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"
Very anxious to get on the water… the forecast just is not cooperating to free up the remaining ice on the smaller natural lakes. I can’t touch the reservoirs for awhile because of the coffee colored water… it’s just a waste of time. Glad to see some of the fisherman like yourself get out and enjoy. Transition periods in Michigan can be lengthy.
Thanks and Best of luck to yourself on the Crappie target and your season ahead.
(official start of open water fishing)
20160317...Local Gladwin, Mi lake showing Ice-Out... Start of open water fishing!!
one of my Home Lakes...
20160320-Configuring and reconfiguring I put 2 rigs together with 2# and 3# ice braid, tiny 50 series reels and 4-0’ and 5-0 micro Ultra lite Okuma Celilo rods.The rods have a faster action tip instead of the willowy action most typical with UL rods. This enables the energy transferred from hit of a fish to be transferred to my nerve endings thru the rod instead of being absorbed by the softer rod action… simple physics.
The line is super slick braid designed for ice fishing that has a bonded finish to the line to repel ice. Reminds me of Nanofil slipping thru the guides.
Upon arrival to the fishing site the water was somewhat turbid and moving from the run-off experience the past few days. My initial goal was to establish a hands on study of comfort, sensitivity and feasibility of these tiny systems. I had great success using the 5-6’ UL rods and rigs from my collection fishing from the kayak. Initially the use of these extremely light rigs allowing me to extend fishing trips or even fish at all considering my chronic upr body pain.
I was pleased with the initial casts from these set-ups. they projected the tiniest jigs in my arsenal to fishable distances. I could feel with extreme sensitivity the tiny jigs tapping the concrete rubble and structure 7-0 to 8-0 ft below.
I set the hook into a notable fish bite and the fight was on! After a few minutes of tug of war with some long screeching runs I was able to make some gain and worked the fish in. the fish felt huge on the UL set-up and indeed it was. I was at a loss without a landing net with the fish 3 ft down a concrete embankment… I wasn’t expecting to catch any fish due to the poor water conditions! I needed a strategy quickly knowing with this tiny rig and 2# line I wasn’t beaching it by sliding it up the concrete embankment. I estimated the N.Pike at mid thirties and 6-0 lbs. reclining on my abdomen reached for the fishes gills. At the touch and one vicious head shake the fish was gone and so was my Jelly Jig.
In retrospect I believe I tagged this fish because I was able to effectively tap and bounce this tiny jig off and tight to structure putting the bait into the fish zone.
Due to the turbidity of the current water conditions the fishes zone was significantly reduced. The control of the tiny jig with the thread thin line allowed this fish- bait connection to take place.
Cant wait to try it out in the kayak.
…Looking at a winter storm tracking for wednesday afternoon as much as 8” of new snow…. Thinking about squeezing in a short panfish trip to a local private lake before it hits. Will start fishing for them as where we left them a short time ago on late ice. Vertical slow presentations… probably drop shot, jigs and slip bobbers. Small and tiny presentations will be key as usual.
20160322… with the upcoming bad weather fore casted for Wednesday…. With 8-12” of snow … uhg! We had just today to squeeze in a short trip if just to stretch some underutilized casting muscles from winter. The forecast for the day was light variable winds mid to upper 40’s with on and off showers through the afternoon. We geared up… Earl made sure 3 yr old Conner was dressed warm and off we headed to the lake with the boats first open water trip of the year.
Once at the launch we were greeted with some very favorable conditions. Calm lake with a slight spring turnover tint to the water color. Once out on the lake we registered 42 deg surface temps with ice still noticed on the southern shore. Ice- out was just a few days old.Sonar readings showed some fish suspended and also hugging the bottom in all areas of the lake. The lake has a great panfish population as well as a strong population of preds including LMB and N.Pike despite its small size. The locals fish this lake like its their jobs and trophy bluegill sizes are absent or needle in a haystack numbers. I have caught a few certificate P’Seeds however.
Historically we use this lake to hone our skill and presentations. I loaded up 4 UL spinning rigs including (2) UL jig rods (one loaded with some new GLISS fishing line that is rated 8# test extremely thin dia) (1) drop shot rig and a slip bobber set-up. In our minds we thought tiny an slow presentations just like we left the B’Gills during our most recent late-ice trip. B’Gills were in 7-0 to 10-0 FOW feeding in the short weed beds.
We found the fish but got no response… even tight small vertically jigged in their face presentation were rejected. Started scanning shallow for active feeders and came up empty. Suspended fish out over the deep basins proved neutral. 1.5 hrs into the trip without a single bite and we were looking at a skunking.
Finally a break thru:
We were just about to write-off the trip thinking “Hey that’s the reason ya don’t see any other boats out here… the fishing is tough!” then it happened…. Earl noticed a guy fishing off his dock and catching a few fish in a short time which Earl said appeared to be crappies. We motored a safe distance away from him and struck up the conversation which finally led to the fact he caught 19 B.Crappies on a casting bubble and fly in 2-3 FOW casting parallel to shore.
After a short strategic discussion Earl and I decided to fish the shallow flats on the opposite end of the lake on the northern shore since they warm up the quickest. We started casting tiny jigs and Jelly jigs that had this tantalizing action and slow decent and started connecting straight away. Many B.Crappies between 10-12 “ and a LMB now and then. The Jelly Jigs were producing and were a perfect presentation for this shallow water bite. It seemed the B.Crappies were running in small schools parallel to the shorelines.
I believe the jig under the bobber would of caught some fish also as a presentation but we were covering water more quickly with the free-swimming approach.
Earl tagged a string of (8) LMB in quick succession with a power minnow type swim jig about 2” long along with his PB LMB of 19+ inches… the tiny bait bite continues!! He smoked the LMB numbers his against mine 8 to my 1. However I smoked him on the B.Crappie count.
We lost the last (4) remaining Jelly Jigs to N.Pike bite-offs and need to order some more. Earl turned into a Jelly Jig fan.
Todays Findings and Conclusions:
Tiny light jig presentations on tiny thin diameter super lines… the fish were active but the bite was lite. Heavier rigs throwing slip bobbers would’ve worked but we would of likely ended up with less fish.
Todays Over-all Collage:
Earl's successive casts Double LMB's
…results were poor on our recon trip yesterday... water was muddy brown with considerable debri... found some clearer warmer water deep in the cuts that were loaded with carp... could not entice a hit from the panfish using slip bobbers and worms. Casting UL jigs produced nothing
trying a local lake that should be clearer in color and more favorable conditions. should reach a high near 60 deg with sun and light winds. days starting off cold at 34 degs.
never could establish a positive history of fishing the mud...
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