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Pile of Panfish

1/20/21 @ 8:31 AM

I was fishing Lake Mendota many years ago during the perch boom. There were pods of people covering the roaming school in deep water. I decided to fish way on the outskirts far away from the crowds but in a similar depth. I drilled a hole and sent the jig down but it never made it to bottom. Big perch were all the place. I was proud of my catch so I started my perch pile. 

Nobody really was paying much attention to me until I see a guy approaching from shanty town. He was at least 70. He told me I was “being an idiot”. I asked what he was talking about. He told me he can see my pile of fish from his shanty with binoculars. He guaranteed many in the shanty town had binoculars and if I didn’t hide my fish I would soon be surrounded by shanty’s. 

From that point in I’ve always kept my panfish away from public view. Put them under a bucket, in a cooler, anywhere but where guys can see you, especially in crowded lakes. 

His parting words were “Whenever I see a pile of perch on the ice I know it’s a guy under 30.” 

I thought it was good advice and have followed it since. 


1/20/21 @ 5:42 PM
USER SINCE 3/17/06

Ya, I never fish the community hole. Not that they are bad guys. I'll go there sometimes,have a cupple beers and chat.  But I fish well away from them. The other day, was out alone, found big schools of perch. The community must have been watching, came back next day with daughter, boyfriend and a couple friends. The entire community had moved over to the spot. No biggie. We drilled at that depth down the way and found more fish. Heck, all the commotion prolly pushed the fish down that way

1/20/21 @ 5:31 PM
USER SINCE 7/24/01

Fact is, many guys would never catch a fish if they didn't coon in on other guys.  We have all the tools at our disposal but the lazy guys just watch and wait...then move in.  

This unsavory behavior is getting worse and worse and moving it's way north as more people try to escape it.

I have spots I won't fish on the weekend or will only fish before a big snow because I know if I'm seen, someone will be there.  I've just been burned so many times.

1/20/21 @ 5:21 PM
USER SINCE 1/10/19

To bring your story more current, the only thing worse than a pile of fish by your hole is pictures of said pile on any social media.  As referenced by posts on other threads I too have seen unbelievable pressure on many  of the places I fish and wish I only had to deal with some old guys with binoculars.   For years I  used  to look forward to reading reports on here about the bodies of water I frequent, now I cringe when I see some of my small lakes pop up on the board, knowing  the wrong post, as good intentioned as it may be ,can draw attention to that lake  like a pile of perch ten feet high and kill that lake in one season.     

1/20/21 @ 4:51 PM
Bullhead Bob

It’s a total jerk move to crowd other fishermen. Especially on the ice. Lots of people means lots of noise. Snowmobiles, wheelers, augers, people crunching as they walk. It’s the quickest way I can think of to ruin a good spot.

Some people, not all, just have no sense of personal space. Probably the same guys that get up in your face when they talk to you.

1/20/21 @ 2:59 PM

I stay away from others, keep my shack flipped over always if catching fish. If I am out hole hopping and find another good hole I'll drag the shanty over and flip it over. Always keep my fish out of sight when leaving the ice too. 

1/20/21 @ 12:46 PM
USER SINCE 12/25/09

People get real friendly when they see flopping fish, panfish go in a Walmart bag (keeps pail clean)in my Vexlar pail a.s.a.p .  Also don't be too friendly with the walkers and talkers. It is shocking how close people will get to you when they see you catch a couple of fish just to see what you have on be it color or live bait.  I will not use marker floats when in the boat if others are around, had guys drop anchor right next to my float while I am drift fishing.

1/20/21 @ 12:40 PM

Never talk and never draw attention to yourself.  As much as people like bragging I like fishing the same spot the next weekend more.  

1/20/21 @ 10:07 AM

I learned some 40 years ago what you are describing Chaw. I live near the Wolf River and fish there often especially the spring walleye run. I do access and fish in an area that is more remote and has lighter traffic, mostly locals but we do see enough “tourists” too. There were times if a non local would see you fishing a spot more than once you would find them there in the future especially if they saw you catch a fish there. I fish Winnebago for perch and when anchored up I watch for those boats that cruise around slow past anchored boat fishing to see if anyone is on a good bite, there are times when I have noticed a boat cruising like that I would pass on a hook set opportunity or raise my bait up off the bottom for a while to not give the cruisers an indication I had a good bite going. When ice fishing I use an Otter one man flip over shack. Even on nice weather days I keep it closed to keep from putting on a show if I am on a good bite. While ice fishing I have had a total stranger zip open my shack door to see what I have caught. On Winnebago I’ve had a boat anchor handshake distance away when they saw me pull in some perch. 

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