On February 11th, while fishing a South Shore tidal river, Jeffrey Butta hooked and landed a massive white perch while fishing off a friend’s dock. The fish was weighed into Saltwater’s Bait and Tackle in West Islip. At the time, the pending record fish that weighed 3.06 pounds was submitted to the state and had been awaiting confirmation. Just last week, about a month after the fish was initially caught, it was made official. Jeff eclipsed the previous record held by Rich Milled of Lindenhurst Bait and Tackle by over a quarter-pound. Ironically the past and now current records were weighed into the same tackle shop.
When I called Jeff and asked him to describe how the catch transpired, he told me, “we were fishing off the boat all day and were having a great day of fishing.” Well, if you read closely above, it was noted that the fish was not caught off a boat. That’s because after that long day of fishing, Jeff docked the boat at his friend’s dock on the river and proceeded to take a few casts at the end of the day “just for fun.” In a short while, he hooked this fish which he thought may have been a schoolie striper at first. To his surprise, it was a behemoth white perch. Of course, the burning question was, what was the fish caught on? Jeff replied, “plain nightcrawler on a jig head with light tackle.” A true and tested method for catching white perch.
Jeff being an extremely avid fisherman, wasn’t content with the great fishing and proceeded to tell me he and his friend fished the next day for even better action, which included over 40 perch and a bunch of stripers as well.
For those of you who may not know, Jeff is a big part of the local fishing community. He’s currently employed by Steiger Craft Boats in Bellport. For all we know, Jeff might have done work on this year’s 21-foot Dream Boat also.
For more tips on catching white perch, click here.