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jacob2000

Panfishing Help?

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So I recently asked what bass fisherman would do when you couldn't buy a bite, and many of them said that they would break out there panfishing tackle. So can someone tell me the basics of what they would do to attempt to catch some panfish and how?

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Hey there Jacob :)

 

For rod and reel I'd go with 6' (minimum) light or ultra light spinning rod.  A reel spooled with 2-6 lb test line (for mono), 4 pound test is a good all around size line.  I do drop down to 2 lb test though sometimes when fishing for bluegill in relatively snag-less water.

 

For terminal tackle:  BB and B sized split shot will come in handy.  Hook sizes will vary...larger for Crappie, smaller for Bluegill.  I use sizes 2 down to 10 aberdeen hooks for most situations, but there are many other styles.

 

Floats/bobbers.  Ignore those old large red and white globes :)  I like the smallest and thinnest floats possible to suspend my jigs and bait.  I recommend Thill gold medal balsa floats and Trout Magnet foam floats.  Can't go wrong with either brand.

 

Lures:  1/32 - 1/8 oz inline spinners are great for finding active panfish (and pretty much any other fish as well).

Hair jigs and shad dart type lures are great when drifted under a float, or even just reeled in with various retrieves. 

 

Panfish love small crankbaits as well.  Rebel's crickhopper is my favorite when twitched on top. 

 

Flies meant for fly fishing for trout will produce big Bluegill and Crappie.  And you don't need a fly rod to use them :)  There are cheap clear "casting" bobbers that can be filled with water to cast tiny flies.  I use them frequently. 

Also there are some nice panfish poppers and small bass bugs that work very well.

 

For bait, as opposed to lures/flies, Berkley Gulp is amazing.  The Gulp Maggots are arguably my number 1 Bluegill bait when rigged on a small jig head. 

I'll usually fish these under a Thill mini- shy bite float.  Cast out and use a stop and go retreive, or if you're just relaxing...let it sit out there and something will find it :)

Berkley Gulp are indispensable baits and I buy mine at Walmart.

 

Well, that's my very short to the point, little intro to panfishing haha :)  If you need more let me know.  Panfishing can become just as involved and detailed as bass fishing, or kept very simple.  Either way, it's tons of fun and Bluegill are pound for pound one of the top fighters in fresh water.

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Small piece of worm on a tiny hook about 3' below a bobber. Throw it near any weeds. You may have to adjust the bobber, but usually not.

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So I recently asked what bass fisherman would do when you couldn't buy a bite, and many of them said that they would break out there panfishing tackle. So can someone tell me the basics of what they would do to attempt to catch some panfish and how?

Depends on the situation (body of water, boat vs shore-bound, species present, weather, etc).

But in general, just downsize to smaller lures and shallower water.

Sunfish will follow and nip anything that moves, but I do best with spinners, mister twister jigs, small plugs, topwater and crankbaits. When they're biting well sometimes I'll just use full-size lures to target the bigger fish. Best bet for finding good numbers of big ones is weedlines in deeper water. They will also suspend out over deep water.

My favorite thing to do is use a fly rod and cast small poppers toward shore under the overhanging trees for bluegills. Fly fishing for shallow bluegills is a blast because they can't resist tiny surface flies and they're a lot of fun to fight on a 9' fly rod.

My lake has a ton of Rock Bass and that's what I've been switching to lately when the LMB/SMB stop biting. Basically you just use all the same bass lures but in slightly shallower water. They can be very aggressive but seem to prefer crankbaits and spinners most. 

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Depends on the situation (body of water, boat vs shore-bound, species present, weather, etc).

But in general, just downsize to smaller lures and shallower water.

Sunfish will follow and nip anything that moves, but I do best with spinners, mister twister jigs, small plugs, topwater and crankbaits. When they're biting well sometimes I'll just use full-size lures to target the bigger fish. Best bet for finding good numbers of big ones is weedlines in deeper water. They will also suspend out over deep water.

My favorite thing to do is use a fly rod and cast small poppers toward shore under the overhanging trees for bluegills. Fly fishing for shallow bluegills is a blast because they can't resist tiny surface flies and they're a lot of fun to fight on a 9' fly rod.

My lake has a ton of Rock Bass and that's what I've been switching to lately when the LMB/SMB stop biting. Basically you just use all the same bass lures but in slightly shallower water. They can be very aggressive but seem to prefer crankbaits and spinners most. 

 

Yeah Rock Bass are very numerous at my favorite local spot on the Shenandoah. 

Extremely aggressive little fish and like you said will usually hit bass lures.  They love spinnerbaits for sure :) 

 

I really need to get a new fly rod.  My budget is a bit tight at the moment, but I have very fond memories of catching Bluegills just as you described...poppers along the shore under trees.  Fun times.

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A little sampling of my panfish tray :)  There are more but I tried to lay out my most used lures and floats.

 

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Awesome, so how do in-line spinners and beetlespins work?

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Awesome, so how do in-line spinners and beetlespins work?

 

Cast and retrieve at different speeds and depths to find some active Bluegill, Rock Bass, etc.  I attach the split tail Beetlespin bodies to higher quality micro spinnerbait wire/heads/hooks (in the pic it's the yellow/black).  The other is one of my SK Mini-Kings, 1/8oz, (the largest bait in the picture).

I use them as search baits, just like for bass. 

But I'm guilty of occasionally falling into the trap of fishing inlines and spinnerbaits and even little spoons like the Kastmaster (top center in the pic) to the exclusion of other lures because it's fun :)

 

My best Bluegill have been landed on more subtle float fishing techniques. 

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Well I've just gotten back from a pond, and tried to catch some panfish but to no avail. Tried to throw a white and blue roadrunner and not a bite. I even cast right to where little perch were hitting the water (it was 7:45-8) and still nothing. Advice?

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Well I've just gotten back from a pond, and tried to catch some panfish but to no avail. Tried to throw a white and blue roadrunner and not a bite. I even cast right to where little perch were hitting the water (it was 7:45-8) and still nothing. Advice?

 

Berkley Gulp maggots on a tiny jig or just plain small hook, under a small float, is pretty much as close as one could get to having a 100% chance of catching a panfish or ten.

But you are fishing different waters than I, and by perch do you mean actual yellow perch?  Or the bluegill and related sunfish?  I ask because regional names vary and some anglers refer to all panfish as "perch", which can be a bit confusing :)

 

Anyway though don't worry, you'll catch them.  If you find yourself in Walmart definitely check out Berkley Gulp panfish baits, and a couple little floats and small split shot.  Also pick up some little cheap trout flies. 

I'll post some pics of my main panfish rigs and how I set them up soon, probably tomorrow...spinning with flies, Gulp baits, hair jigs etc.  :)

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Alrighty and i think that it would include bluegill but not sure the specifics

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. Advice?

All ready did. Find some black Mr twister grubs and small jigs. They will out fish roadrunner 10 to 1.

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All ready did. Find some black Mr twister grubs and small jigs. They will out fish roadrunner 10 to 1.

 

Yep I agree.  The 1" black grubs are very good panfish plastics.  I use the white and yellow as well.

And of course the 2" versions are also good but my stock has disappeared :)

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Small aberdeen hook with a split shot of reasonable size (for casting) looped on 12-to-whatever inches above the hook. Add chunk of worm, bug, bologna, or whatever.  Cast, let sink on a semi-slack line.

 

Set the hook when you feel the serious tap(s).

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