Do you love big bluegill?
Just purchased a Fountainhead Tenkara Caddis pole and need help. I researched warm water Tenkara and found most information on the web is about trout.
Just wondering if anyone has information for bluegill fishing with Tenkara. Line types, flies, etc.
I'm not familiar with the rod brand, but familiar with the rod type. It's pretty much like a bamboo rod, or telescoping rods that we use for panfish and carps along the bank. You can use any flouro line. Don't use too thick of a flouro line. 2lbs is perfect for the panfish. You can even haul in larger fishes up to 10lbs using 2lbs. One guy at our local lake hauled in 20lbs bass with a 2lbs line. PLine, Maxima, Berkley, Yo-Zuri, your choice, based on your budget. Make sure the line is the flouro/clear type that will disappear in the water.
Flies wise, you're stepping into a world of "pick the best fly that match the hatch". When you fish, pay very close attention to the local bugs, insects, and anything that the gills go for. Common ones would be spiders, maggots, nymphs, or even flies resemble a shape of a cricket. There is no one specific fly that will be a the sure fire fly until you actually find it.
Slipper bobber rig. Look for it. We have gurus that are great with slip bobber rigs. Fixed bobber rigs too. It's all about how you present your baits, such as crickets, worms, grubs, etc.. Nightcrawlers are a go to choice. Then red worm varieties. cricket on a #6 or #8 baithook/mosquito hook is a good starter for the slip/fixed bobber rig.
Need more info? Let us know. If confused, let us know. Give us your level of experience on fixed pole so we can help you further.
Leo thank you for the information. I'm new to fishing (August 2011) but started using a BNM Pole in September. I joined Catch to better understand pole and fixed line fishing. I tend to research the dickens out of topics but I have very little real experience. I thought Tenkara may be a way to go since it appears to combine both pole and fly fishing methods.
Joe, everyone has to learn some method to start out. Fixed pole fishing is the starting point. I started out with a 25' self made bamboo pole myself, using a twine fashioned from my grandma's ancient fiber spinner. Use an old dried up chewing tobacco bulb plant as a float, and a cheap makeshift hook out of the paperclip left behind by the military. Instant fishing tool. Caught plenty until the pole snapped. Make friend with an old fishing vet, and he provided me with tons of used gears. Never look back on the old tools ever since..
Leo pretty much nailed it.
Some of the more common bluegill flies are small poppers for the surface, wet nymphs and ants. These are kinda universal for bluegill. Another I see that is very popular is a fly called the "Wooly Bugger."
Also dont overlook the many small and micro- soft plastics. Dinky tube lures, grubs and twist tails, fished on 1/48-1/100 jig heads are often productive.
The beauty of the long pole is you can make presentations slow and in-their-face. "Dabbling" is kinda the way I think of it. Small pockets in weeds, behind in and around knockdowns, "rocks n' docks," etc. - these are the places you can drop your bait and lure presentations when pole fishing.
This is important to remember, as bluegill are not what we'd think of as 'chasers'. They're cover oriented ambushers and go for forage that is not generally moving away from them too fast.
Thanks, never thought to use jigs. 1/ 100 may be interesting to cast. I seen some on ebay I've read about the dabbing (jigging) method for bass. I didn't realize Bluegill also ambush.
Bass and bluegill are within the same family of fishes. When you read something about bass, don't immediately discount it. Everything from lure categories to attractants cross lines between the two fish. All you have to do adjust for scale.
Amen to that! I caught so many bass on panfish rig that I didn't even bother purchasing bass' specific lures, baits, or tools. Just stick with panfish. Even the cats and carps nail the panfish things.
Most of what is written is about trout but tenkara rods are a lot of fun with bluegills.
There are two main types of tenkara line, tapered furled lines that are just like regular furled leaders (only longer) or level line usually made from a hi-vis fluorocarbon. I prefer the level line but both types work well and it really is a matter of personal preference. It is not like bank fishing with 2 lb test line, though, you need a thicker line to be able to cast it. Like a fly rod, you cast the weight of the line, not a bobber or split shot. Fluorocarbon should be 12-16# test, about the length of the rod, to which you would add about 3-4' of tippet. I generally use about 4# test for the tippet.
You could use poppers, small foam spiders, about any wet fly or nymph, small streamers or woolly buggers, but they should not be heavily weighted. The rods are very light and will not cast a heavy fly well. And you will be casting, just like with a fly rod, not just dapping or dropping your fly down like with a cane pole and a worm. My best luck was with four tenkara flies called Sakasa Kebari, which is like a simple wingless wet fly with the hackle slanting forward rather than backwards. When you fish it with very subtle twitches, the hackle pulses open and closed. Using more than one fly makes it easer for the 'gills to see them. You'll get a few doubles, and if you're not quick, they'll take two flies before you notice it.
Thanks for the reply. I purchased level line with the pole. From what I read, I think I need to cast like a fly rod. The site suggested level line to the length of the pole and 3-4 feet of number 5 or less trippet. I did purchase flies from Tenkara USA since they were having a sale this week so I think I may have the pattern you mentioned. What suprised me was the amount of information on trout but very little on warm water application of the system. Looks like you done this before, is the experience more like fly fishing or pole . I'm very interest in both since I enjoy scaled down fishing since I tend to fish small stressed ponds.
The thing to do is to just fish the warm waters, regardless. We needlessly burden ourselves looking for commonality between fishes in "warm" waters and trout. Certainly they share some things - they live in water, for example. But the environment each inhabits is distinctly different, even where lines blur and they are found in the same body of water. Trying to bring the two together may be more confusing than anything. Then you go looking some more, you succumb to "information avalanche" and maybe fail to do much else.
So just go with your tenkara rig (or whatever else you choose), use the baits you already know work for the fish you are after and enjoy.
No rig or outfit will magically call the fish to you. To catch fish consistently, you have to be where the fish ARE. Their environment changes by the hour, day and season. The first requisite for catching fish is NOT equipment - it is knowing where the fish are to be found at any given place at any particular time.
Thank you so much for the web site and information. Looks like we're both be fly fishing in some form this spring. I would need to get a bit more seasoned to try the fly rod