Do you love big bluegill?
Well, I had never done it before, but today I decided to try tipping my 1/64th oz shad dart jighead with two different baits to see if it would make a difference. I fished a small public lake in Adams County, PA from 3 to 5 pm. Weather was splendid...68 degrees and partly sunny skies and calm and the fish were biting.
Last week I had to go to the drop-shot/live worm rig to catch fish that had settled near the bottom of 6-8 feet of water after a cold front. Not today, as I found fish 5 ft from the surface over a submerged creek bed. Using the jig with a small piece of garden worm, I caught fish steadily until I reached a count of 19 fish, then decided to try the Gulp! minnows as a tipping bait. Since the entire 1 inch minnow would make a bulky, oversized offering for the gills, I decided to use the back half of the minnow as a tipping option, suspended just like the jig/worm option. Here are the results...The first three fish I caught on the Gulp minnow tipped jig were the three largest of the day at 10 to 10.5 inches. I don't know why this is, maybe a small group of bigger fish just cruised in at this particular time, but the top three were on successive casts. Maybe the jig and Gulp presented a slightly larger offering that only the bigger fish would approach...just a guess.
I caught the same amount...19 apiece...on each tipping option for a total of 38 released fish. Most of the fish on the Gulp tipping were 9 inches or better, and the worm offering fish were just slightly smaller. I fished each option for one hour.
Worm fish tended to take the bobber under with more gusto, and would make the bobber dissapeer. The fish that took the Gulp tipped jig tended to 'trail off' with the jig, not always pulling the bobber below the surface. Sometimes, they would just 'tilt' the bobber and you had to be able to recognize the strike. Most fish were caught over the creek channel, which is easy casting distance from the shoreline.
So what did I find out? Probably, not much. The fish were on the feed as a warm 70 degree November day had them going and action seemed just as fast with either bait. Water was at 56 degrees and clear. The only noticable differences was the 'trailing off' bites on the Gulp and the larger fish on same. Need to experiment more...maybe this Saturday at another lake!
my most productive presentations for open water season 2014... surprisingly started with crawler segments and ended with gulp pink maggot. under the bobber catching my master angler pumpkinseed, micro drop shotting and a slab ice jig tipped with gulp on a single hook (bill modica s slab spooning technique http://bigbluegill.com/group/northamericanspoonchuckers). im the type of angler that i believe notices patterns easily and drifts with success and sticks with it till something is proven better in a situation. i take multiple rods with me and experiment with rigging constantly. i start my next game with what was proven to me in the past and i havnt found anything yet that is more economical as well as productive.
checking on my worm farm just today shows they are multiplying and growing healthy in numbers... haven't used more than a dozen since July! no more bait dependency!!!
it is my go to setup when trying to identify a school of fish below me by vertical jigging.
Bill Modica's spoon gospel has been a life-saver numerous times for me since I first put it into my bag of tricks several years ago. It's a multi-species tactic as well. The Rattle Flash spoons by Blue Fox have accounted for numerous trophy class hybrid sunfish when all else failed. Amazingly, my best performer was the 1/4 oz spoon that just seemed impossibly too big fo panfish, yet it worked! Here's a couple recent fish on it...
Jim what a great job you are doing on this!... i know its a dirty job but somebodies got to do it!
I am way late to this party, but will throw in a little of what I know first and second hand...
I use it very sparingly; small pieces on the trailing hook of a spoon or other artificial. I think it helps when the bite is slow. I have seen small fish attacking it like it was real bait. I debated whether or not it is a good idea to throw the last little chunk in when I take it off because I am done or replacing it because it has gotten too small (like pea sized small). If I did this in shallow reasonably clear water where I can see it, it does not make it to the bottom. Little fish devour it. I did searches to try to figure out if this is bad. This is the best answer I found:
based on that, I think the answer is that it isn't bad for the fish, but it does wind up on the bottom and will take a while to degrade (it is biodegradable). That said, my answer is that it is more responsible to put the tiny leftover bits in the trash.
I like that it lasts a long time. I know it isn't as good as new after a while but you can take several trips to use it up and it still seems to work okay. But what strongly flavors my opinion of it is how well it works in shore. I have fished the Gulp shrimp with nothing else and done pretty well. My second hand knowledge is from guys I know who fish inshore almost exclusively. Some days they are dragging in speckled trout all day long on Gulp and very few people using anything else are doing any good.
I don't know. I probably should have put more emphasis on one thing:
Some days they are dragging in speckled trout all day long on Gulp
I also hear of people doing okay on reds and flounder but not better than bait. Again, this is mostly second hand. I have caught specs on Gulp, but it was working and I tried nothing else. I don't fish inshore as much as I keep planning to. I really do plan to, but then I end up getting down there mostly in warm months and end up chucking metal at bluefish and Spanish on the beach instead of paddling around the stinky salt marsh swatting flies; not sure why... :)
Usually Topsail Island or Bogue Banks. Topsail has an awesome spot I can get to in just about 2 hours. It's a public beach access in a skinny part of the island where the beach and sound are literally across a 2 lane street from each other (plus the dunes on the beach side). You can park in one spot and launch a kayak into the sound or hit the beach. The beach side has a snack bar, bathrooms, sand (as opposed to mud), scenery...