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The Phenomenon of the color PINK in Brackish Waters for Sunfish......

As an active member of Bigbluegill.com the last several years, I have learned a lot and shared many ideas that have proven successful for Sunfish in the waters I fish. Prior to becoming a member I had several secrets that remained in my pocket and only my closest fishing buddies had ever even shared in this success. This isn't to say others weren't fishing the same baits in a similar style and catching fish or using baits of their choice and finding similar success.  I was a young kid with numerous anglers in my extended family and I learned early from my grandpa Foster Abney, who always told me to listen when I got around fishermen and think about things that might help me or work where I was fishing.  I was fortunate to be pretty close with an Uncle on my mother's side of the family that lived one town over in Southeastern Louisiana. He grew up and lived near the banks of the Tcefuncte River in the small town of Madisonville, Louisiana and only fished two bodies of water during his eighty plus year life.  A fact that many folks close to him never knew is he fished live grass shrimp for some 60 to 70 years and I couldn't begin to tell you how many Bluegill, Shellcracker, Warmouth and Crappie that he caught over the years.   One Thanksgiving day in the early 1970s as our 100 member family assembled in Folsom, Louisiana for the best dinners we ever ate, Uncle Kenny walked out to an acre pond that was dug on the family farm to stock with fish for the 20 plus grandkids in the Sharp family.  I was there casting a beetle spin when he asked if I had a scoop net with me. I did and we went over to some grass beds near the shore and made a quick scoop and filled a bucket up with little crustaceans called Grass Shrimp. He said put a cork and a bream hook on there and let me show you something. I eagerly followed his instructions and a few moments later we were pulling out big bluegill one after another.  This went on for quite some time and my Uncle explained if you ever run out of Grass Shrimp "Jeffie" and can't find more, take a pink soft plastic jig and fish that in the same areas. He explained that I wouldn't be disappointed and don't be afraid to tip the hook with a worm, grasshopper or a cricket if you have some.  I went home armed with the advice and went through seven or eight tackle boxes my dad and I had but no pink in any of them. I couldn't believe it but surely I'll find some the next time at the bait shop.  A few short days later my dad and I visited the local bait shop and I rushed the fishing tackle, both shelves and found two packs of little curly tails that had a mix of white and pink, they were mine and I was excited to let Uncle Kenny know I had found some and was eager to try them as soon as I could. His only clue was Pink was the best match for live grass shrimp in our brackish waters. He explained saltwater anglers have realized it for some time but freshwater fishermen have failed to make the correlation and they are truly missing out. In the weeks ahead I will go into detail how I fish these jigs and hopefull answer many of the questions I have received about the mystery of pink.

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Yeah.....I'm not sure what the range of the grass shrimp species are Dilly but in the South you can find them about anywhere.....especially brackish creeks and rivers.......I can't provide any advice for clear water because I don't fish it.......Good luck trying pink and let us know how it goes......

Jeff ... I'm really enjoying this ..better than any fishing magazine ..do u use the trout magnet mini series ..I took that LM bass on a standard size trout magnet in pink and nice size bluegill ..ill be able to experiment with this color all winter down here in Florida ...thank you
Paul

Thanks Paul.....I do use the mini trout magnet sets.......I normally rough a set up every season by the time things are done......Glad you're enjoying the discussion. a lot more information to come starting with a segment on May fishing next.......

I appreciate all the interest up to now on this discussion and I hope some of the readers will pick up a tip or two that might help them in their quest for big bluegill in the future.  As I mentioned earlier,  I do a countdown to Good Friday and watch the weather throughout April hoping another pesky cold front is not on the way.....just praying for some consecutive days in the 80s......But right behind the month of April is the month of May and the door gets kicked down in the mid-atlantic region for hot bluegill action. The first full moon that matters for any season is the one in May, it was early in 2012 on the night of the 6th....With the mild winter from last year temperatures were warming and I had water temperatures in the low to mid 60s everywhere the first week of May, an awesome set up for the Carolina Bluegill Angler.....Grass Shrimp which spawn in March in this region now have juveniles maturing into 1/2" to 1" creatures. This process normally takes 1.5 to 2 months and grass shrimp begin to thrive and become active breeders again at 65 degree water temperatures. What do you know,  bluegill are heading shallow and there's hundreds of thousands of mature grass shrimp in shallow water...........

