Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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Something new I would like to do this year is venture into the ultralights and fish a lil artificial. Ive got 10 bream busters in my boat 1 tiny tackle box with only corks, weights, hooks and 200ft of 10lb tst line and two cages usually loaded with 150 to 250 crickets a pc. Fishing with live bait all your life tends to make you scared to death when you go out without them crickets but I wanna try!

First off when fishing artificials Do you do it like bass fishin? Do you chunk at the outskirts of tree tops? Or do you just jig? How deep do you know you are when your fishing in current. Do you even fish the same spots? Life is scary without a cork. When do you use a blade? Is a rooster tail better than a spoon? How important is the color of the jig head? Should I rub the beatle spin in the worm dirt to add some flavor to it? Life was so simple when it was just a cricket, a stick, a cork, and some string.

Lets have a technique discussion. Imagine your writing to a ten year old kid on what to get and how to use it! (no im not that dumb but lord please be gentle with me to begin with..... I gotta get warmed up first)

This is going to be like Big Country takin his chevy into the city so keep the technical terms slim PLEASE

Scared of the plastic in Al.
Mr. MAYO

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Dwayne when the word ice is used in a sence of terminal tackle down in the deep south where were at its refered to as the stuff you put over your beer! LOL.... I am planning on putting some jigs under slip corks sunday. Ive used this aproach before and it was half as productive put it was in a tree top to. Gonna be fishing open water and perhaps with a 3 tie rig with jigs under corks on a few poles I may stand a chance of my bait apearing like schooling minnows. Who knows. Im willin to try anything. Its getting to easy to load the boat so im ready for a challange!
Small crankbaits and inline spinners are good lures. Smaller Mepps and Rooster Tails are good spinners. Mepps would include the Comet, Wooly Bugger, Streamer, Dressed Aglia, and Dressed Black Fury. Crankbaits I'd recomend include Rebel TadFry, Rebel Teeny Wee Crayfish, Rebel Teeny Wee Frog, Rapala Mini Fat Rap, Rapala sizes 3 and 5 Countdown, Rapala size 6 Husky Jerk, Rapala sizes 6 and 4 X-Rap, Rapala size 6 X-Rap Shad Shallow, Rapala sizes 3 and 5 Original Floater, Rapala size 5 Jointed, Rapala size 4 Jointed Shad Rap, and many other small crankbaits, esp Storms and Bombers.
I fish alot of Strip mines and some are infested with small and medium Greenies. If i cant catch anything that is good sized ill switch to a small crankbait, If the fish are really biting to begin with youll imediately notice a change in size to bigger fish, although you wont be catching fish every cast like before the crank bait. So its a toss up. I always start with Live bait usually crickets, If they start hammering my bait ill switch to an artificial just so i dont need a new cricket every other cast.. Like Bruce said i look for green weeds in the water, I  fish from a boat most of the time and alot of people make the mistake of fishing on the side of the weedbed closest to the boat deeper side, in the strip mines i fish the banks drop quickly so the trick is to hit the bank side of the weed beds in might only be 6" of water but the other side of the weeds might be 12-20 so throw your bait on bank if you have to and drag it too the water.. This is just what i do and when i go the mines if i didnt catch a 100 it wasnt a good day..
Well we tried jigs last weekend. DIDNT DO SMACK!!!!! I went back to ole trusty and landed several good crappie ( kept 5 for supper, All of wich were 11 to 13" caught a couple over and let em back since I had enough for supper)  and one nice bass weighing in at almost 4lbs. What an awsume pull on 6 lb line and a b&m 12ft IM 8 Crappie pole. We had a blast. Im not givin up on the artificial but im far from going out with my confidence in a bucket. Gotta few guys that fish only artificial who swear they can out fish me with jigs, spinners etc. etc. So the challenge has been given an invite and Im waiting on someone to man up.  Nothing like a lil competition to make a few hours of fishin stressful and fun!

What a great Thread!! My head is about to expload with information!  

 I was one of those live bait only fisherman 4-5 years ago and "accidently" discovered that artificials can be just as affective if not more so.  It happened "accidently" because I was out fishing for Northerns with my Dad and didn't plan of fishing for Gills.  When he decided to take a nap I pieced together some small feathered jigs tipped with Berkly Power Wigglers (wax worm look alike) out of some Ice fishing stuff I happend to have with. I proceeded to hammer gills and crappies.  It was an eye opening experience, but the truth is I never would have even tried artificials if I had my Nuky Blanky with (crawlers). 

     So...........leave those crickets home for one trip and just goof around with some lures till you find something you like.  There is no bad day on the lake no matter how many you catch.  Besides, you may actually find it a very freeing experience!  I haven't used live bait for panfish in the 5 years since that day and have never been skunked either.  

   I will also repeat what another patron had mentioned and that is get to know the lakes you fish, every lake has it's secrets to where the fish are holding and why they are there.  I can't tell you how many trips I have taken where I am told  the fish aren't biting only to look around and see those same folks fishing the wrong spots. Believe me I am no expert if I can catch them anyone can catch em, but taking time to learn the fish's behavior in any body of water can pay dividends.  Fishing artificials can help with this because it forces you to slow down and pay attention to details!!  Good luck, I can't wait to see you post the pictures of your "artificial" catches!!    

Hey Mr Mayo..someone here posted about Johnsom Beetle spins..EXCELLENT CHOICE. Pick the same depth that you would drown a cricket,,,then slow and steady at that depth not all that hop and  drop stuuf. I don't know how old you are but if you remember at the end of EVERY Virgil Ward show he'd drop a beetle spin in the trusty aquarium and give everyone that hoaky lift and drop demo.? Also since you've got a load of Brim-busters on hand try this for fun!! Tie 6' of 2 wt floating fly line to tip then add 5-6' of 3lb test to that and finish with a small black gnat(fly) if their deep or a cork bug if their shallow...and hold on. Kind of like weaning yourself off the crickets without having withdrawels and building your confidence that brim will in fact eat inanimate objects!!  GOOD LUCK YOU CAN DO IT                              Ken S
This is a great thread and Ive about compiled all for it for my files. I appreciate the awesome information!

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