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!
20180921-missed (3) days in a row on the lakes because of leg and arm pain... weathers not that great today with the wind gusts in the mid-20s with a cold front approaching lows at night in the low 40's. that's going to maybe put a negative spin on the fish productivity.
the good thing about this strong wind it will clean up the surface of the lake from all the weed debris pushing it to shore.
20180923-~~<")))))><(-*Post Summer*--85%/low 70's
20180923-Fishing the Home Lake during repair draw down and new fly tie.
The dam is under repair on the home-base lake so I took trip to see the effect of the fishing on 2-3 ft lowered levels on my favorite waypoints located on the 9’ flats… the trip was interesting and productive.
The current weather pattern was like summer with temps reaching the upr 70’s, hot sun and calm winds.
I loaded up the van with my favorite rod bundle including three micro jig setups as well as 2 slip float set-ups.
I had difficulty launching the boat with the reduced water levels.
Once out on the flats I notice the weeds forming an umbrella on the surface. Long casting the micro jigs proved difficult even along the edges.
Hitting the major period I noticed very productive fish activity levels. Once located the bluegills responded to the slip float presentation readily as well as the Micro-Jig Method.
I was elated to find the bluegills responded well to my new fly tie. The first bluegill caught on the fly was a beautiful 9 inch class bull bluegill. I only tied two flies for the trip on two different size hooks. The bluegills responded better with the smaller fly tied on a small hook #12 in size.
The best fishes of the day were tagged on the new fly under the float at 9 inch class in size as well as a 10” class beast just missing the mark on the Micro-Jig/Waxie method.
20180924-~~<")))))><(-*Post Summer*--95%/low 70's
20180924-Full Moon Eve… proved to be a good Day for Quality!
I plan my trips carefully when it comes to the full and new moon periods… fish activity levels are at their highest for the month. Fish respond well at those times my history proves. Fishing at the right place at the right time using the right bait!... very simple formula to follow.
So historically this time of year during the full moon or new moon periods on my favorite waypoints with my proven bait of choice has spelled success for me once again.
After enjoying summer like weather just the day previous… today was going to be difficult. Cold front conditions with cloudy skies, strong sustained winds and periodic drizzle. When your casting micro light jigs the wind throws the game off a bit.
The bite was there with quality but numbers were down… I’ll still gladly take that!
When dealing with the wind I position the boat upwind of my waypoint and cast with the wind.
I scored well with a Master Angler B.Gill on the LCD jig method! I then tagged a near Master Angle Channel Cat using the same technique shortly after!
because of the stiff winds the slip/float systems stayed on the bench for the trips entirety.
With weather coming in in the form of downpours and t storms I called the trip short and headed home… with a wide grin!
20180925-~~<")))))><(-*Post Summer*--96%/upr 60's
20180925~ “Day after the Harvest Moon” 96% FAL (Fish Activity level)
One of the highest FAL days of the month and I needed to be on the Lake!… Foul weather did not spoil yesterday’s trip… I ended up with some quality fish and a nice battle from a lunker C.Cat! with summer like weather for the day numbers and quality were up including a Master Angler certificate B.Gill!
I was on my first Waypoint with first fish in hand at 12:02 p.m. just before the Major.Period for the day which started at 12:40 p.m. I was well prepared for the day’s bite with three micro jigging rods and two slip float rig in my rod bundle.
As the Major.Period approached I was not impressed with the number of bluegills being caught I needed to move to a new position or Waypoint. The bluegills just weren’t there in numbers… I decided to drift with the light winds across a few waypoints marked on my Sonar. 20 minutes into the Major-Phase I tagged a nice longer pumpkin seed on the micro jig long casting. Things were starting to pick up… Tags were becoming more frequent.
As the winds died down I introduced the slip float into the program. Fishing the 9-foot Flats I set the slip float fly waxie at a 4-foot depth. Hits were becoming so frequent on the slip float rig that I laid down the micro jig rig set up for a while and concentrated on the slip/float/fly/waxie method.
The fly attached at the end of the system was new to my arsenal and my own tie. I just recently ran out of commercial dry flies and needed a quick replacement so I tied up a chenille bodied rubber legged fly to offer as a cheap replacement a few days ago. It caused some excitement with the gills yesterday and seemed to continue thru this trip. Eventually as the Major.Period settled in It was one fish after another when the big one hit… carefully netting the large gill I took a few snaps and a few at the measuring board… 9 15/16 good enough for a certificate at the nearest eighth inch. WOW!!
