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-Rain delay and showers throughout a slow bite day
went on a scheduled trip to hit the Minor.Period in the early afternoon at a local lake. Earlier forecasts predicted partly cloudy skies and mid 70’s. pulled in at the launch and sat out a short rain shower.
I pulled up an Accuweather’s radar screen and was surprised to see showers covering most of Michigan. The Minutecast showed rain showers for the next two hours… uhg!!!
I donned the rain gear launched the boat and headed out regardless… I can fish thru showers this mild no problem.
At a lows 20’s daily fish activity level I wasn't expecting much. Timing the trip on the Minor.Period should give me some initial activity and I thought I would explore with the Lowrance HOOK2 unit thru the Lull.Period till the Major.Period breaks early evening… a double trigger.
Straight away I noticed mediocre activity levels even at the Minor.Period stretch. A few mediocre B.Gills here and there.
Very little shallow water activity and bedding… I thought for sure there would be a large spawning surge mid june similar to last year… are they finished. This has got me scratching my head.
I pulled up anchor and decide to explore for the deeper schools with the side scan unit and soon found them. A small area weed bed with schools of minnows, B.Gill yearlings and some gills reaching the 6” mark. Saw them on the screen and confirmed their identity by tagging a few on the Pink Waxie. I visually confirmed the schools of minnows by sight.
Moving on I found some schools of larger fish B.Gills and LMB confirmed on the drop shot/pink waxie .
I did a perimeter check and some exploring of the east bay of the lake until the Major.Period approached. I then located some sparse schools of large B.Gills moving up and down in the water column at 10 to 12’ and scored some beauties.…
Even though the showers lingered on and off the whole trip I felt comfortable fishing in the Frogg Toggs. The activity was low level but kept my interest and focus till the conclusion.
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)