Do you love big bluegill?
Despite a prolonged and agonizing arrival of spring, I finally managed to make a decent catch today, but not my beloved bluegills. After several pitty-patty outings of dink gills and stocker-sized trout, I decided to try one of my local bass ponds and hit on a hunch. I had heard from Andrew Ragas of the Fishing Headquarters that a favored early spring bass tactic in the mid-west was to toss rattle baits and keep them at a brisk pace to entice largemouths coming out of hibernation mode. Although I always thought that cold water efforts had to be 'slow' to be successful, I found out otherwise.
April 4, 2013 and we still haven't had a 60 degree day in my area. Today was 46, and the water temp was the same. I tied on a 1/2 oz beat up chrome Rat-L-Trap and headed to one of my favorite bass ponds. To my great surprise, my first cast collared a nice 17 inch bass. All total I got seven good fish today from 15 to 20 inches on the 'Trap". I also misded another half-dozen strikes.
The bite was funny...I caught fish 18 to 24 inches below the surface in water 4 to 5 feet deep. I would make a long cast, quickly flip the bail, and start a fast retrieve to keep the lure from plummeting to the bottom and fouling in algae. Strikes were similar to a bluegill tap, followed by complete slack in the line. Once I figured it out, I started to put the hooks in the fish. Apparently, they were overtaking the lure from behind and causing a loss of tension on the fast retrieve, You could feel the lure vibrating, then total slack, but then you had to quickly set the hook to get a hook up. I was amazed at how fast I was reeling, and how eager the fish were to hit such a fast moving lure, if with but a 'soft' touch. Fish were suspended high in the water column despite 46 degree water. This mornings low was 24...almost a record for the Baltimore area. Had 3 fish over 18 inches and BFOD was a 20 inch near five-pounder.
Tickled to have any action with these seasonal temperatures 20 degree below normal! Here are a few pics...