Jump to content
biggiesmalls

Need help catching big redear in clear pond

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, 

 

I am being driven absolutely crazy by a massive redear that lives in the pond in my backyard. It's gin clear, there's over 10 feet of visibility in this pond. There aren't many large fish in there, except for a giant redear. 

For a size comparison, I caught a 10.25" hybrid a few days ago and put him in there. When I walked past the pond today to see if I could find the large redear, I saw them swimming next to each other and the redear was substantially larger, probably by at least 2-3". I am positive that this is at least a 1 pound fish and I think that it may be a 2 pound fish, considering my hybrid was in the 18-19 ounce range. 

 

Here is my issue though - I can't catch him for the life of me. There are tons of smaller redear, bluegill, and hybrids in that pond, and it's difficult to intentionally target him. I've changed hook sizes, baits/sizes (bread, crickets, whole nightcrawlers), and nothing has worked. 

I casted a bait out in his area when I saw him today, I made it probably 4-6 feet away from him - he saw the whole nightcrawler falling and instantly took off for the other side of the pond. I later found him, tried again, and he took off and I couldn't relocate him. It may have been the hook which spooked him - but I am not too sure. 

 

Does anybody have any tips at all on how I can catch this fish? I can provide almost any info on the pond that you could want, just ask. 

I'd love to catch this fish and won't stop until I do!

 

Tight lines,

Drew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, biggiesmalls said:

Hi everyone, 

 

I am being driven absolutely crazy by a massive redear that lives in the pond in my backyard. It's gin clear, there's over 10 feet of visibility in this pond. There aren't many large fish in there, except for a giant redear. 

For a size comparison, I caught a 10.25" hybrid a few days ago and put him in there. When I walked past the pond today to see if I could find the large redear, I saw them swimming next to each other and the redear was substantially larger, probably by at least 2-3". I am positive that this is at least a 1 pound fish and I think that it may be a 2 pound fish, considering my hybrid was in the 18-19 ounce range. 

 

Here is my issue though - I can't catch him for the life of me. There are tons of smaller redear, bluegill, and hybrids in that pond, and it's difficult to intentionally target him. I've changed hook sizes, baits/sizes (bread, crickets, whole nightcrawlers), and nothing has worked. 

I casted a bait out in his area when I saw him today, I made it probably 4-6 feet away from him - he saw the whole nightcrawler falling and instantly took off for the other side of the pond. I later found him, tried again, and he took off and I couldn't relocate him. It may have been the hook which spooked him - but I am not too sure. 

 

Does anybody have any tips at all on how I can catch this fish? I can provide almost any info on the pond that you could want, just ask. 

I'd love to catch this fish and won't stop until I do!

 

Tight lines,

Drew

Don't use night crawlers, use regular red wigglers. And use a very small one and only pass the hook through it 2 times, just enough to keep it on there. Make sure it is good and lively. We target big panfish a good bit and use either a 1/32 ounce jig head with a tiny #10 or #12 hook, or just hook with 1 small split shot 3 feet up the line. Do not use a cork or a swivel or anything like that. They are super smart so stand as far away from the bank as possible and make very little splash down. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Red Ear sunfish or she'll crackers as they are sometimes called love live nightcrawlers.

Tail hook a crawler with size 4 drop shot hook on 6 lb mono, no weight and fly line the crawler near the Red Ear and watch line for movement, let it run until it stops, set the hook when the starts to move off again.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Live crickets 😉

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10' leader on a fly rod with a slow sinking spider should do the trick, or at least it has for me on many occasion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I catch most of mine on tiny jigs. I use a 1/80oz jighead and tip it with a tiny piece of plastic like half of the body of a 2" grub. I fish it on a 6' Avid UL and 750 size Sedona and 3.5 DAM Techtan line with no bobber or additional weight. 

 

I've also caught some large ones on Ned rigs fishing for bass. 

Image may contain: outdoor

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, CroakHunter said:

Don't use night crawlers, use regular red wigglers. And use a very small one and only pass the hook through it 2 times, just enough to keep it on there. Make sure it is good and lively. We target big panfish a good bit and use either a 1/32 ounce jig head with a tiny #10 or #12 hook, or just hook with 1 small split shot 3 feet up the line. Do not use a cork or a swivel or anything like that. They are super smart so stand as far away from the bank as possible and make very little splash down. 

My concern with the red wigglers, especially a smaller one, is that the smaller sunfish will get to it much faster than the big guy will. Also worried with the bigger fish swallowing that small hook.

11 hours ago, WRB said:

Red Ear sunfish or she'll crackers as they are sometimes called love live nightcrawlers.

Tail hook a crawler with size 4 drop shot hook on 6 lb mono, no weight and fly line the crawler near the Red Ear and watch line for movement, let it run until it stops, set the hook when the starts to move off again.

