Do you love big bluegill?
One thing I have noticed, season after season, is that once the water temperatures drop below 55 F the bluegills show a marked preference for smaller jigs and baits. Yesterday, 11-11-14, I had two rods rigged with small jigs...one was the Pink Shrimp Auto at 1/32 oz and a # 6 hook and the other was a 1/64th oz shad dart head with a #8 hook. Both jigs were spiked with very small worm segments and as the evening wore on the baits just got smaller as the gill wanted just a hint of bait on the jig. Both were fished on 4 lb mono with 5 ft drops below small sensitive bobbers. Worm segments were approximately 1/4 inch or slightly smaller.
The PSA caught some fish, but was clearly outfished by the SD head, likely because of it smaller size. Got just as many bites on the Auto, but missed many more fish. The bite was soft with the small plastic oval bobber just 'tilting' at times or slowly going under.
Mostly hen gills but a few males in the mix along with some pretty p-seeds. Best fish of the day was a 9.5 inch P-gill hybrid. Most fish were 8 to 9 inches, some larger.
More than likely, I will go to 100th and even 1/200th oz Trout Magnet Heads as the water temps continue to drop and tip with a couple maggots or perhaps a wax worm. And, will likely have to switch to more sensitive bobbers as well.
Yesterdays totals were 50 gills/seeds and 2 bass. Fish were stacked up against the dam face as the wind blew in heavily from the south west on this 6 acre public lake in southern PA. Five ft down, suspended over 8 ft of water.
Jim you have done a great job of explaining down sizing baits; as well as where you might find them!! only by doing it; can you get that kind of knowledge!! many thanks buddy!!!
Thank you Jim for the great information, rather eye opening.
I certainly was not aware Trout Magnets came anywhere near that small, have only seen 1/64's in this area
Mini Magnet Jig Heads
Good information in this discussion......years ago I never even owned a bait smaller than 1/32 ounce and now I own an entire box dedicated to December through February in my region where we only get skim ice in most instances......challenging yet rewarding to catch them during the coldest times of the year........
I feel the same way, Jason! There's something about catching fish under harsh conditions that just makes me feel a little bit better about the effort. Last year I caught bluegills, bass and crappies up until December 27 in the open water. We'll see what this year brings!
Dec 27, 2013...21 in largemouth bass caught on 2 lb test and 1/80th oz jig tipped with a couple maggots. My personal best December bass.
Great catch on 2#test!
Fished late evening today at a small public lake getting 13 gills and 1 red ear. Nothing big...6 to 8 inch stuff, but rewarding considering the 30 degree air and 46 degree water. Used sensitive foam floats and caught them 5 ft below the float. Gulp won today, totalling 8 fish, including the largest ones and missed others as well.
Fished a half of a Gulp minnow on the 1/64th oz shad dart head...8 fish
Fished worm pieces on the 1/200th oz Trout Magnet...6 fish
Again, nothing big, but the bigger fish again showed preference for the Gulp minnow portion on the slightly larger 1/64th oz head. Bobber barely moves, just sinks slowly or trails off on the surface. Happy to catch what I did. Hoping for moderating temperatures so the fish, and this fisherman, can recover!
Jim ,I'd like to see a pic of the floats and jigs your using .I caught yesterday but want to be able to get a smaller bait out to where the better fish were .13" and 11" Crappie were the better fish .The Perch and Gills were small . I used a 3" weighted foam cigar float ,4# test ,32nd oz. Tabbert Jelly jig tipped with crawler junk on a short rod .The other 7'6" rod was rigged with a thin Pencil float.,#8 hook with crawler chunk ,#4 test .I gotta go again and use smaller pieces for bait and would like to match a float with 64th oz jigs I have .
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