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snake95

Targeting sunfish schools with senkos to get the bass below

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Lately I've noticed bluegills congregating near surface in tight schools of circling fish that I guess can best be described as "pods."

I'm fishing in mid-sized, shallow ponds in Georgia.

I'm relatively new to fishing in the south, so I hadn't really noticed the bluegills doing that before this summer.   Maybe I'm really showing what a rookie I am by not really knowing about this before.

The last few times out, I've avoided fishing near these pods, because I assumed that the sunfish wouldn't be congregating and splashing around if bass were around and targeting them.

Today I experimented by bombing an unweighted T-rigged senko with direct hit on the middle of a pod.   The sunfish scattered - a bit.  The senko couldn't have sunk below the bottom of the pod when it was slammed by a good bass apparently lurking below or nearby.

This was a real learning experience for me.  Maybe the bass was lurking by the pod and just waiting for one of the bluegills to show an obvious sign of distress?  

I'm interested to hear if anyone else has had similar experiences and if I should be bombing more pods with senkos, or if this was a one-off freak incident.

If this is a good target, any other lures you like to throw at it?  Seems like a stickbait fits the bill well.

Thanks for the input.

 

 

 

Edited by snake95
clarification about where I'm fishing added, edited title for clarity

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You did the right thing.  You made the school panic and then had your lure drift to the bottom as if injured or dying.  That is a recipe for a strike.

Until I saw it film footage of it, I never realized that bass will "hang out" with bluegill or other forage and not bother them.  I used to think the moment a bass saw prey, they would attack.  Not the case.  They will ignore prey until they decide not to & then eat them.  A trigger for that attack is often the forage panicking or being eaten by something else.

Stickbaits work well for this, but base your lure selection on the depth & cover of the area you are fishing as well as the size of the forage and the time of the year.

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Anything that imitates the bluegill is a good bait to try.  Poppers, walkers, and prop baits on top. Weightless stick worms or super flukes, floating jerkbaits, crankbaits, and bluegill swim baits all work great for me in ponds fished around bluegill. I use bluegill colors in clear or murky water and chartreuse black or blue in muddy water. In muddy water I do better with spinnerbaits, crankbaits, chatterbaits, and swim jigs. I grew up fishing ponds in ga and tn 

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These two guys covered it pretty well,  I've been doing well in ponds with an xrap shallow shad . It's hard to find. I had to order mine . I did so because I was a big fan of the xrap . And after owning a few xraps I got an xrap shad, with a bulkier profile and caught a few nice ones. I ran into a problem when I would pond fish however , it would hang up in the weeds too often. So I got the xrap SHALLOW shad which dives 5ft max. I hang up alot less. And the action is killer. Simple straight retrieve, a rip and pause, or a combination of the two. It's one of my top pond producers and if you're a fan of any rapala product I highly suggest you try one ! 

I own more than a few now, but really the only two colors I need is the olive green/white and the black/orange. 

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A senko, in my opinion, is in many cases the only bait that a suspended fish will eat, if presented properly. Sounds like you are in a good situation for one!

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I've had this exact scenario happen several times on one of the lakes I fish. A big school of bluegill at the surface, and I'll toss a weightless senko in the school and a bass will take it every time. I've caught both largemouth and smallmouth doing this. 

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The big girls like to hang around the crappie & bluegill, below schools typically, green trout gals are sorta lazy.

Caught an 11.2 in Florida fishing for specks with a very small minnow, about 13 feet of water..  the bite was fast & furious, then for about 4 minutes..nothing, but lo & behold, that float began to skim, then dive deep, & BAM! 

I hope I never forget that. What a beautiful fish that was released..( against my initial thoughts..) Wade Boggs dad weighed it, tagged it & kept her in the fish camps tank till I decided.. Boggs dad was a super cool dude..

Of course Wade was pretty bad ass too!

Any of you era baseball fans wanna guess the lake? Lol..

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Underspin, underspin, underspin. Just let it fall all the way to the bottom then limp it along back to the boat. 

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There a pond in a park i fish and alot of ppl feed the schools of bluegills bread and i was watching a couple nice bass swooping at the school i immediately tied on a blue gill colored chatterbait with a gold blade and a paddletail trailer and would cast past the pod and bring it in close to them and twitch it and let it drop and caught the couple bass that were eating the gills. Biggest went 3.5

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9 hours ago, Jar11591 said:

 

I've had this exact scenario happen several times on one of the lakes I fish. A big school of bluegill at the surface, and I'll toss a weightless senko in the school and a bass will take it every time.

 

Jar, and others, thanks for verifying that this was not a one-off occurrence.  I feel like I've identified a sort of pattern that I can apply again in the future.  I'll be looking for more bluegill pods to toss weightless senkos into now.

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If the senko doesn't work , don't give up! Senko has probably caught more fish for me than any other plastic. But sometimes in certain areas; I can't buy a bite on a senko ! What did our grandfathers use before the magic senko was invented ? We've been catching suspended bass since we've had fishing poles. 

I think a fluke would be worth a try also. If you can manage to get it out into the school rigged weightless 

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I've tried just about every fishing tactic, including tossing a weightless senko into a school of shad or baitfish, but never bluegill.  Great info!!!  I'll give this a go the next time I encounter these conditions. 

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