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!
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.
THANKS John!...this methodical approach has really upped my game the past few years.
10181003-Break down of the trip by the solunar table…
20181007- New Moon tomorrow along with a significant warming trend for the next few days... FAL at 96%... i feel good about this time frame... a very good possibility i could pick up a couple more certificate fish beating last years’ total.
I feel like taking a chance on the reservoir with a 6-0’ drawdown the extensive 9-0’ flats are now 3-0’ in depth the deeper troughs thru the flats should be holding concentrations of fish… “shooting fish in a barrel” we will see!
...beautiful day here in mid-Michigan... some nice summer-like weather continuing thru Wednesday... spine kept me pinned to the chair today with some serious cramping in the legs... I will try for tomorrow or Wednesday to take advantage of these rising temps.
20181008-Tuesday drops down only to a 94% FAL… still, like fishing the 3 days of the new or full moon… hopefully I’ll be feeling better tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be summer-like with air temps in the low 80s’… I want to be a part of that even if someone has to duct tape me to the boat seat.
The last outing I recorded water temps in the mid to upr 50’s… 10 degs cooler for this time of year. With air temps at 80degs should put us back to near 60 or just over for water temps.
I’m still favoring the tougher lake and conditions… reservoir with a 4-6 ft drawdown for dam repair. My favorite 10’ flats will be around 5’ deep if the fish are still there they should be easier to tag. The decision on which lake will probably be decided at the end of the driveway… lol