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Hey all :) Just wanted to say hey, and let you know where things currently stood.

For the last 3 weeks, it has been very nice, with lots of hot days... but each week, just like clock work, as soon as my days off came up, Bam ! Wind, and a big cool down :( Last week, was the biggest cool down yet, dropped 30 degrees on my first day off, plus it rained... like a slow, constant, Winter style rain :(

 

On my first day back to work, it warmed waaay back up ! Now we have had 3 days in the 100 degree range, but also, instead of cooling off, its supposed to be like 102-105 degrees both of my days off ! AND, historically speaking, the first week of July has been my best times for the giant Sunnies anyway !

 

Oh, 2 weeks ago, I did go check it out. Just as I was pulling up to my hot spot, the wind came up :( But I was there long enough to find out that they were not up yet.

 

After all of this record heat, I can't believe they would not be up yet... but if they were not, I'd really feel like something had changed, and I "was not going to get onto them this year"..... Of course I hope that's not the case....

 

Wish me luck.

 

Peace,

Fish

 

PS, Spring Bass fishing was brutal :( I guess about the only impressive catches I've made since the last time I was here, was several big Sturgeon 100-200 lbs > On the same micro-light gear I use for the Sunnies ;) Those were fun :)

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Not too hot. They are at their most active this time of year, feeding heavily and putting on growth. Fish are "poikilothermic," meaning their activity level is determined by the temperature of their environment.

However, their patterns are different than yours. They know nothing of work, or weekends. The hardest challenge each fisherman faces is finding the fish. There are a million things you COULD do, and each BOW IS DIFFERENT. It is always a puzzle.

The only advice I can offer is of a general nature. Try to find structure, cover and deep water (10-20 feet) during daylight hours. This is where the fish should be when the sun is high.

During the early times, morning and evening, the more traditional weeds, wood and rocks should produce bigger gills as they come shoreward again to feed. By late morning they will have gone back to the deep side of things.

Thank you David.

Well here's how it went....

They kind of threw me for a loop ??? They were up ! And thicker than ever ! I found probably 200 of them in a bedding area maybe 20 x 30 feet...... about 150 feet from where I found them the last couple years (in spite of the fact that the water is at the same level ? Hmmm)

Unfortunately, they were of a much smaller average size :(  Like mostly 1/2 to 1 1/4 lbs, vs. the 1 1/2 to 3 lb'ers I've caught there in the last few years ? :( I mean, nothings wrong with a bunch of 3/4 lb'ers.... but when you have been spoiled with a bunch of 1 1/2 to 2 lb'ers, it kind of messes up your perception of "what is a big Sunfish".......

I will try it again once more next week... but my confidence in BIG Sunnies this year is now way down :(

Oh well. Beat the heck out of work ;)

Peace,

Fish

PS, Oh yea... I ended up catching about 30 of them, for 20 lbs or so. All released.

Nothing wrong with that. Bedding scenarios are something else different than the later season patterns.
Are you fishing private pond, here, or public waters?

Definitely public waters, unfortunately, I've never met anyone, who can find / catch the big Red Ears in this lake, at any time other than the spawn ?

 

Peace,

Fish

 

Redears are something I seem to catch with some regularity on my home lake.

The rig I use is simple:
1/4 oz. slip sinker, swivel and #4-6 baitholder hook. Make a common slip rig out of this with a 24", 2-3 lb. leader to the hook. A longer leader is useful in clear water. Redear feed on the bottom, unlike most of their sunfish kin. They eat mollusks, aquatic larvae and worms, etc., BUT they are line and hook shy.
Leaders that are too heavy, or felt resistance on the bait from sinkers, will cause them to drop and run.
The use of baitholder hooks will allow you to hide the hook in the worm, so the fish wont detect it.

The bait is simpler than the rig: Earthworms. Wigglers are preferred, but others work, too.
Red ear will take artificials, but this is hit or miss. I've caught bluegill on spinners, spoons, crankbaits, flies... but I cant recall catching enough shellcrackers this way to remember. Again their preferred foods are not the same as other sunfish, so the buzzy, fishy and buggy lures that work on others are not as enticing to them. It happens, but not all that much. I've caught my best shellcrackers on worms, hands down. I don't fight it.

Once constructed and baited, fish your rig on the bottom in 15 feet of water, give or take. Fish it around submerged *structure* like points, humps, depressions, and on the deep water side. Near a channel is best. If you know where mussel beds are located, don't hesitate to fish them.
Red-ear will move around, so don't wait too long in any one place. Observe the fifteen minute rule and move if nothing bites. Keep this up until you hit on them.

You can also catch other fish this way. It is not unusual to catch catfish, white and yellow perch and even an occasional bass this way.

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