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"
20160904— a couple observations yesterday….
One… I took my old Early 80’s Shimano Speed Mater UL reel matche dup with a newer (6mos old) Shimano spinning rod at 5-6’. I love using this combo especially for slip/floating. I examined the 3# ice braid and noticed it was getting roughed up and fuzzy along its length… I broke very easily to. I discounted it as some rotted braid which was going on its third season. I spooled it up with some 6# Spider Wire Camo braid taken from another reel.
Once out on the lake I got stuck in a bush and tried to pull free using the rod. The line broke at the tip!
After examining the tip I noticed the guide insert was cracked and could have been that way since purchase.
I keep extra tips with me at all times and glued on a new tip while on the water. The cracked tip probably was the cause of the fuzzy worn line I just removed. So checking the guides every time I go out now!
Two… I noticed a slight b.crappie pattern in the shallow shoreline weeds yesterday's that I was picking up with 1/64 oz jigs cast close to the clumps. I needed to fish the area slower so I rigged the jig on a slip float with meager results, an unbalance float, light jig would not slide thru the bobber to the correct depth without adding weight and some tangles when casted. Frustrated I dismantled the rig and was putting the items away in tackle storage when I noticed my casting fly float. Tied it on and seemed to rig perfectly with a 18” drop and tagged a few fish straight away.
Going to fine tune the rig once out on the water this afternoon
20160907—using Minutecast on the Accuweather app I timed a small trip with the kayak between showers and t’storms. I would fish a close somewhat productive gill location on a stretch of weed and wood shoreline. I was only thinking on taking the slip/float/waxie setup but ended up packing the spinning/vertical jig/Lil Minnow rig also.
With mostly cloudy skies, upr 80’s air temps, mild winds from the south and mid 70’s surf temps I started a slow drift parallel with the weedy shoreline. A huge algae bloom was in progress also.
The slip/float/waxie was cast into small open pockets with very little bite activity. After 15 mins of no fish I started throwing the tiny jigs (“Spring Cricket” and Lil Minnow) into the openings with immediate tagged fish. The Spring Cricket was getting bit less so I stuck with the Lil Minnow twitched along the weeds or twitched in the open pockets in 6 FOW.
I was surprised the pink Waxie was largely ignored thru my initial shoreline pass. I tossed the slip/float/waxie setup out there and let it sit while casting the Spinning/vertical jig/Lil Minnow rig… it was ignored... they preferred the jig over the gulp bait today.
Timing an upcoming t’storm I headed back to the launch a satisfied angler… with (3) 9” class B.Gills tagged and CPR’ed on the short trip… well worth the effort.
.BFOTD!!! 9" lunker B.Gill
.Segment of today's CPR'ed tags
20160908—so after yesterdays revelations… preference of the little jigs over the gulp pink waxie slip/floated… I need to get back out there again this afternoon and see if I could produce the same results.
I try not to put very significant weight on lure or bait preference over fish location… once I find the fish I believe I would be able to tag them with any one of my few presentations. Yesterday’s performance after the slip/float/pink waxie presentation was largely ignored flawed a nearly perfect history with that presentation.
This afternoon I will bring three rigs with me
…just maybe the slip/float rigs needed to be set just a bit deeper to tag these fish. conditions change day to day but I continue to need to fish these rigs side by side.
20160908—yesterday’s trip has got me hyped on the potential tagging of a Master Angler rated B.Gill with this pattern and presentation.
I just finished glueing up a few Lil Minnows… which are proving very durable just like Berkley’s 2” Power Minnow… tagging many fish on just one bait.
Checking the Fishing Points app Fish Activity page I noticed a nice major period coming up later this afternoon…. I want to be there and on my spots! Looking at the overall rating of the day looks poor but I pay more emphasis on the Major and Minor periods during the day… a fish has got to eat especially during this late summer period. The extended above normal temps has still got the fishes metabolism jacked in hyper mode
Today's Fishing Points Activity
Hey Kelly… I purchased the little plastic swim bodies off of EBAY along with some 1/64 oz jig heads shouldered with a keeper and shoulder less. I glue the bodies down with super glue so they last thru many fish tagged and prolongs ripping. Ive been experimenting laying down a bed of thread like a fly tie to have something for the glue to bite down on. Very impressed with their durability and fish catching ability… im having a blast with them. Catching more fish the past few years dialing down in bait size and hardware… using thread like super line and 4-6 to 5-6 foot rods and 50 series reels. You need this scaled down hardware to throw these baits around along with feel and sensitivity.