I continued fishing till near dusk with continued explosive Lepomis activity… Easily exceeding the 100 fish mark for the day. The folder count for pictures was in the mid one twenties. What a trip!
20181002-~~<")))))><(-*Post Summer*--13%/low 60's
20181002-been just a week since I last threw a line and felt a tug… I have two clients for tomorrow we would be fishing the downslide of a Major.Period and half way thru a Lull.Period on a 27% day… this was the only time they could fit in.
I’ll be Putting us on heavily panfish populated lake hopefully get some tags in the boat. My History with this lake is excellent with many trophy sized panfish, some good sized LMB’s many N.Pike. The populations of B.Gills are good with my lake PB at 9.75”. I’ll be putting them on the B.Crappie with long cast/jigs …This bite should be good… hopefully… we’ll see.
20181003-~~<")))))><(-*Post Summer*--27%/upr 50's
The day started out with Drizzle low clouds and showers... With the original booking canceling because of weather Lucas and Maverick stepped up and filled the gap. Checking Accucast there were periodic showers lasting just minutes for the next 2 hours so we decided to push forward.
I headed to the lake early to launch the boat and pre-fish some of my favorite waypoints on the lake before they arrived.
The first and favorite waypoint for the lake produced 0 fish with five minutes of casting… could not procure a bite or spot a fish on the sonar or side Scan Imaging.
At a 27% FAL (Fish Activity Level) is a near low for the month… pessimistically we were looking at a poor outing with a negative fish activity level. The optimistic outlook is that it is a good lake I have confidence in. The weather wasn't helping but there was Improvement in the early afternoon forecast with warming temperatures with rain ending.
After skunking on my first waypoint I decided to do a side scan of the deep break at 10 feet. The side Scan Imaging and the down scan Imaging showed fish hanging on the deep edge at that break. As I continued scanning I found schools of baitfish compacted into balls and large schools of bluegills and crappies surrounding.
I anchored the boat near one of the schools and started making casts. Within a couple cast I hooked up with a good fish it ended up stretching the board at 13.25”. My Outlook for the rest of the trip was looking up. As I was taking snaps of the fish I noticed headlights at the boat launch pulled up anchor and picked up Lucas and Maveric.
Wasting no time we loaded up their gear and headed back to the Waypoint of success.
Lucas is hooked on 1/32 ounce jigs tipped with 2 inch Class gulp minnows in the silver and black pattern as bait. He has success with Bass and B.Crappie with this setup long casting with a five and a half foot Wild series Shakespeare rod and Shimano Sienna spinning reel loaded with 6 pound Nano. He bought this setup at my suggestion and has been thrilled with his success using it.
We immediately started tagging fish with a flurry of action that would last an hour. The Solunar table showed we were on a downslope of the major and as soon as a Lull.Period set in action slowed down considerably to a snail pace.
During the Lull.Period the weather dramatically improved rain ending and the sun showing turning damp fall into warm summer-like conditions.
Lucas decided to extend the trip to the 4 p.m. mark on a Minor.Period upslope. Approaching the Minor.Period activity started picking up to the point where Lucas tagged a trophy 14in on the mark black crappie! Minutes later he tagged a 9 inch class pumpkin seed hybrid at the 9-inch mark... Nice lunker!
I was finding success with quality fish long casting the 1/64 Oz spring Cricket jig tip with a pink or chartreuse waxie. Slip /float /fly /waxie produced very little activity. The fish were approaching the flats from the first deep break.
The schools of fish were comprised of a mix of bluegill and crappy with quality and quantity.
I was really impressed with the successful results casting the micro spring cricket / waxie. With a smaller jig size from 1/32 to the downsized 1/64 Oz produced a nice slow descent and gliding presentation. The panfish showed a positive interest in the presentation bluegill and crappie alike.
The trip ended at 4 p.m. with some very good and dramatic results as well. With two trophies in the boat for the afternoon was a great accomplishment for Lucas... Tough to do! Congratulations Lucas!
Total numbers of the day we're over seventy-five fish in the boat including two trophies what a trip!
You're a diligent archivist Slip !Good man.