Do you love big bluegill?
Headed out to the hole I’ve been hitting pretty hard that past couple of weeks. I checked the website before I left, flow rate is 52 cfs, temp 73ºF, maybe 74ºF.
This time, I took one of my minnow traps and a little dog food. I knew the water had been clearing up, so using the dip net for minnows is out of the question. The mesh on my cast net is to big; they swim right through the netting.
I get to my spot, and boy, is the river low! No more than knee-deep, and that was in one spot only crossing the channel. The second channel, where I was setting up, had more water, but I didn’t wade out that far, just about knee-deep.
Before I got rod ready to fish, I baited my minnow trap and set it in a spot just deep enough to cover the trap. I could see minnows swimming around, so I hoped to catch a few before I left.
I tied on a Rapala X-rap, size 6, in blue-white, and started throwing it out. Never caught a fish.
After 15 minutes, I turned around and looked at my trap. There were minnows along the top, pecking at the bait through the trap. I took a few steps closer, and realized I had caught a bunch! I hauled the pot, opened it, and sorted the minnows out into my bucket, leaving the bait in the trap. I set the trap back to soak a little longer. I was hoping to catch a bunch of Ghost Minnows, as they get big and the predators just slurp them down, but what I had was a mixed load of small Shiners and small to medium Red Fin Minnows. They work just as well!
I switched over to a basic live-minnow rig with a size 6 Aberdeen gold hook, under a weighted float. Sure enough, I started catching fish. I managed to catch a few small Sand Bass (White Bass), a small Channel Cat, a half-way decent White Crappie, even a small Sauger. Then, I managed to catch this:
That’s a spunky little fish going after a 1 ½” minnow!
After a little bit, I decided to move a little ways over, to try a different spot. There’s a good ledge with current flowing over, and some large rocks, so it’s a perfect ambush spot for predators.
I decided I would toss the bait up near the floodgates, let it rest on the concrete foot of the dam, and drag the bait off with the current, then let it drift. This proved to be a DEADLY presentation. I lost track of how many fish I caught!
A cloud layer had moved in, reducing the light, and the kitties decided to play. I caught a few more, here are two of them:
As you can see, there were some fly-fishermen there. I didn’t see what they were throwing, I’m assuming streamers or clousers. They were bowed up pretty much all the time. That I saw, they were catching Sandies, Kentucky Bass, and at least one small Drum.
Once the clouds cleared out, the visual predators started really hammering hard. I managed to get still pic’s of these three Kentucky (Spotted) Bass.
Honestly, I lost track of how many fish I caught. 5, maybe 6, Channel Cats, 3 Saugers, the Long Eared Sunnie, a White Crappie, and lots of Sandies and Kentucky Bass.
Here’s some video that I captured when the bite really turned on: