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I have been fishing inland lakes in the past and just bought a used 25 foot boat and have it docked in the Fairport Harbor area and have some questions .
1. were is the "HUMP" and how many miles off shore is it ???
2. how many minnows/shiners to buy per person for perching ???
3. plan on going on Sunday 7/21 will the bite still be on since it is supposed to rain heavy on Saturday???
4. How many hours to limit out on 30 perch???

Any Help to this newbie of Lake Erie will be appreciated .

p.s. - This weekend will be the first time taking the boat out and I am already nervous and have anxiety about docking the boat so a cooler filled with perch would be nice . Does anybody else get nervous or anxiety when coming back in to the dock and docking the boat ????:confused::confused::confused:
 

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The hump I believe starts about 3 miles nw of the lighthouse and continues out to about 6 miles. If I remember right it is like 39 FOW on top and 52 on the bottom. Watch your depthfinder. Try setting up on top of the hump and you can continue letting anchor rope out as you try the top,the edge, and the bottom of the hump. Perching can be hit and miss. Ussually take about 3 dozen minnows per person. Can take from an hour or two, to not catching more than a handfull all day. Just don't think about limiting and just look forward to a fun day on the lake. You don't have to catch any fish to have a good time. But boy it pisses me off LOL. Good Luck, I know I am ready for some the Lake Erie Gold. Biggest thing about your anxiety is just being new to it. Just be cautious, Biggest thing is DO NOT GET IN A HURRY< the dock isn't going anywhere. When you think your doing things to slow go slower!
 

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I can not comment on fishing in Fairport. However also as a new boater I have found that docking takes paractice and finess.
My tips are:
-Come into dock with a wide turn
-Use short bursts and let the momentum carry you
-Be mindful of any wind or current as it may push towards or pull you away from the dock
-Invest in a Telescoping Boat Hook
- GO SLOW
 

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Well I'll take a stab at #2 figuring the "limit is 30 perch" it would be best to have a few extra cause of missed bites..
Buuuut, most bait shops just estimate the count... So you actually get a few more than you ask for... We plan 2 and a half dozen per person, to make sure we have enough..
Any extra we have at the end of our trip, if they are nice sized minnows, we take home drain the bucket of water.. Lay the minnows out to drip dry a bit, then put them in saw dust and a freezer bag and freeze them for backups the next time out.. The saw dust keeps them from freezing together in a solid block.. Has worked great for us..
#4
No one could possibly answer that one.. All depends on the bite...
If you have never really ran a boat before..
One thing to remember, a boat does not steer like a car.. It pivots around the bow of the boat, not the back (transom)


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Just remember even us 20+ year veterans have trouble at the dock every once in a while. Practice helps. I back into my slip and in the NNE winds last weekend drifted past and had to make a second run at it, it happens...

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I fish the western basin our minnows are sold by the scoop. I usually take a scoop per person. If I have a larger crew I will talk an extra scoop. Rather have enough than to run out.

Docking, it just takes practice. 25' boat is going to have a fair amount of weight to it. This means it will take more time to stop it. So beware. I will line up with my slot. Drop her in natural glide while steering with the motor using it as a rudder. I will kick her in forward only for a second or 2. Once about the first 25% of the boat is in the slot I will start reversing. Make sure you come in slow, you can hurt much.

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NW of harbor about 3 miles. I've the hump a few times and done pretty well on Perch. Minnow wise it varies. Usually 3 dozen/person. Some days I have 60 minnows left when I come in with my limit of perch. When they are really hitting you can catch them on minnows cut in half. Other days I use all my minnows. They can be picky believe it or not. Main thing is make sure you have plenty of anchor rope so that your anchor holds. No anchor and the fishing is almost impossible
 

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My buddy in the Coast Guard gave me this advice on my first year as a boat owner. Only go as fast as you want to hit something. If you can find an empty dock take an hour or two just pulling in and backing out and getting a feel for your boat. I had the same feelings my first time docking but it goes away with seat time. 90% of my docking is in neutral and coasting. If you have an experienced boat owner as a friend offer a free fishing trip for the cost of his pointers is priceless. He will give you guidance on how to dock. Another great tip is tell your crew to stay still while docking. As they jump from side to side it will cause you to change direction. Hope this helps a little.
 

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A lot of good info has been shared here. We usually buy 4 dozen minnows per person. Leftovers are better than running out. Also, we started putting live minnows from the bait shop directly into a small cooler of ice. No water. They keep much better and then we just freeze the leftovers for next time. Watch the weather. As to finding the hump, head NW out of the harbor on a weekend and just look for the boats. You'll find the hump quickly. I float out of Fairport frequently. PM me if you need any help.

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I totally get your excitement. Someone said "only go as fast as your are willing to hit something" and I would agree with that. I was out of the Rocky River on Sunday night and didn't think I had hit anything. When I pulled out, I had a chunk the size of a quarter out of my hull. Bummer!!

There is a lot of stuff in the water these days due to the heavy rains. Take your time, go slowly when docking, and like others have said, forget about limiting out and just have fun. You will eventually get the hang of the perchin!! Use an up and down rig, experiment with weights to keep it on the bottom. Move your rod from side to side and use lightweight rods. You can get some real lightweight rods from Walmart for $20 and it is a blast pullin up a double banger on those little rods.

Make sure you post how you do.
Doc Yates
 

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I recommend having your boat almost completely stopped 1-2 slips ahead of yours. Then just put it in and out of gear. When your bow is lined up with the dock prior to yours cut the wheel hard to your dock side and continue to push it in and out of gear so your speed is low. Once you get movement in your turn start to straighten the wheel. Remember you're turning the back of your boat. It is different than steering a car with the front tires. When you turn your boat you are actually pushing the stern left or right.
 

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I guess were lucky in the western basin as far as minnows go. I get one scoop per person and one extra scoop just in case and we always have plenty of minnows. I would hate to buy 3 dz per person cause that would get damn expensive! We've been cutting minnows in half and doing better the whole minnows. One other tip to try is lay your spreader on the bottom with slack in your line for 5-10 sec then slowly lift and set the hook. Just make sure your bait is on the bottom very important and you will catch less junk fish.
 
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