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By Geo. H. Murphy.

FOR eating I think there is no other fish as nice as brook trout. You will hear some say that they had just as soon have pickerel or pout; but the pickerel or pout never lived that tastes as good as a brook trout. After one has been without a taste of fish for quite awhile, most any fish tastes good. Christmas of 1915 an acquaintance of mine stopped at my house with a paper water-pail full of yellow perch. "Where in the world did you get those?" I inquired. "Up at the Paper Mill Pond," he replied. This was the first perch I had ever seen caught through the ice. He said they took the bait as if they were hungry. Before leaving me he gave me a dozen of them, and weren't they good rolled in corn-meal and fried brown? Almost as good as tró. No, not trout, but they did taste awful good.

When a boy I lived about two and a half miles from a small pond, that had some trout, pout, pickerel and millions of perch in it.

Rainy days in the summer we boys would go down there, take a boat and fish for perch. We just used a hand line and anything for bait. I don't know how many we would catch, but a lot of them and did we take them home? No, indeed we were told that they weren't quite fit to eat and we believed it and threw the perch away. I feel mean to think of the many nice messes of perch we spoiled. There are hardly any left in the pond now. I am living now within a few rods of a small river with a dam across it right near the house. In the spring after the extreme high water, perch come to this dam to spawn and there are thousands caught there and they aren't thrown away, either. Many a nice mess have I caught there after working hours, or before breakfast. I use a nine-foot bait rod with the common earthworm for bait and a 10 or 12-inch perch puts up quite a fight. I think the record perch was 14 inches. There are some suckers, but I do not care for them. One evening my little son, who is three and a half years old, went down to see if we could get some perch for breakfast. We fished just an hour and got the ones shown in the picture. I let him pull in some of them and he thought it was fine fun and tells me every few days that in the spring we have got to catch some more perch and we surely will if they come.

It used to be quite a task to dress them; but since a fisherman showed me how, it is easy. Take a sharp pointed knife and cut on each side of the large fin on the back; then catch hold of fin between knife blade and finger and you can pull the fin out and also a number of bones. Then cut through the skin just back of the gills, clear round the head. Catch hold of one corner of the skin the same as you did the fin and you can pull the perch out of his skin. A good way of holding them is to stick an awl down through the head and into a board, for you will find the head rather hard to hold on to.

If one has but a small mess of perch, he had better scrape the scales off, as the skinning method wastes them more, but you get rid of some bones and it is quicker and easier. I think where the water got pretty warm in the summer that perch wouldn't be very good; but here the river is cold all summer and they are fine, especially on Christmas day and in the spring before we can go trouting.

Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.

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