A good way to enjoy those tasty perch
By Hookemharry

Posted: May 2, 2006

If you’ve been one of the lucky anglers to head to the good perch bite on Flathead Lake’s East Polson Bay, here’s a good idea on how to make the most of those delicious fillets.

Maureen Theiler, from Polson, sent me an e-mail last week. She explained that that her whole family used to live on Finley Point on Flathead lake years ago and they were very successful perch fishermen who cooked them in many different ways.

The Theiler family would pickle them, poach them, pan-fry them and, of course, deep-fried those delectable perch fillets.

One way, however, that you may not have tried in adding perch to your table fare would be to create a chowder.

Theiler, who calls this her “Famous Perch Chowder”, was nice enough to share the recipe with you. It goes like this:

Into an extra large soup pot, place two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of butter. Add eight to 10 peeled and cubed potatoes, half a dozen thickly sliced carrots, a bunch of sliced celery, a couple of roughly sliced onions, a couple of cloves of crushed garlic, some dried
parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

Braise the vegetables in the pan on medium-high heat, stirring the vegetables until they begin to tan. Add enough water or veggie juice to cover and simmer till they are tender.

In a separate pan, combine enough powdered milk with water to make a couple of quarts of milk. Bring it to boil and thicken with one-half cup of flour mixed into about a cup of water.

Stir this into your vegetable mixture. When it is thick enough, add freshly rinsed whole perch fillets. Continue to heat through 7-10 minutes so that filets remain whole or in chunks.

Theiler recommends serving black iron skillet corn bread and apricot preserves. For her special recipe for corn bread, click on Maureen Theiler’s great corn bread recipe

In some fishing news, walleye fishing is still slow over at Canyon Ferry, Hauser, and Holter Lakes. The walleye bite hasn’t seemed to come on yet at Tiber Dam either.

However, if you have the time, head for the Big Dry Arm on Fort Peck Reservoir. The walleyes are starting to bite probably because the water temperature is warmer in the lake and they have already spawned out. Two weeks ago, Bob Magnuson of Miles City and Tim Davis of Rosebud,
caught 38 pounds of walleyes out of the Big Dry Arm in the one-day Tough Guy tourney. The weather was nice and the fish were biting.

In another report, Marvin Loomis from Brusette and Casey Thomas from Jordan fished by Fourchette Bay on the west-end of Fort Peck and caught and released quite a few smaller males last week.

Gene Moore, from Lakeridge Motel and Tackle Shop, reported that if anglers were catching walleyes and he expected the walleye fishing to be excellent in the next couple of weeks in the Dry Arm. So if you are on the fence to go walleye fishing, you might want to head east.