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The Phenomenon of the color PINK in Brackish Waters for Sunfish......

As an active member of Bigbluegill.com the last several years, I have learned a lot and shared many ideas that have proven successful for Sunfish in the waters I fish. Prior to becoming a member I had several secrets that remained in my pocket and only my closest fishing buddies had ever even shared in this success. This isn't to say others weren't fishing the same baits in a similar style and catching fish or using baits of their choice and finding similar success.  I was a young kid with numerous anglers in my extended family and I learned early from my grandpa Foster Abney, who always told me to listen when I got around fishermen and think about things that might help me or work where I was fishing.  I was fortunate to be pretty close with an Uncle on my mother's side of the family that lived one town over in Southeastern Louisiana. He grew up and lived near the banks of the Tcefuncte River in the small town of Madisonville, Louisiana and only fished two bodies of water during his eighty plus year life.  A fact that many folks close to him never knew is he fished live grass shrimp for some 60 to 70 years and I couldn't begin to tell you how many Bluegill, Shellcracker, Warmouth and Crappie that he caught over the years.   One Thanksgiving day in the early 1970s as our 100 member family assembled in Folsom, Louisiana for the best dinners we ever ate, Uncle Kenny walked out to an acre pond that was dug on the family farm to stock with fish for the 20 plus grandkids in the Sharp family.  I was there casting a beetle spin when he asked if I had a scoop net with me. I did and we went over to some grass beds near the shore and made a quick scoop and filled a bucket up with little crustaceans called Grass Shrimp. He said put a cork and a bream hook on there and let me show you something. I eagerly followed his instructions and a few moments later we were pulling out big bluegill one after another.  This went on for quite some time and my Uncle explained if you ever run out of Grass Shrimp "Jeffie" and can't find more, take a pink soft plastic jig and fish that in the same areas. He explained that I wouldn't be disappointed and don't be afraid to tip the hook with a worm, grasshopper or a cricket if you have some.  I went home armed with the advice and went through seven or eight tackle boxes my dad and I had but no pink in any of them. I couldn't believe it but surely I'll find some the next time at the bait shop.  A few short days later my dad and I visited the local bait shop and I rushed the fishing tackle, both shelves and found two packs of little curly tails that had a mix of white and pink, they were mine and I was excited to let Uncle Kenny know I had found some and was eager to try them as soon as I could. His only clue was Pink was the best match for live grass shrimp in our brackish waters. He explained saltwater anglers have realized it for some time but freshwater fishermen have failed to make the correlation and they are truly missing out. In the weeks ahead I will go into detail how I fish these jigs and hopefull answer many of the questions I have received about the mystery of pink.

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Great story Jeffrey. I can't wait to see and read more about fishing pink lures (flies for me). I really struggle to catch fish on anything pink. Everybody swears by pink, I just need instruction on how to use it.

Thanks Steve....Some wet fly micros will be featured later in the discussion ...

So the phone rings early one morning during the Spring and the voice says "Hey Jeffrey, you should have been with us on the Pasquotank  River yesterday....we tore those titty bream up!".....I reply "really?" and the joker says "April Fools"! But is it really April Fools or time to go hit your favorite Bluegill hole in the South or Mid-Atlantic? I say hit the gills and there was a reason I got an excused absence every Good Friday growing up.......Historically it was opening day of Big Bluegill Season where I grew up......Many of you may relate, I was sleepless the night before....checking my poles out five or six times......going over my check list, yes I said check list, to make sure I had accounted for everything for the trip.....What great memories I have from those days!  Here at home in Carolina, anybody that knows me knows I'm going to be on the river the first week of April and 2012 was no different. My in ground swimming pool is reading 61 degrees and air temperatures are beginning to rise to the mid 70s and sometimes a splash of the 80s.  I pack my favorite jigs and a batch of live crickets slowed by a chilly start........On this day I will push in to three to five feet of water and work my way out from there. On this occasion my jig/cricket combination is being abused,  not by big bluegill every cast but solid Black Crappie that have raced into the shallows and set up camp.  I quickly have the 20 fish North Carolina limit of Crappie to go with a few straggler gills and chunky spawning largemouth.

My neighbor asks how the fishing was an his teenage son overhears the Crappie/Gill report and he starts doing a snow angel in the driveway in an effort to block me from leaving without him....Eric and I head out a few short days later and not only are the Crappie still there, the Big Bluegill are crushing our jigs now......What a morning! The pink curly tails and Charlie B Sliders are being hit time and time again....

