Lake Cascade yields record perch

Idaho man breaks world record
Posted at 9:51 PM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-06 17:53:16-04

In the early two thousand, fish managers from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game started trucking perch into Lake Cascade, hoping to revive a world-class perch fishery that had slowly declined.

Now, nearly two decades later, the perch are back and people who fish there are catching fish so big they set not only state records, but world records.

Dave Ekmark loves to fish at Lake Cascade. In summer he targets trout, but last spring he was after a species that is thriving here -- yellow perch.

"We're fortunate to be here cause we have this great place to fish and it's right in our own backyard. People come from places like Canada and Montana to catch these fish, especially in winter."

When he says this is a world class perch fishery, he speaks from first-hand knowledge. In May Dave caught one that set a new world record. Then he did something many anglers would find difficult.

"I turned that fish loose. It's still in here, so you know you could catch it right now, or I could. What made you decide to let it go? The size, I don't know, I just didn't want to kill that fish."

On this day it's pretty obvious which part of the lake we are fishing, and if you were wondering how he lands a two-pound trout from thirty feet above the water, he would gladly show you his McGuyver style net.

Dave didn't seem to mind our cameras at this spot.. and he will gladly tell you what he's using for bait.

"They call this a cascade sandwich. Two marshmallows and a whole night crawler."

But if you want to know where he caught his world record perch, don't expect a straight answer. "it's no secret. A lot of people catch big perch in the same place. Right there in the lip."

Wherever Dave's secret spot is... You can be sure he'll be there again next spring, trying to break his own record.

"I think the next world record will come out of here, in not too short a time. Maybe this winter."