch walleyes, musky, pike, bass, and trout. All of which can be had in Wisconsin.

The difference is the setting, the size, and the quantity of fish….for all of these species. The odd thing is, Billy never misses a perch fry. Some of us, most notably, the Perchmaster, waves his perch flag high, fast, and furious. He argued for years that there was a very narrow spring window for catching a sink full of perch. It’s easier in the early spring, but much to Gord’s dismay, they can be caught year round. He won’t share the secret widely unless you ply him with liquor. Or you can ask the Perchmaster very nicely. He may grumble and frown while cleaning a sink full of perch, but inside he is smiling. It just adds to the entertainment value.

I go up to Vermilion Bay Lodge to fish a diverse species of fish. Why leave out the perch for a mid-week adventure and tasty fish fry? With a sport fishing license, you can have a limit of 50 fish (25 with the conservation license). These fish were meant to be eaten.

Bag of Perch on Ice


When the year-round perch rodeo was announced in January of this year (See:  , it made me wonder. Does anyone sell a perch saddle? Is this the world’s first perch rodeo? Would Gord actively promote the event? Would he give us updates? Would the Professor and I dedicate a full two weeks to the pursuit of perch? The answer is no, no, no, no, and no.

Ride 'em cowboy!

For the un-initiated, there is already a white perch rodeo. A Park Improvement Association in Maryland already claimed that. See:  The white perch is actually in the bass family. It’s more like a white bass and has a taste that matches that profile. It’s also an invasive species that has a negative influence on the white bass population. This group gives out a $500 scholarship. Rumor has it that Gord will be providing a $500 scholarship to any VBL guest to attend the Professor’s 2015 Perch seminar. The Perchmaster will be invited but will undoubtedly have an excuse for why he can’t attend.

There was also rumors of another perch rodeo in Maryland, but according to this thread, it is actually a Perch Round-Up. See:  I suspect this is the dreaded Ocean perch that often shows up on the plate after being assured by a waitress that it is indeed lake perch/yellow perch. It is soft and mushy and not worth another mention.

But I digress. The star of the VBL Perch Rodeo is the yellow perch, a.k.a. the Ontario jumbo perch, a.k.a. jumbo perch, a.k.a. humpies, a.k.a “get that mess of fish out of the fish house”. The true perch family includes the yellow perch, walleye, sauger, and many darter species. I think they make better table fare than the walleye or sauger. All are excellent.

We are told that the famous Charles Weiss is creating some type of trophy for this year’s year-long perch rodeo and I would be honored to have that in my office. After releasing a few of these:  I plan on keeping and cooking a few of these this fall:

Gord....the master of the fillet knife.


5 thoughts on “The few, the proud, the perch anglers of Vermilion Bay Lodge

  1. I was enjoying your story Andy till you started picking on me.
    We will be ready to regain our title in 2015 so enjoy your time while you can cause after we show who is on top all we will be hearing about again is how you and the Professor are enjoying your midnight rendezvous chasing Gord around camp in his chaps.

    1. 2015 seems so distant. There is still a lot of time in 2014? Your comment of course will only encourage Gord to post those pictures you seem to enjoy. He is probably digging out those chaps that apparently only you have seen. Oh well. We will be sure to to include you in a few more virtual fishing expeditions this fall. Be sure to send your virtual check to Gord and maybe we will see you in 2015?

      1. That’s right Perchmaster, Andy and I are prepared to be very generous when it comes to virtual fishing. How many perch would you like us to catch for you? Please keep in mind that we abide by MNR regulations, but we can put up to 50 really nice virtual perch in the bag for you, which Gord will clean and ship to your home for a modest charge. You’re a lucky dog.

  2. Yes, the “bull” perch Rodeo trophy is inspired by a Remington bronze sculpture! One day when Canda Post mail delivery is more sensitive to handling delicate artworks it will be shipped to the V Bay Lodge.

  3. Even a perch post doesn’t prompt Gord to post something more recent? I guess I will have to do something about that in a week?

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This is a first class resort located on Vermillion Bay on Eagle Lake. The cabins are very clean and well kept. The boats are new with new motors and are in great shape. The owner will also clean your fish for you after your day on the water. Make no mistake the fishing on Eagle Lake is world class.

The Lodge is owned by Gord and Susanne Bastable who will make you feel welcome and before you know it you feel like family. They are the best of hosts. The atmosphere is low key and laid back leading to a great vacation.

This is my 19th year of enjoying the hospitality of the lodge and i can’t think of going anywhere else on Eagle Lake.


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