Im vertically jigging, long casting and pitching these baits depending on the structure around me. Caught a very nice 13.4” b.crappie earlier today vertically jigging a brushpile at a waypoint I have marked on my sonar in 10 FOW. Earlier I tagged many panfish pitching weed openings and long casting the edges. Very versatile bait.
Ive tried the GULP minnows but they lack the shimmering action this little bait has. It mimics the 2” Berkley Power Minnow in action. Its been a favorite bait of mine now for a few years. I needed something smaller. It seems the smaller I go the more productive not only in quantity but quality.
... hopefully ill be able to get out on a new lake today... never fished it before.
cant wait to get some of these newer skills and baits to test on a fresh BOW!
20160909—it has always been exciting for me to fish and explore a new lake. I like the upfront investigations and research...The preparation of exploring the lake maps, google earth, the master angler databases etc concerning the subject lake. I heard and read good things about this lake but have never heard from any actual fishermen I knew or first hand. Forums are basically close mouthed about panfish locations nowadays… do you blame them? So location information from those sources are spotty at best.
Going in Earl and I were relying on some very basic notions and ideas. We are familiar with fishing some tough public lakes and have done pretty well with some basic simple baits and methods. Most of the neighborhood local lakes exercise some form of weed control and are on some schedule. The lakes located closely together we figured the water conditions would be in close proximity to each other…. Soooo are methods of productivity would be the same…
Once launched and out on the water some my immediate observations were
How clear the water was!
The drop offs were close to shore
Thin and skinny weed beds
Large areas of the BOW the only available cover was depth and laydowns.
So we started targeting the visible laydowns and the sub surface logs and jams found on the sonar. Earl wasn’t a few casts or drops in when he tagged his PB R.Bass at 10.5” on the Lil Minnow Rig. We noticed fish approaching the gulp waxies or artificial baits and taking lengthy scrutinizing looks at the baits and rejecting them. Earl did better with the live worms he just so happened to bring along …”Just in case”. The live nite crawler bits outshined the gulp waxie presentation at least 5:1 during this time. At 9:30 am I noticed we were in a lull solunar period and I was crossing my fingers the mood would change for the good for artificial presentations during the minor period coming up.
We spent most of the negative bite period exploring and marking fish with the sonar. We decided our best strategy was to find the “dirty water”. This is usually associated with the most prevelant shallow flats with the largest concentration of weeds. I marked a few areas of interest on the map and we started hitting fish in concentrations.
The bite was on at the deep edges and we continued tagging the fish at an increased pace as we made our way up the reservoir.
The hot method was making long casts with the Lil Minnow. The bait has done well for us in recent weeks and continues as the hot bait or method in my quiver. Both Earl and I caught our personal best numbers of B.Gills which was one after another with successive casts being the norm. The fish were below avg in size in high percentages in the 6.0 to 7.5” range. However we still continued to tag a few 8” plus fish to keep our interest up.
As we made our way up the reservoir I tagged an old P.Seed at the 8.6” mark that may have a tint of B.Gill mixed in with the slip/float/pink waxie rig.
B.Crappie were short in numbers disappointing us but the b.gill activity made up for it.
We decided we would extensively harvest b.gills from the 6.0 – 7.5” range on future trips. This is actually the only lake I’ve fished recently that seems like there is an over abundance of b.gills. not one other pan-fisherman was spotted fishing the lake while we were there.
popular method of the day was Long Casting the Lil Minnow rig with countless B.Gills being tagged.
Earl’s PB 10.5” R.Bass
My P.Seed BFOTD!!
Sample of some of todays record catch all CPR’ed