I fish winter gills from 6 to 11 am. I bring 100+ crickets and nightcrawlers for back-up. Most fish where i live are 16-19 feet deep. In the early morning hours they are suspended up high like 7-10 feed deep in 16-19 feet of water. After the sun is out for a while and it warms a bit, they head to the bottom and fast. I usually us a double dropshot rig with a large splitshot as the weight. If the bite slowes i go with a small splitshot 12inches before a small hook.
A good thing to remember the fish suspend after sunrise and before sunset. Between that there almost smack dab on the bottom. Most of my fish after 10am are off the bottom. Crickets catch more fish but the nightcrawlers catch larger gills, in my opinion.
unless you know where the fish are going to be, a fishfinder is a must. Look for deep points and drop-offs for the gills, aslo deep humps produce large fish. Deep docks are pretty good spots, at my lake i fish there feeding so there hanging out under the docks feeding. Look around and you'll find them.
Where do you live and what lake do you fish at??? Maybe i can help
Hey William...I have actually caught some of my biggest gills in the Mid-Atlantic region in small farm and millponds in Jan and Feb. I fish with 1/64th oz jigs and tip them with either worm pieces, waxworms or Gulp. I like to suspend a bait with an attached bobber so that the lure is just off the bottom, maybe a foot above the bottom, and let the wind push the bait around until I encounter fish. Many of the waters I fish are no deeper than 8-10 ft deep so a fixed bobber fished on a longer 10 -12 foot rod does nicely.
Sometimes on mild, sunny mid winter periods the fish will move up in the water column and you can catch them as shallow as 3 ft below the bobber. Use sensitive Thill Wagglers or other pencil shaped floats for the best strike detection. I also use small weighted foam clip-on bobbers when the fish get a little more aggressive and you need casting distance to get to suspended fish without spooking them. Try to avoid oncoming coldfront conditions.
These tactics work for me in small, shallow lakes and ponds as the gills may 'hole-up' in the only deep water available in the system...that being the 7 to 10 foot hole at the base of the dam. There can be very high concentrations of fish in very small areas...be cautious of overharvest if you hit the motherload.
Well thanks for the information. Christopher to answer your question i fish at my families pond for them. I know were a lot of them hang out at, but i am not sure what they will hit this time of year. Becuase the gills in our pond slow down this time of year, but i am mainly fishing for trout at the river this time of year instead of the gills. The river is to high and dirty so my back up is fishing for these gills. I mainly don't fish for them untill spring and early summer. Oh the max depth of our pond is 14ft.
fishing open water in the river pools with green sanjuans or crappie candies flies has still been paying off.the sun need to be high the shaxows seem to shut them down. well at least until last week . i love fishing but not below zero