Do you love big bluegill?
The past few seasons it’s been season outdoing the last. Knowledge base on top of knowledge base. Building on some great info from this site and time on the water. I’m anticipating and looking forward to even better results with more citation fish. Anyway that’s the game plan.
Last year was the season of fishing TINY. Thin UL Lines loaded on tiny 50 series reels and light UL rods tossing tiny baits in front of fish targets…quantities of quality panfish and trophy SMB. Tossed the baits into thick cover with reckless abandon. Tiny presentations under slip bobbers thrown next to thick weed slop and weed pockets. Mid day fishing out of the kayak in less than two feet of water and tagging quality fish. Never really had another fishing boat come close to me fishing. it was like i had the lake to myself. looking forward to making some more good memories in the upcoming season.
Looking forward to any hints suggestions or comments from the BBG membership… sharing is the best way to learn and progress!
hope everyone a successful "2016 Open Water Season"
...they are great fish.... just wish we had more of them in our lake. so much competition in the lake for forage ... they fill their niche and thats it. i run into them when fishing the start of the main lake and the end of the main river channel. a bottle neck forms at the bridge and now probably till the end of May they swim past within my reach from shore. ive seen hundreds swim past me in the time it took to catch a few. they are landlocked in this lake from the Tittabawassee - Saginaw Bay run when the dam was formed.
i believe you are right on the curly tails... as soon as i picked one up on the power minnow i rigged up another spin rod with a curly tail and ended up tagging two on that set-up
Even better is to tie on two jigs. Maybe use one white curly tail grub, and the other chartreuse. Find out which one produces better, and switch to two jigs of that color.
Jump-fishing for White Bass is an absolute hoot! Motor around until you spot a school feeding on the surface. Throw anything, and I mean, ANYTHING, and it gets hits. If you don't hook up, keep retrieving, as another one will be along in a couple seconds to grab it. The fishing is usually good for about 20 minutes, until the school sounds. Then you have to start looking for another school.
This isn't the easiest thing to do in a kayak. But, if you happen to get into some, it is a hoot!
20160417...the two jig rig sounds like a great idea!
i heard the mouth of the Saginaw River concentrates a lot of fish coming up... there looks to be a nice DNR launch right there....
ive seen schools of shad shooting out of the surface of Wixom lake at times... then pictured white bass as the culprits... by the time i usually get there everythings gone.
20160417...how about the Grand River by you? they should be coming up
I have not heard of anyone catching White Bass in the Grand near Lansing. I do know there are at least a couple dams between Lansing and Lake Michigan. Those dams all have fish ladders on them, but I don't think the Whites utilize them.
I do know that Whites will run up the Huron as far as Pennisular Dam. I've been there, checking out access, then a couple days later, saw a video of a gent catching a White Bass exactly where I had been standing.
White bass are a 'bucket-list' fish for me...maybe this year in NW Pennsylvania...
20160417...nearly every hit i get from these fish feels unmistakably "freight train". cant wait to here when you finally get into them.
all my "bucket list" fish reside in Florida now...that's telling me something!
I like keeping a pulse and record of fish activity passing under the bridge seasonally… with these above normal temps around here fish movement has really stepped up pace. Panfish are coming close to the bank and the White Bass are pushing thru and heading up stream to spawn. It’s nice seeing the crappie at this time of year in the reservoir close to shore… it’s about a month ahead of schedule with surf temps in the upper 50’s as of yesterday.
The B.Crappie and the P.Seed were caught long casting a 1/32 oz jig and 2” Power Minnow in the smelt color.
Started out the trip with some outstanding weather… 24 degs above normal! We decided to fish the cuts,bays and an island perimeter of some of the East leg of Wixom Lake. Very tough lake to fish unless you have some time spent on the water hear. A tremendous amount of structure to deal with. Also a remarkable amount of fishing pressure by some veteran locals… Ice and open water fishing.
We arrived at the launch and discovered we had forgot the trolling motor. So we travel 6 miles back to the house and return only to discover I left my sonar on my desk after loading up the electronic map for this area of the lake. Forgetting two major fishing tools in one day!! It’s been a while since I’ve fished blind before so we continued out to fish the island perimeter first and some shorelines.
Upper 50 deg water temps with calm seas bright sunshine and 80 deg air temps… just wow. Thinking fish will be very active and shallow continuing with our previous outings since ice-out. Lunar data shows a very active fish day especially considering just two days before the full moon.
Its been awhile since we fished this leg of the reservoir and having little past Time On The Water or history we were taking a skunking the first hour in fishing the shorelines and rock and rubble cover around the island.
We fished the next cut and also took a beating with no hits or bites. Wixom Lake can be a beast at times and
today was starting out that way. Forgetting the trolling motor and sonar, outboard running rough with some suspected water in the line and now an initial beat down skunking from this sometimes stingy lake.
We needed a different strategy… I was familiar with some weedy northern exposure bay type areas just north of our position. It was a ten minute run by 6hp outboard. Good sign was the outboard was running better as it was run full speed to the destination and then finally cleared up.
Upon reaching the destination we noticed quite a bit of floating debris stacked against the shoreline extending about 12ft away from the bank. There was debris everywhere and casting a jig will be difficult. So I switched to the a slip bobber and pink waxie showing no response from the pannies. I got a bite off from a heavy pred ptching a jig along the debris.
I fished the “Chain N Crank” loaded with a a pink waxie and caught a few sub 6 inchers.Then Earl connected quickly with a crappie and a 8” class b’gill in succession with a tiny jig. He then connected with a slip float and night crawler bit. Not being to slow to catch on I switched to live waxies and we were both started hauling in the B’Gills. It seems they were preferring the live bait today. I hate when that happens… LOL. At one point we hooked up with a pair of 8” classers and knew we hit the right pattern.
Action continued till the late afternoon hours and tapered of an hour before dusk. We lost count on the number of gills.
As we headed back to the launch we had some time to explore a couple cuts for an active crappie bite. First cut we approached produced cast after cast of B.Crappie on 1.5” swimming jigs mounted on 1/64 oz or 1/32 oz. sizes. By estimation Earl and I combined for over 30 crappies in this one spot. We saved enough light to head back to the launch and load up.
Strategy and Payoff:
Today’s strategy of fishing the debris paid off big time with the B.Gills… switching to the live bait today was an edge on the plus side.
We found since day one of this season that the shallow crappies were spooked by heavier tackle, slip floats and jigs. We upped our odds and fish count by long casting tiny swim jigs on micro UL tackle and thin super lines past the fish on the flats. Crappies spook very easily in the shallow water flats even by an approaching boat or float splash down. They keep their distance. Using the correct tackle has been putting the odds in our favor lately.
Collage of Today’s Trip: