Do you love big bluegill?
I have tried some but never seem to do well at all. What am I doing wrong?
Thanks Gill Getters
They're easily spooked this time of year. Keep your offerings slow, light and stealthy. Try shallow on the N side of your pond where they'll be trying to soak up some sun. You can also go out a little deeper off this area to check for fish that are thinking about moving up.
On bigger waters, look for the warmer N banks in the back of creek arms. As it's still technically winter, winter patterns may still exist. "Ice fish" the open water where you left them before ice out as a starting point. Your search area should be between here and the bedding areas.
Afternoons have been best for me. My go to bait is whatever I have left from ice season---usually bee moth, spikes or mousies on a size 10 or 12 short shank hook under a mini shy bite. Near bottom is a good starting point, but don't overlook the top 3 feet of the water column. I have been using Thill floats for many years. For shallow applications I like stealth, mini stealth, shy bite and mini shy bite. I go to the bodied waggler for wind, waves and deep. A quill is also good. Any of these floats properly weighted do well. Haven't had a chance to check on this "revolution". Don't know if it is real or just a sales campaign. I suppose that just about anything can be improved.
Water temperature makes the fish move very slowly. Your enemy is the Spring wind on the surface of the water. This time of year, your bite indicator is too big. I have personally set up almost every bobber off the shelf - this is your problem. Fish don't open their gills up like they do in the summer- food is small and slow so it is very easy for them to breath it in without effort. You won't get the summer take until their ice-cold bodies heat up.
Fishing straight line doesn't present the bait still enough or off the bottom where the fish are feeding.
Help is on the way though - there is some ice-out (and all year tackle that will help you in your mission).
I am stoked for ice-out! When is going to arrive this year.
A little ice-out humor - kind of like when are the crappies spawning this year??
Thanks for the reply Johnny. So if no float is available what's your secret if I may ask? What about flyfishing? probably need to make extra long cast?
Is live bait better than artifial at ice out?
We're loosing our ice here in Michigan but no open water just yet. Been river fishing mostly for walleye lately but season closes the 15th. I'll then focus on panfish.
You want to fish between Noon - 4 as mornings can be very very slow until the water warms up. There are no floats available which are sensitive enough - but there soon will be.
I have traveled and was taught by Mick Thill who has retired from the US float market. I hope to have something at your local tackle store quite soon. If you refer to the Revolution post - you can participate in a learning activity. What types of floats do you use? Keeping the bait still suspended just 1.5" off the bottom usually is the ticket as fish will hover just above the warmth of the darker bottoms - heated by the low Spring sun.
If you are both able to present the bait perfectly in front of them and keep it completely still - you will have success. Also think tiny!!! 1 spike. Size 16 hook.
Jigging is an attractant to draw them to your hole.
When they are on the tough bite on the ice- even the wind over the hole or the twisting ice jig can mess up presentation.
Bluegills observe and sight feed. They inspect their food and then strike. Give them cause for pause and the feeding trigger never is flipped.
Wind in the Spring is your enemy to seeing a proper take. I am REALLY excited to hit the open water this Spring and I want to catch the most fish ever this season... we'll see if I get the opportunities. Would you be interested in the Revolution - it's in the Discussions.. I need some people fishing some standard setups to log their successes (as well as slow times this Spring).
How do I know - I fish a lot of Spring competitions and my teacher is one of the best anglers on the planet - I have never defeated him when he fished the spots near me in a competition. The Spring cold-water bite is the toughest on all anglers.