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!
20180918-~~<")))))><(-*Post Summer*--28%/upr 70's
20180918~ what a fantastic day on the water!!!
The weather has been stable with above normal temps and calm or light winds throughout most of late august and mid September. Fish love the consistency in a weather pattern as well as the above normal temps. Nothing wrong with extending the growing season of the fishes.
I loaded up my common rod bundle comprised of two slip float rods as well as three micro jig setups into the van and headed for my home lake.
I love this time a year the boat launch was empty the weather was a a bit warm with abundant sunshine and calm winds… The forecast was calling for a bank the clouds coming in and showers later in the night. Just enough time to fish the major intraday before sunset.
In the 20 minute ride to my first waypoint I just noticed a couple pontoon boats and Bass boats through the stretch. Very little traffic or fishing presure.
Studying my sonar on my way to the waypoint i noticed very few fish at the deep breaks. I always take this as a signal that the fish are shallow in the flats. I’m usually right.
I was still excited about the catches from the recent trips … a 10” B.Gill master Angler and two Lunker 10” class B.Gills caught back to back just missing the mark
As I approached the first waypoint on the 9 foot flat I noticed schools of fish along the weed edges. They were identified as B.Crappie after tagging a few from the 10 to 12” mark on the Least Common Denominator Jig (1/64 oz jig tipped with a Gulp Waxie in Chartreuse or Pink)and a 2” swim jig 1/32 oz in size.
The bluegills were close to the surface picking flies from a hatch. I also tagged quite a few at the surface near floating weed mats. The floating weed debris was everywhere on the surface causing havoc with my long casts. Fouled baits were the norm on nearly every cast.
I set the hook hard with a quick snap into a very good fish… this fish was easily identified right away with its unique fighting style as a large Channel Cat. I pressured the fish into submission with the lightest rod in my arsenal. The fish measured just under 28” with a 92% Master Angler Rating. What a beast!
Darkness was quickly approaching with the grey bank of clouds coming in. I don’t know about anyone else … it is hard for me to leave a hot bite. The phone alarm went off signaling for me to start heading back to the launch. I told myself “just one more cast” a few times before the trophy gill took the bite. After a nice battle I quickly netted the fish noticing it was 10” class. Putting the fish to the board identified the fish as a certificate… a few quick snaps she was quickly released back to the gene pool… wow!
Two trophy B.Gills in just over a weeks time including a nice bonus Cat… What a trip!
Last year at this time I tagged two certificate B.Gills with the same presentation and similar structure on the same lake.
20180920-~~<")))))><(-*Post Summer*--51%/mid 70's
WOW!... just checked my stats on the Michigan DNR Master Angler Database… I am at 33% the past 10 years on Wixom Lake (I moved up here 8 years ago!) for Certificate Trophy B.Gill! This does not include the two I caught the past week! This would bring me up to 55% once registered... this is an amazing statistic in itself!
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