fish had been landed and a smaller number of smaller perch tossed back for another day.
Though those who took part in this trip didn't get anywhere near the 30-perch daily limit, we did count ourselves lucky we caught fish, period.
Capt. Davis and his first mate, Joe Romick, a charter captain himself, both said that limit catches have been enjoyed regularly this summer.
The Fish Ohio Day charter was hampered, Romick said, because of the weather and it was a shorter-than-usual trip.
Romick said the usual charter fishing trip is a seven-hour affair that allows the boat's captain to be a bit more selective on area than Davis could be, given the time constraints.
"The northeast wind muddied the water; cleaner would be better," he said. "But, it's fishing. You try the best you can and hope it works."
State wildlife experts said that the perch fishing has been exceptional this year with catch rates on pace with 2000 and 2001 when 5 million-plus perch were caught.
Despite the weather and time factors, it was obvious that the governor enjoyed the trip. It was one that saw him land his first perch and his first perch double and allowed Ohio's chief executive to expound on what a treasure the Buckeye State has in Lake Erie.
"I enjoy Fish Ohio Day, and I enjoy fishing," Taft said. He added that Ohio has "a remarkable diversity for being a densely populated state. There is every kind of opportunity here."
Taft cited the state's great hunting as well and said the state's outdoor aspects probably attract a large number of people here and bring in a lot of revenue from out-of-state visitors -- in fact about $250 million annually.
"Ohio is probably more of an outdoors state than people imagine," the governor said. "And, there's no question that Lake Erie is the greatest fishery on the Great Lakes."
Taft said the state is committed to enhancing and conserving that fishery and lauded the efforts of the ODNR in working with neighboring states in the setting of catch quotas and limits.
UFor more information on perch charters, contact the Shore Nuf Charters at (419) 734-9999 or (419) 732-2958 or the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association, (800) LEC-BA10.