Tom

Tom, what do you mean by "tail hooking" the nightcrawler? I'll be sure to try some #4 drop shot hooks - how are Owner Mosquito hooks for this?

11 hours ago, Catt said:

Live crickets 😉

I've tried these before, the smaller fish get to them far before the bigger fish can, unfortunately. 

11 hours ago, flyfisher said:

10' leader on a fly rod with a slow sinking spider should do the trick, or at least it has for me on many occasion.

That sounds like a good idea to me, worth a shot. I will try to see if I can find a 4-weight or something similar. 

6 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I catch most of mine on tiny jigs. I use a 1/80oz jighead and tip it with a tiny piece of plastic like half of the body of a 2" grub. I fish it on a 6' Avid UL and 750 size Sedona and 3.5 DAM Techtan line with no bobber or additional weight. 

 

I've also caught some large ones on Ned rigs fishing for bass. 

Image may contain: outdoor

1

I don't have an ultralight rod, I do have a light rod though. I don't think it could cast such a light jig though! The ned rig is a good idea though, there are very few bass in that pond so it just may work to solely target the big redear. 

 

I think I am going to try Tom's idea of a fly-lined nightcrawler, and see if that works. I just have to hope that I can get it out there without the smaller fish getting to it first... maybe I could try throwing some bread in another spot of the pond to distract them, and hopefully the big guy will be alone. 

Another thing I am going to try is casting at least 15 feet away from the fish when I see him, I've been casting 4-6 feet from him and he's getting spooked. 

I want to try fly fishing for them too if it doesn't work... we shall see what happens with it though. 

 

Drew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do best with them with what we call wigglers . They are our common earthworms here. A big one is 3-4  inch.

I hook em twice and use a #6 bronze light wire hook with a small split shot about 6 inches up. 

Believe it or not, I caught my biggest one ( 11.5 inches long , and 11 inch girth ) on a mashed bread ball on a bed the fish was on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it's not sportsman like and illegal in public water but if it's in your back yard why not throw a cast net at him?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, tstraub said:

I know it's not sportsman like and illegal in public water but if it's in your back yard why not throw a cast net at him?  

Because I want to actually catch the fish on rod and reel and not take the easy way out.

Drew

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My suggestions were for trying to catch the fish when it is on its bed. If just blind casting yes small gills will be all over that set up

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, biggiesmalls said:

Because I want to actually catch the fish on rod and reel and not take the easy way out.

Drew

Fair enough, I thought you just wanted to a measurement.  Good luck

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with blue And Hyrule, tiny Jighead, with a small plastic trailer. 

 

I recommend the crappie magnets. They are little split tail grubs. I've caught some brutes on the chartreuse ones while microlight fishing a pond similar to what you're describing . 

 

You'll get em eventually. Typically persistence pays off when talking about fishing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried WRB's idea of a #4 drop shot hook (used a Gamakatsu drop shot/split shot hook) and a whole tail-hooked nightcrawler, flylined to the fish. 

Yielded a 10-1/4" fish from the same pond. I didn't see the big guy swimming around, though - so when I go back (I'm out of town until Saturday), I'll see if I can find him and try that. 

 

It did catch the smaller fish too, but I could usually pull it away before they got the hook. And I always got the nightcrawler back - I could catch 5+ fish on one whole nightcrawler before it didn't work anymore

 

Drew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try using a small crayfish on a size 4-6 hook for those big redear sunfish you see and don't be surprised if they become much easier to catch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know my post is a bit late, you might have caught her by now but anyway...

Most of the big red ears (9”-11”) I’ve caught we’re in a deep clear lake casting out a nightcrawler on the bottom out deep. You might have to let your nightcrawler soak in the deep water with a small circle hook and hope that she finds it because she’ll probably be skittish in water shallow enough that you can see her. You could do this and also keep a rod ready to sightfish her with a weightless nightcrawler. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trout magnet with a meal worm. Light tackle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus, also known as the shellcracker, Georgia bream, cherry gill, chinquapin, improved bream, rouge ear sunfish and sun perch) is a freshwater fish in the Centrarchidae family and is native to the southeastern United States. Since it is a popular sport fish, it has been introduced to bodies of water all over North America. It is known for its diet of mollusks and snails.

 

Diet

The favorite food of this species is snails. These fish meander along lakebeds, seeking and cracking open snails and other shelled creatures. Redears have thick pharyngeal teeth (hard, movable plates in its throat) which allow it to crunch exoskeletons. It is even capable of opening small clams. The specialization of this species for the deep-water, mollusk-feeding niche allows it to be introduced to lakes without the risk of competition with fish that prefer shallower water or surface-feeding. In recent years, the stocking of redear has found new allies due to the fish's ability to eat quagga mussels, a prominent invasive species in many freshwater drainages.

 

Maybe this will help pick a bait - your shellcracker may not be interested in worms.

 

Karl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×