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"
Feeling the increase in panfish activity in the shallows we set out again for the increased likelihood of catching numbers and Master Angler entries. The spots we recently had success were the main focus.
We scanned most likely shorelines visually…. Side scan imaging would come in handy here. Much of the shorelines held little or no fish activity or visible nesting from B.Crappies or Bass. The B.Crappie nesting we did notice had some other panfish activity along with but left these areas undisturbed.
We noticed some fish suspending underneath docks. The docks that held the most numbers of fish seemed adjacent to deeper water and weed edges. We pitched our jigs and floats next to or underneath a few of the docks and were well rewarded. The best B’Gill was tagged by Earl on a good pitch underneath with a swim jig.
We eventually called it and decided to move to the areas with larger known quantities and less effort per fish.
Easing into the spot with the electric trolling motor we noticed hoards of above avg sized fish cruising the tops of the shallow sparse weeds. They proved to be easy targets with the tiny swim jigs. We caught one fish after another with many +90 percentile fish. These are fish that are within the 90 percent of Master Angler Certificate which are lunker quality… trophies to some.
Much of the time was spent sight fishing cruising schools or solitary fish cruising thru the weeds. I needed a slowly sinking or near suspending type of presentation without the float. Here is where I like the Jelly Jig or my own tie Spring Cricket produce… these jigs spend more time in the strike zone with a slower retrieve. Sight fishing with the neutal colored Spring Cricket proved difficult so I added a visible indicator on the tip of the hook comprised of a cut segment of a pink waxie. The small segment offered visual connection while being retrieved in front of fish. Pink Waxie disappeared FISH ON!
I also had the chance to try Carl Hendrix’s Rascal 2.0 and was rewarded with a good number of premium sized fish. With the 3# Nano I was able to actually cast this fly a workable distance. Good work Carl!
We exhausted the activity in this area after catching many quality fish and Earl just missing a Master Angler Certificate with a P’Seed at 8.7” or .97 MAR. We decided to move to a different known hotspot while we had some sunlight left.
We continued success with the swim jigs making long parallel cast with the shoreline and tagging many B’Gills in the +90 or 9” range. We were impressed with the overall avg sizes of the gills being caught. We fished that spot hard until the bite quit at dusk and then fished the shallow creek channel edges for suspended female crappie on the way back to the launch
By the end of the afternoon Earl and I were each working on our third limit in numbers of panfish being caught. No dinks in the bunch today and most fish were 80 percentile or over in Master Angler Rating. All fish were CPR’ed
...the boats BFOTD!! Earl's .97 Master Angler Rated P'Seed at 8.7"!
...today's virtual livewell of catches... all CPR'ed!
20160520…decide to fish some very shallow flats locally with my kayak today…
Launched at a private site in 70.0° water and hooked up straight away with a nice 8.2” P’Seed with some beautiful coloration. Long casts parallel to shore with a swim jig then had a blast hooking up with above avg sized gills casting the Spring Cricket for the remainder of the afternoon pitching into tight pockets and along laydowns.
Also tagged a pre-spawn female B.Crappie in the 12”+ class.
Bite stopped suddenly between 5-6 pm
nice colored +9" B'Gill
continued hot bite on the Spring Cricket
nice colored +9" B'Gill
...todays virtual livewell all CPR'ed
…what an explosive day on the water!
With exceptional warm summer like weather I towed the yak back down to the lake at one of my few access points. I was greeted with sunny skies, light variable winds and the shallow flats full of hungry fish! Water temp at the launch posted 70°.
I paddled to my first spot and tagged a quality B’Gill on the first cast on the Spring Cricket… a great start! I came rigged with a slip float setup with a Pink Waxie and 2 jigging rods. One jigging rod with a swim jig and one rigged with the spring cricket jig.
The bite was playing out a little differently today … few bites in the open water with the swim jig. The fish seemed to be tucked in close to shore under a floating mat of cut weeds and algae bloom. The slip/float with a single hook and pink waxie cast into opening s in the slop proved to be effective in methodically tagging them.
Pitching the Spring Cricket jig along the edges and into the openings also proved effective.
The B’Gills caught avg 8-9” with a near miss Master Angler of 9.6”
A monster P’Seed near Master Angler proportions was also tagged on the slip/float and Pink Waxie.
i also tagged a bonus 13" Y.Bullhead at .92 Master Angler Rating on the Spring Cricket Jig!
Carp are in the shallows cruising and the trophy panfish bite is going on in the shallows!... difficult to manage and to divide the time.
… near 10” B’Gill
… monster proportioned P’Seed
…Virtual Live Well… all fish CPR’ed
…still reeling from that great day on the water yesterday! full of aches and pains today but still feel the need to get back out there on the water some how.
yesterday i noticed the carp in the shallows spawning... its that time of year to tag a Master Angler. i hope to catch a few and procure a certificate.
water temps hovering in the low 70s and the full moon... i need to take advantage today on that fact alone... and the next few days.
New to the forum... first post.
Thanks for the fine reports from your area.
Two things... I'd sure love to buy some of those Spring Crickets, and come on down to Alabama and help me catch some HUGE Bluegills.
Welcome Riverman... thanks and your welcome!
haha...wish i could leave these Michigan borders for some bigger southern gill. locally 9" is a lunker way up here in the North 10" is a trophy needle in a haystack.