2018-07-26 / Outdoors

A day on Glen Lake yields no trout, but lots of perch

Grant McPherson
of the Enterprise staff


GAGE CUTLER holds a perch caught Monday morning while fishing on Glen Lake. GAGE CUTLER holds a perch caught Monday morning while fishing on Glen Lake. Good weather for fishing, and good fishing for perch.

Clouds covered the skies and a light rain fell Monday morning as Gage Cutler, who works for Empire outdoors, and notable Glen Lake fisherman Carl Oleson III went out for a morning of fishing. I was lucky enough to be invited along.

“The perch have started to settle in on Glen Lake,” Cutler said as we were launching in an aluminum fishing boat equipped with depth and fish finders. “They are on their weed beds in the lake, and they are a little more predictable than others.”

We started bright and early at 7 a.m., and didn’t call it a day until around 12:45 p.m. The duo landed all the perch they wanted, and a few rock bass.

The two used shrimp to hook perch, which wasn’t much of a problem as the pair of Glen Lake veterans had productive places marked with a GPS.


GAGE CUTLER and Carl Olsen from left, cross under the bridge for a morning of fishing on Glen Lake Monday morning. The bridge is named after Olsen’s father. GAGE CUTLER and Carl Olsen from left, cross under the bridge for a morning of fishing on Glen Lake Monday morning. The bridge is named after Olsen’s father. After about an hour, they had had had their fill of perch and moved on to try for lake and rainbow trout. According to Oleson, Glen Lake rainbows put up quite a scrap.

The problem was finding them.

“The trout move around so you never know where you will find them,” Oleson said. “You will need to use your graph, and be very patient with it.”

According to Cutler and Oleson, trout fishing can be hit or miss at this time of year. They spent a few hours trolling with lures, but never registered a trout nibble.

“I caught three a couple weeks ago, but today we didn’t catch anything” Oleson said. “It’s very tough fishing out here on Glen Lake.”


GAGE CUTLER sets up his rods on Monday morning for a day of fishing on Glen Lake. GAGE CUTLER sets up his rods on Monday morning for a day of fishing on Glen Lake. But the trout were there, as evidenced on the fishfinder. They went to the deepest part of Glen Lake — all 130 feet — and marked some lakers.

None were interested, though.

“You have to find the side of the lake with the bait, and work the side of the lake with the bait,” Cutler said. “They are always moving around and hard to find.”

The committed duo wouldn’t quit, as they continued to troll. After a few hours passed without a hook up, they were about to head in.

But Cutler proposed trolling closer to shore for rainbows. Again, no luck, although the two always seem to learn something to apply later.

“The more you get to learn the lake, the easier it gets,” Cutler said. “I always read my graph on my boat to find them.”

Perhaps I was bad luck, as the duo had never been shutout while fishing Glen Lake together. It was a first.

I learned about Glen Lake fishing, too, just by listening.

“In spring, the bass fishing was really good,” Cutler said. “Trout fishing on Glen Lake is so unpredictable and rainbow trout are even tougher to find.”

The Narrows bridge is special to Oleson. His father, Carl Oleson Jr., spent much of his life on Glen Lake. People would come from miles around to the Sportsman’s Shop, which Carl owned, to learn what fish were hitting. He never turned them down.

Carl said one of his father’s favorite fishing spots was right at the bridge. People would honk and wave to him and he would wave back.

The structure, which was rebuilt in 2008, is named the Carl Oleson Jr. Memorial Bridge.

“Everyone who met my dad liked him,” Oleson said. “Back in his day, there wasn’t much to do other than fish, hunt and go to work. My father memorialized the fishing and history of Glen Lake when he passed.”

Oleson and Cutler usually come away with plenty of perch and one or two lake trout after a day on the lake, a string that was broken Monday.

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