As a youngster, Perry Jr. turned his attention to northern pike as an exciting fish to catch but soon switched over to bass.
“I found it more fun to catch bass,” he said. “Smallmouth bass are the best fighting fish on the planet. They put up a great fight and are fun to catch. Largemouth put up a pretty good fight, too, and they’re usually heavier.”
He recognizes certain techniques that help when fishing for either smallmouth or largemouth bass but typically targets either species when he’s in search of a trophy catch.
Over the summer, Lake Champlain has become his home-away-from-home, spending up to 12 hours a day on the lake with rod in hand.
“It’s one of the best fisheries in the U.S.,” he said of Lake Champlain. “It’s got lots of different species, and there are different kinds of waters in different places. It’s like chocolate milk down around Ti and is nice and clear up here. There’s different kinds of weeds in different areas. It’s a real challenge.
“I always find it relaxing,” he said of the sport. “It’s very peaceful out there on the water. It keeps me busy and active, and it’s thrilling when you catch a fish.”
Perry attends weigh-ins during pro-bass tournaments on Lake Champlain and enjoys talking with the pros. Kellogg’s pro Jim Tutt took Perry out on his boat one year and shared some angling techniques that have helped Perry perfect his skills.
“That’d be great if I could make a career out of it,” he said. “It wouldn’t feel like work.”
Perry is a freshman at Peru Central School and has turned much of his attention to football season at the high school. He also runs track in the spring but always looks for the opportunity to cast a line in search of that elusive monster fish.
Email Jeff Meyers:firstname.lastname@example.org