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!
20180619-Sonar screen shots of the day…
Large tight school of yearling B.Gills…
LMB and B.Gill mix close to bottom… tagged a nic LMB on the dropshot here…
Small yearling b.gill hanging tight to a small area weed bed.
Larger B.Gill and Small B.Gill mix
Sonar view of larg B.Gills moving up and down in the water column at the Major.Period…Score!!!
20180620-fishing the tough lake today…
I decided to take a shot at the tough lake in the neighborhood today.
The lake is a barren shallow reservoir with current that turns brown quickly in the rain. The bottom is mostly hard, sand and gravel and is nearly clear of any structure throughout. Big Muskie and n.pike cruise the shorelines which are steep breaking off into 7-8’ of water quickly. Panfish find shelter in thin weed beds at the very edge. B.Gills don’t typically school in this lake but have to be picked up by pitching to the bank in cover using the trolling motor to cover the area.
This lake has the chance of growing the monsters but not in the numbers. A 14” class Y.Perch and a 6# SMB are my best fishes from this lake.
I cruised my favorite edges and found some nice mid-sized gills holding close to laydowns and weed edges. Pitching the .016 oz Jig/Waxie combo in close with the thin strong braided line was the key presentation.
A health mid eights gill was my best fish. I was surprised to not find any b.crappie in the mix.
20180621-Personal Best P.Seed at 10” Fish and Swim with Family!
We got on the water after the Minor.Period and beginning the Lull.Period on a 24% day.
I did a quick sonar side-scan of the drop-off to the deep basin to check on the fish movement out deep. I saw many hanging at the break from the 9-‘ mark to the basin… nothing out deep. We headed shallow and found a willing sparsely schooled B.Crappie bite in the thin weeds. This kept everyone busy with the jigs through the Lull.Period until the Major.Period started later that afternoon/early evening.
Katie kept the Mid-Minnow on her line the whole trip and did well. Jeri kept the LMB busy with a chartreuse 3” twister tail. I concentrated my efforts on the B.Gill with the Long-Cast/.016 oz Jig/Waxie… the B.Crappie found this bait appetizing as well.
We concentrated our efforts at the 6 to 7’ mark on the flats.
As the Major.Period approached I tagged my PB P.Seed Long-Casting/.016 oz Jig/Pink Waxie. A 10” Beauty slightly beat up from the recent spawn. WOW!
I felt fantastic being able to put the family on the fish!
20180622-B.Crappie Catch and Cook!
with a successful fishing trip completed yesterday Katie and Lucas wanted to go back out today and tag some B.Crappie for a fish dinner… a catch and cook. We would fish the same lake and use the same jigging methods as the day previous… no live bait as usual.
Katie and Lucas were doing decently on their bass rigs. I suggested scaling down on a supplemental rig incorporating a 5-6’ UL rod and some slick super line… maybe GLISS. They replied a fishing vacation would be coming up soon and would ask for help on a selection of gear then at my favorite supplier.
Upon arrival at the launch site the lake was near flat similar to the day previous along with the other vitals including water temps in the mid 70’s.
Once on the productive waypoints we immediately picked up where we left off. B.Crappie after another with a 14” trophy B.Crappie taken on the Long-Cast/LCD method.
We decided on keeping 20 fish under the 11” mark slot. The cooler filled up fast with fish in the ice water. Important to immediately place the B.Crappies on ice especially during the summer months. The flesh firms up nicely prior to cleaning… nearly like tagging and keeping during ice season.
I ended up with many nice B.Gills also with the jig/pink waxie (LCD-Least Common Denominator bait).
Lucas and Katie had a tough time keeping up with the numbers of fish due to the heavier set-ups they were using. Lucas definitely needed to scale down… I sensed the panfish were on to him with his heavier 15# class braid as well as Katie with her 8# braid. Katie was able to make some medium length casts with the 2” Berkley Power Minnow on the 1/32 oz jig and pick up some respectable numbers of the crappie. Lucas definitely found himself in the hole.
The cooler quickly filled with the 20th crappie so we continued to fish with catch and release.
Once home I quickly had the fish filleted and rinsed. Jeri and Lucas were hot on the fryer battering and frying the fillets.
We filled up on fish and fries to the point we had to package up half of the fillets to freeze for another day.
Great day on the water with a wonderful meal at the end… another great memory!
(picture folder dump)
20180624- Last Year’s success at this time was “Between The Docks”
Waiting out the showers this morning cutting into my Major.Period…. looks like I will be fishing the Lull.Period and partially touching the Minor.Period. Once the showers stop I will roll.
Looking at last year’s data the “Between the Docks” strategy was hot and I will start the trip with this method.
I am looking forward to the improved bite with the approaching full moon.
20180624- Fishing the stretch Approaching the Full Moon.
Working with Accuweather and Minutecast I timed my arrival at the launch with showers ending and clearing skies.
Within minutes im out on the water recording the temp at 76° with gin clear water clarity and out at my first waypoint. The waypoint I hit first is a large B.Crappie producer and did not disappoint with a first fish lunker 13.7” on a red white snap bean.
Thoroughly scouring the area without another hit I moved on methodically thru my list of waypoints.
The action was constant but the fish were smaller than average. Most were hitting the long-cast/.016 oz jig/waxie and the Lil Minnow.
Many lengths of shoreline were dirty with dying weeds and floating debris. Dying weeds and B.Gills are not a great combination I’ve noticed and very few fish were caught in these areas. Last year the shorelines between the docks were cleaner enabling successful long casts with the tiny jigs.
I alternated using the slip/float in these areas to keep the bait cleaner longer in the fish zone.
In some shoreline areas I noticed a few new beds occupied by a protective sunfish.
Lately I’ve been experimenting and recording performance data between two identical set-ups but the line… one is 2# Nanobraid and the other is Trilene 2# mono. Casting a rocky point I noticed a lunker Y.Perch inhaling the jig… setting the hook with a quick hard snap I broke off with the 2# mono! Ouch that was a nice fish! Broken line on the hook set happened a few times already with this set-up…
I fished thru three pop-up showers without much problem.
The Lull.Period continued with a steady pace on this 62% fish activity day.
I left just before reaching the Minor.Period because of neck, arm and shoulder pain calling the trip a little ahead of schedule but satisfied today with a few solid fish.