So out comes my collection of pink lures and I tie up a couple telescopic poles and and few spincasting rigs with various superstar jigs of the past and away I go......I'm at Hardee's 15 minutes before they open looking for a famous rise n' shine country steak biscuit and a cup of joe.......Couldn't sleep anyway so I might as well be up and at it to calm my fishing nerves.......My May plan every season is to return to years of locations that I have charted and made mental notes of the bedding grounds and I begin the search.....Honeysuckles are blooming....many marsh flowers are also blooming bringing out an enourmous amount of insect activity. I place my float 18 inches above my favorite jig and by this time I'm fishing a bulky 2" jig with lots of action and flash and yes I'm tipping too.....The big spawners easily crush these 1/32 ounce size jigs and these baits give me the ability to fight these bigger fish nicely.......Two bell anchors are staged to drop as soon as I locate fish and I try to place the boat so that I may reach catchable fish with my 12 foot telescopic poles as well...I hit some honey holes bustling with the wakes of big gills shallow and my heart rate races trying to get a bait in there.....as the jig lands I quickly realize it never stopped and a big breeder has already crushed the jig and went away with it....I battle this monster to the boat and I attach my popping cork bedding locator on this first gill. He is then released to tell the story of his breeding colony......This side jaw loop hook is attached to 18 inches of heavier mono and a big popping cork.....The fish returns to his bed like clock work and continues to provide clues to how big the range of the fish currently are and pretty much acts like a weatherman to outline the territory of his colony......I have extended battles with epic sized toads and eagerly head back to the launch armed with the best news of the day.....The Big Coppers have returned.......

P.S. May will take several updates.....It's only May 11th....LOL

Color me green with envy.

Hardees sold out years ago to Carl's Jr. here in OK.  I haven't seen a Steak Biscuit in close to 20 years.  You're making me jealous!!!!

Sorry Allen.....all the fishing information and I get an emotional withdrawal from the steak biscuit....that's funny I don't care who you are.....I left out the part where they are 2 for $2.22 which is a pretty good deal these days....Can't go fishing with a growling stomach right......

That's the truth!

I usually end up getting a couple of those chicken biscuits from McNasty's, but that's over $5 for two.

There's a local hamburger/ice cream chain that does breakfast.  They might do a Steak Biscuit.  I'll have to see.......

So as I mentioned, it would take several updates to get the busy month of May depicted.  My phone rings one evening with a familiar number from Louisiana displayed on Caller I.D., it's the other Jeffrey Abney and he is excited to learn that I have fish located because they'll be coming into town at the end of the month for our annual Summer fishing extravaganza. My mind is racing with the decision of where to try next. The ONLY problem with multiple quality locations to fish is the decision on which one to hit.  I'm never a fan of totally depleting a specific Bluegill bed because after all the fish are trying to keep a good thing going so why would I totally interrupt those efforts.  I like to have many areas and it turns out I had more than 20 real productive regions by the mid point in May this year.

So I continue to visit a dozen rivers in my region that are productive and find many of the same locations yield fish year after year.....I'm excited to report to my dad that we stand to have a wonderful vacation and we may catch a fish or two also.....A couple friends make it out with me and most are rewarded with a personal best or maybe even two. The reality is most lures will work right now but I'm sticking with pink to tune my fish in on them.....Fish are trainable as those of you that feed them know, so I throw that pink to get them ready for the post spawn later in the year. Trips over a hundred with many 10" plus Coppernose released are the norm right now.....Days are longer so I go after work several times a week too to feed my addiction and passion for bluegill fishing........

So remember this is a great time to tie on your favorite jig under a float and tip with your favorite bait if desired....These fish will hit your jigs more frequently during this period without tipping....Fish are very aggressive now as water temperatures climb into the high 60s and may touch 70.........Be careful not to over harvest your favorite spot as it is possible over the next 6 to 8 weeks.......I manage this by moving around and having trips designated as catch and release, each individual can determine what's best for his/her region based on many factors we won't discuss here. One more excerpt to complete the month of May later today....just can't overlook the traditional beginning of Summer down her...Memorial Day weekend!

i am not looking forward to hard water season here in mid michigan after seeing all these quality fish and fishing you could plausibly do every day of the year. it would be tough to give up my quality smallmouth bass fishery to move down south but very tempting. maybe buy a second home for the winter months. well congrats on the great looking fish. alot of effert has gone into locating these quality fish and you deserve the benefits you are reaping.

All I can say is WOW !!! You are truly the king of panfishers ....

Paul

Kind Words Paul but what really keeps me coming back to this site is all the humble folks that have mastered their craft or want to learn from all the experience available here or share ideas.....I was blessed early on as a child to be given many opportunities by several men that I owe much gratitude to ......They were patient when I couldn't cast or remove a fish, but they were the very guys that showed me how.....They didn't just tell me how to clean a fish, they showed me and turned me loose early to learn.....They shared ideas and techniques that I share here often and most importantly they insisted on keeping it fun under all circumstances and be a custodian of the outdoors....it's a precious gift and it must not be taken for granted....

Did you ever consider writing a book on your experiences ... This information should be documented .. You cannot find a better learning process than this site ..
Paul

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