Weather forecasters talk about the ups and downs of early spring discussing the last frost of the season and another stubborn cold front...etc....Gills go back and forth with these weather impacts....running back to staging areas in 4 to 6 feet of water on cold nights and returning to the shallows as the temperatures rebound to 60 degrees or better....Stay patient and be ready to capitalize on that consecutive run of high 70s......it will be rewarding....Drape your favorite pink jig, perhaps trimmed down a bit for early season, with a juicy active live cricket and hold on......The spawners are coming, this is the time of year that you go back to bedding grounds of past seasons and finally trust your instincts..... If it looks fishy then rising water temperatures offers a great time to give it a whirl......In waters that support life.....you will find water temperature as the single most important factor for a great day of early Spring Bluegill fishing......For me seeing 60 degrees on my fish finder is better than the right scratch off number in your favorite lottery........The very best part about fishing in April is the next sheet on the calendar is MAY.....I start jigging the pigs in April.....the big 10s start showing up often and I stand ready for the battle both on light tackle and my telescopic poles.....Late in the month I start seeing Flowers bloom and insect life picks up....Oh my....is that Cinco De' Mayo next week!

Thanks very much for this blog Jeffrey and has been both enlightening and informative for me and really enjoyed reading it all . NOw that winter is almost here we have nothing to do but make bugs , work on old rods, WATCH FISH BOOK HERE, for new Hard Water gills and think of the spring ahead ................

It will be fun to talk about the summer months and all the new bugs I fished with also Tooty......the Gronaw Grass Shrimp and Tooty's Silent Stingers will get some air time!

SIR JEFFREY , we all look forward to the adventures of Jeffrey this past summer and can't wait to see the comments on my and MR. G'S BUGS. I 'm sure Jim will appreciate it as much as me . Ya know that Gronaw shrimp is a very attractive pattern to me and kind of mimicked it when I came up with the Rasberrys with the materials used and much appreciate Jims efforts and inventiveness has helped all the tiers on here......... ESPECIALLY ME!

Jeffery,

Teach me, my Master. I, your humble Accolade, await your instruction.

I can see this thread being a very widely-read thing this Winter.

What kind of rod are you using for this kind of jigging?

I have a 4 1/2' light action role strung with 4 lbs test mono. I also have a 7' IM6 graphite pole, light action, strung with 10 lbs test PowerPro, and typically use either a 4 lbs test leader, or 8 lbs test leader.

I'm wondering about something else. I have noticed a couple places here are selling 18" fiberglass spinning rigs. They are marketed as a "dock rod", I'm thinking for fishing in Crappie docks and various boat docks where folks rent a slip.

I'm thinking about getting one (or two) for use in my kayak. I can just drop a jig down straight below me as I'm drifting. Or, set the poles in my trolling rod holders, drop a jig down to the bottom, give a turn of the handle up, and just let it hang while I work another rod in my hand. These pole bend very easily, so I'm not worried about the fish getting off, although they may swallow the hook.

Thanks Allen.....I fish jigs under a float 95% of the time so I'm using 5 1/2 foot to 6 foot light action most often but I do go up to medium action in real heavy cover to give me a chance to get fish out....Also I catch hundreds of these fish on jigs fished from telescopic poles as well....I like the drift idea too, I almost always put out a drifting line.....18 footers seem a little cumbersome for a kayak but I don't fish from a kayak so I'll let you guys decide....I have larger telescopics but it becomes work over 14 feet...Many of the longer models become heavy but that's not an issue drift fishing.....It just seems you're very close to the water in a Yak and 18 foot of pole seems tough but may be not.....I love 10 to 12 foot poles and have a blast....I see the longer poles being used in spider rigs but people immediately stand up in their boat trying to get fish to the surface in this arrangement......Just an opinion, I don't like to discourage anything when it comes to fishing.......

Jeffery - That is one of the best true  stories that I have heard in a long time and yes, It brings back many memorie for me as well growing up waiting for opening day. Usually it was a school day and it was not hard for the teachers to tell who the real students of fishing were. Oh yes tell us more stories.  Just woke up and read the whole thread and got my day off to a great start.

Appreciate that Rick....my hope is that at least one person who reads this thread will try something new and if anybody reflects on days gone by or fishing adventures of the past then that's a bonus.....It will get meatier starting with the next edition for the month of May.....This really begins my run of thousand fish months and all the fun that goes with that.....Enjoy!

JEFFREY YOU MADE ME TRY SOMETHING NEW THIS YEAR , WELL LOTS OF NEW STUFF AS A MATTER OF FACT and it all wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwworked for me and mmmmnay thanks buddy for reintroducing me to PINK!!!!!! The Rasberrys were a welcome addition too and got out the old streamers and found out nothing wrong with them either. You made me broaden my horizons and thanks buddy.......

I don't think we have grass shrimp here in Illinois.  I have never tried pink in the farm ponds, but it might be worth a try.  I usally use black in the brackish waters.  I always thought as pink as a lighter color to use with clearer water.  I will look for some pink, and give it a try.

Dilly

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