Do you love big bluegill?
I fish a location that will hold male 'gills all year round (never freezes) but the females come and go. It is a small bay with a max depth of 17', a couple submerged points, lots of heavy weed lines and crystal clear water. Every spring we will get a few warm sunny days that bring the water temps up from the low 40's to about 46-49 degrees.
Every single spring you can watch for the mosquito hatch...once the larva start making their way to the surface to fly away as mosquitos during the afternoon and evening the female gills are all over the bay. They'll stage and feed from 6" to 17' of water. Lots of people will see the fish and try their hardest to catch them - usually without any luck.
I have this pattern timed pretty well and have figured out if you float a 1/32 oz jig with whole red worm the next morning the bite is unbeatable. The females will usually linger in the bay after the first spawn and take off as water temps get into the lower to mid 70's. It seems as if that first big mosquito hatch triggers the prespawn feed bag for the females.
Does anyone else see this pattern?
That's a great observation. I must keep my eye on the mosquito hatch in my region.
As far as females during the spawn, I have found that with both bluegills and pumpkinseeds, the larger mature adult females are on on or near bedding areas for but a brief period of time, as they seem to drop their eggs quickly, then book back to slightly deeper lairs. During pre-spawn right up til the males make the beds, females tend to stage just yards away in slightly deeper water and you can catch them if you fish deeper and out away from visible male fish.
But this is just what I have noticed and it seems to hold true for the initial, strongest bedding movement of any given year when the water temps reach 70 and the moon is close to full.
Mat, do you fly fish? Sounds like a good time to fish some Midge pupae (Mosquitos are a kind of Midge), Mosquito dry flies, and Mosquito soft hackle bead head flies (drowned Mosquito). Last year I started fishing Mosquito soft hackles near weedlines, and just tear up the gills.
Allen, I've fly fished once in Colorado - maybe I should knock the dust off the fly equipment and give it a shot. There are some black fly larvae in the weeds around the banks as well.
Jim, do you think that full moon plays a big role in that bedding movement?
very observant... in my neck of the woods thankfully ... we hardly get hit with any mosquitoes at all... surprising with all the water around me. your right though you have to fish the hatch and it sounds like you found a great tactic.
we're experiencing a hatch right now ... happens right after ice out up north here every year at this time.
http://www.flyfisherman.com/east-coast/the-first-to-arrive-little-b...... like your mosquitoes mine in my locale are probably feeding heavily on these guys right now as we text.
hence the popularity of the little black marabou jig at this time.
just like you guys ive experienced the biguns especially females hang out deep. my best fish was a 10 in class hen caught drop shotting a crawler nugget at 22-0.
yep i agree after spawn the biguns go south and i mean deep.