Do you love big bluegill?
As I turn the last page of the “SLIP’S 2017 LOGS, STATUS AND STRATEGIES” log book on an astounding year of angling… I think back on the initial strategies and goals for the year. I wanted to tag at least (4) Trophy Master Angler Panfish and that would include one thru the ice which would be a PB using that method. I ended up with 2 trophy P.Seeds thru the ice with a PB at 9.8" as well as(13) total Master Anglers thru the rest of the open water season!
To accomplish this feat I would greatly scale down my presentations to micro lite equipment… rods, reels, lines and baits. Careful considerations of lines were incorporated into my methods which would not exceed 2# mono diameter…and super lines that would approach 8# test or above to handle the trophy quality of fishes sought.
I would also aim to make my time on the water more productive by timing the trips with solunar periods… majors and minors on New and Full Moons. I've discovered big fish follow the moon… period! 2017 proved that especially considering the hard water Ice Period. I was on the big fish spots on the peak periods and it paid off!... BIGly!!!
I think I coined a phrase “Fishing for the Numbers by the Numbers” by incorporating all methods and strategies to gain my odds on the water for numbers as well as numbers of trophies. By the end of the day and all the numbers were tallied for 2017 I broke many records for the Master Angler Program in at least 2 counties.
I’m hoping for an even better season for 2018 and success for the fishermen following BBG!
20180516-On a top solunar day I could not find the big fish pattern
At 87% Solunar activity for the day with 2 days after the full moon I thought I would be set for some active fish bite.
I launched close to home on a favorite BOW with intentions on using historical data with water temps/time of year/good waypoints to get in on the good bite.
I started the short trip on a Lull.Period just short of the Major.Period uptick. The bow vitals were mid 60’s water temps, calm seas, very warm air temps and bright cloudless skies. All the statistics seemed to be in line for a productive day.
I started working my way up Trophy Cove observing very little weed cover. Nesting LMB activity and shiners spawning in the shallows… no Lepomis or B.Crappies. I slip/floated the shallows hooking up with some good sized shiners for awhile without the Lepomis bite… one active LMB protecting his nest made a few attempts at attacking the boat. I decided I would leave the area and return during the uptick on the Major.Period.
I then approached the mouth of the canal noticing cruising Lepomis at the surface. Setting my slip/float very shallow I fancasted the area picking up a tag here and there. The fish seemed very neutral in disposition. I slowly worked my way up the canal again noticing bedding LMB’s. too soon for bedding Lepomis. I worked methodically with surgical precision down the canal and at its end with just enough tags to keep me in the game. Feeling satisfied I thoroughly covered the area and there were no lunkers or trophies I made my way back down the lake towards the launch.
I did a perimeter check of one of my favorite shorelines setting the sidescan to 50 ft RH side only. Shoreline perimeter checks became a whole lot easier with this side scan unit. I noticed a few LMB and SMB beds on the screen as I made my way down the shoreline.
I picked up a few fish signals very close to the bank in some dirty water (floating algae and plant segments). I used a combination slip/float/pink-waxie and long-cast/.016 oz jig/pink-waxie methods to coax a few Lepomis bites to the boat. Very slow even for a Major.Period.
On the way back to the launch I fancasted an area with a shallow set slip/float/pink-waxie a LMB attacked the slip float and miraculously got hooked on the hookset on the outside of the mouth. My highlight of the day?
It was still nice to get out and check the pulse of the lake. As for now the B.Crappies should be spawning but I was not able to locat. The LMB’s are finishing up on the beds and should be all done well before the holiday. I noticed no Lepomis bedding activity a t these low temps… I’m looking for spawning to begin heartily at the full moon /end of the month with water temps in the low 70’s
20180518-Timing a Perfect Trip…
I put together a trip on one of my favorite “Newly Processed Lakes”… timing a late after noon time slot encompassing the Major.Period. The trip would be in the heat of the afternoon with a hot clear sun… luckily they are calling for winds at 10-12 mph.
As I waited my turn at the launch a group of fishermen were just pulling out of the lake… discussions started concerning the bad bite and near skunking they just encountered. They disclosed being on the lake since near daybreak with just a lowly skinny N.Pike in the livewell. They were targeting B.Crappie 1st walleye 2nd using live bait tipped jigs. After they left I quickly checked the solunar tables on my app… they clearly missed the bite for the day reviewing those solunar tables. So I surely must have looked odd to them starting my trip in the heat of the day with the strong sun to go fishing.
Once on the lake I made a mental note that the weathermen clearly lied on the forecast 10-12 mph winds were clearly double in reality. Water temps were in the upper 60’s on the main lake body. I quickly headed thru the white caps to a quiet sheltered cut where I had my last success while on this lake.
I started with the slip/float/pink-waxie tight to the seawalls. I hooked up immediately with a small fish that turned heavy half way in. with a screaming drag I was clearly in over my head with a fight that undersized my tackle… by the terms of the battle I surmised a large pike taking some wild runs thru the shallow weeds grabbed the small B.Gill. Suddenly the fish let go and I skidded a severely skinned B.Gill to the boat. Yep… battle spoils from a N.Pike.
I continued tagging small Lepomis along the seawalls in the upper cut hoping that some larger targets were in the bunch… after a few small fish I moved to the next spot.
The next waypoint was a stretch of water associated with a couple trophy P.Seeds taken last post summer period (2017). I believe Lepomis a largely homebodies and stay roughly in the same area most of the time. Hooking up with a few small fish I moved on to a corner where I recognized marked quantities of spawning bed s last summer period. I quickly hooked up with a decent P.Seed that seemed to be a loner. The spot is considered very good so I spent some minutes there fan casting the area before moving on.
The next spot was a trophy B.Crappie spot that earl tagged a significant trophy 16” class fish earlier this season. At the time the B.Crappie were in pre-spawn mode. I quickly hooked up with a few quality solid male B.Crappie located in a small tight area. One in major proportions and colorations just short of Master Angler dimensions. Certainly got the blood pumping. These fish were tagged at the peak of the Major.Period.
I moved to a new waypoint around some stump fiels and continued thru the period tagging a couple qulity fish mixed in with some smaller eaters. Kept me busy with the rest of the Major.Period before calling it quits near the end of the down tick.
Perfectly timed trip.
...there is a strategy that may put me on some fish... i could be on my spot within a half hour at just before the uptick at 17:45 and fish it out through 20:00.
we are in the middle of a coldfront with air temps in the upper 30's at night putting a chill in the water. winds are calm with cloudy skies.
...finalizing the plan down to detail i look towards "Fishing Points" App...be on the water and waypoint at 16:00 and fish thru 20:00
i will fish mainly with the slip/float/Pink-Waxie method introducing alternate baits of Nite crawler bits or whole corn kernels. i will also be fan-casting the area with the Long-Cast/UL Jigs
...unfortunately i was not able to attempt the fishing plan for the night... spent quality time with the Granddaughter instead.