Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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I finally got to go back to Sparkleberry Swamp.  My plan was to paddle deeper in and find some of the creek channels. Yesterday I loaded up my Yak with my ultralite rod, crickets, and some snacks.  Figured I would take my dog Sam; I wanted to see what kind of fishin partner he would be. I was on the water by 11am and figured the overcast would help bring on the bite.

I found out the sat image and the maps are almost useless.  On the sat images you can see what looks to be the creeks but on the water its really hard to tell.  I did find otter flat.  Along that area there was some deep water with a current.  I figured there had to be some fish there.  I only managed to catch 4 gills the whole day. All were in 3 to 4 ft of water and close to trees bordering deep channels. I tried fishing in the shallows and got nothing. Grass beds, stumps and brush, still nothing.  What gives?  I figured there should be piles of gills out there.

If I ventured a guess the area is so saturated with cover the fish seek out select areas that I havent found yet.  I guess the thing to do will be to find someone who knows that area well and get some ol fashioned tutoring.

 

BTW Sam hates the water. 

 

 

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Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on September 16, 2014 at 5:09pm

Good words, Brian.

I like the sat views, but just for general use. I have seen some things during low water images that are interesting, as you say. But mostly I just get an idea of what the place is like, if there is parking and water access, etc..

Comment by Brian Jones on September 16, 2014 at 12:17pm

No they arent useless but the diff between sat and boots on ground is huge.  The imagry is fairly recent, 2013 I believe.  My house is near by and I can judge the time frame off of whats been done there.  I believe a lot to do with it is the tree canopy and that the image was shot during high water.  If the water drops I will be able to see the channels and cuts from ground level.  

The sat does give me a good general idea, I can at least see the large open bodies of water.  The main thing I am looking for is mill creek  and Fifty Fools Creek. Its hard for me to discern between the creeks, guts and slough that make up the swamp.  It all looks the same in there. 

I will take sam along another day when I get my jon boat on the water; till than I think he will be happy to stay home n guard the couch.

It was good to get out there, its hard to call a day on the water when you come home with everything you took with you at least.

 

 

Comment by Leo Nguyen on September 16, 2014 at 8:20am

David, depending on the region, most sat images are either back in 1990s or early 2000s. Topography changes due to natural events, so, those sat images failed to update info. However, USGS tend to do a 10 years fly-over surveying to update terrains. That's slightly better. Of course, nature changes everything within a year or two. The old sat and fly-over surveying images do offer some hints on the general locale to attack, which is more than going in blind. I believe Google and Bing aerial surveys just stepped up their games for high urbanized areas once a year. For my areas, I got updates once every 3 months. So, I'm thrilled.

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on September 16, 2014 at 2:36am
Interesting the sat imagery was of no value. I've noted myself the difference between these images and personal observation.
I wouldn't go so far as to call them pointless, but "eyes on" certainly does add to the overall effect.
Comment by Leo Nguyen on September 15, 2014 at 7:39pm

I can't say it's a skunk-filled day. Got a few gills, explore new water, proven satellite and geo-topo maps are useless and outdated. You got a nice day on the water with your best friend.

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on September 15, 2014 at 7:02pm
The overcast this weekend was due to a frontal boundary passing. The fish were scattered and off their usual pattern, from what I saw Sunday.
The only bite I could muster was a weak surface nibble.
That will be the situation more and more as Fall comes upon us. But, there will be peak feeding before and after these fronts. The next few months will be like that.
Watch the weather and coincide your fishing on either side of the weather. Fish shallow early and the drop offs late. That's what I plan to do. This weekend is looking stable again, with moderate temps.
I recommend you look up Bill Byrd and his ultralight site - he is loaded with tips to help and offers a systematic way to find the fish. Just google his name and ultralight, fly fishing, etc.

PS a good dog is a pleasure. But a reluctant dog is a poor deckmate. Spare the poor thing the anguish and leave it home!
Comment by Brian Jones on September 15, 2014 at 10:39am

Thanks Jeff, its a popular place here, most of the folks I met were headed in to go camping, looked more like they were preppin for doomsday judging by the arsenal and how much stuff they had loaded. It will take time to figure it out. I could smell the fish, I have noticed that when I find a bed I can smell um especailly if they are spawning. I just couldn't pin this one down, I think it was in some heavy cover that was blocking me.

There are some spots out there that are so dense you cant pass a fart through that brush. I think also need to narrow down the are to learn one part at a time.  It's 16k acres and super easy to get lost without a gps. 

Comment by Jeffrey D. Abney on September 15, 2014 at 5:38am

Sometimes days like this are in advance of the best gill fishing Brian.......The "discovery" phase is a very important aspect of sustained good fishing.......I've lucked into some great fishing over the years but even those spots came from trusting my instincts......Just this past Saturday I ventured into a creek that I hadn't visited yet.....Fishing was average but it shows potential so I made some notes and will probably return as water temperatures fall back. As many established places as I can fish, I still love to try new water that appeals to my bluegill sense......I get excited just not knowing what the new water might produce......I applaud your effort Brian and seek out that local that might have a few more clues....good luck when you get back out there!

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