Do you love big bluegill?
I'm curious how hard it is to catch BG in winter months on small private ponds (lets say an acre or less).
Assuming they haven't iced over yet, is it even worth my time? I'm guessing you'd just bump a small jig off of the bottom? Help me out here guys and gals! What would your first line of attack be?
Weeds. Fish the weeds.
Green standing weeds will almost always hold fish early in the season, and possibly all winter long if conditions are right. Weeds that are brown and down will also hold fish, again early in the season. Mid to late season the oxygen levels may begin to drop in those areas, however it's still worth a look.
Must also consider brown decaying weeds use up oxygen not like when they were green and made oxygen. Just a little word for thought.
i like this little quote from In-Fisherman
"Cabbage, milfoil, coontail, chara—every kind of weed dies back in fall. But on most weedlines, a few hardy green plants remain through first-ice. The milder the winter, the thinner the ice and snow, the more weeds remain, some lasting until spring. Every year, the last green weeds remaining on key weedlines become important to a variety of fish, including bass, walleyes, pike, muskies, and panfish. During warm, mild winters, such as during the past few years, green weeds can hold bass and panfish all winter."
Chris...check out my discussion on Float and Fly for December Success...just posted it this week.
I have been drifting tiny microjigs tipped with bait on 2 pound monos below sensitive floats from 3 to 5 feet below the bobber around weeds and primrose stalks for fish. Most of them are small, but got a few nice gills, crappie and red ears in the mix.
Went to a local park pond today and got 28 smallish gills fishing tight to old pier pilings at the 5 ft depth. Todays top fish was just a 7.5 inch pumpkinseed, but it beats sittin home dreamin'. I have totaled 107 fish this week doing the 'float and fly' drifting technique on 2 & 4 pound lines from three different bodies of water.
Water temperatures are 38 degrees in all three waterbodies and air is around 40 or so. You have to work at it, but you can have success, and even big fish in winter. Start by suspending micro jigs tipped with worms or maggots at three feet, then drop down in 6 inch increments until you get a strike. The bobber will barely move, may just trail off or will sink just very slowly on the strike. I have been using the 1.5 inch weighted styrofoam/cigar -shaped fixed floats from Comal. They will barely hold a 1/100th oz jig from sinking it, and a 1/80th oz jig with bait, though tiny, will slowly submerse this bobber on it's own. I use 1/200th and 1/100th oz Trout Magnet shad dart heads and tip with 1/4 to 1/2 inch earthworm pieces or two maggots. Let the wind do most of the work and learn to 'read' what a winter bluegill strike looks like.
hope this helps
Sounds like some solid info there Jim. Sadly I don't have anything smaller than 1/64th jig and 4lb mono. I'll give it a shot though!
If you need a fishing partner this Saturday (wink wink), let me know. I was supposed to go hunting, but that seems to have fallen through!
As a matter of fact, if the temps stay above freezing, you could come over to my little pond. Pretty small, but there's a few 1lb class BG in there.
Chris...shoot me a PM...I think we are friends on this board. If not, send me a friend request and maybe we can try something soon. I have some really little stuff that might work.
How did you make out with you pond this year?
The pond actually is doing quite well. I need to do some thinning of the 4-6" bluegill, but everything is going good so far. It's to young to make any real major changes to.