Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We enjoyed a long weekend of fishing and fireworks over last month’s Independence Day as the Armitage clan visited Geneva on the Lake (GOTL) to gather photos and first-hand experiences for an article on America’s Best Boardwalks for AAA Home & Away magazine. We stayed at The Lodge at Geneva, a former state park property that is one of our new-found favorite accommodations, steps away from a classic “boardwalk” scene that you’ll have to read about for details. We towed the family boat up and spent our days fishing the open waters of Lake Erie within sight of the waterfront Lodge and the GOTL strip. We quickly learned that the walleye bite was off that weekend, and quickly turned to jerking perch from depths as much as 70 feet below the hull of our 20-foot center console boat.Yellow perch don’t grow larger, and any fish over 10 inches qualifies as a “jumbo” on most boats. My wife Maria gave me a serious stink eye when I attempted to swing aboard — rather than net — a huge perch she had hooked and brought to the side of the boat. The perch threw the hook the moment I lifted it out of the water and with a flip of a deep-green tail it swam back into the depths.Or at least it tried. While my bride berated me for losing her trophy, the fish failed to fin back to the depths due to a serious case of the bends from being cranked up so quickly from such depths. Soon it was bobbing on the surface just off the transom but out of reach of the net I should have use the first time it was boat-side — and now drifting farther away from our firmly anchored craft.Realizing the rare second chance at catching the jumbo perch, before I knew it bikini-clad Maria had grabbed the net and jumped overboard, dog-paddling toward her fish in the 68 degree water. Netting the flopping yellow leviathan, she sculled her way one-handed back to the boat, arriving waterlogged and refreshed on the 80-degree day. Her hard-won perch was a dandy, measuring just over the 13-inch mark that qualified it for Fish Ohio trophy catch honors and a certificate, and accolades from her son and husband for the over-the top effort.