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Could I Get A Quick Crash Course Primer On Trout And Panfish?

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So I got my rig together this afternoon to go out for the first time in my life and try to catch (gasp!) something other than a bass! There are some lakes in my area that have panfish such as perch, black crappie, and bluegills, and also some rainbow trout. So could you guys and gals give me a brief crash course on how to find these little buggers?


To be more specific, if somebody who had never fished for bass before asked me for the same thing I would say something like:


  • Fish around vegetation, lily pads, brush, and timber - basically anything that is not plain open water because they like cover and structure
  • In the mornings and evenings they tend to head into the shallows to feed, and during the day hang out in deeper water where it is cooler and more stable
  • Set yourself up on points and in coves because those tend to have a higher concentration of bass


So yeah, basically that kind of thing except for trout and panfish. I'll be going to the exact same lakes I normally go to for bass, so is my approach any different? Mid-day versus morning or evening have any different strategies? I got a bunch of 1/8 ounce lures - no live bait. A couple of rooster tails, a few Beetle Spins, and an Acme spoon. 

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Try a Berkley Powerbait Atomic Tubes. With or without a bobber. These things are panfish magic. I catch tons of Sunnies, Perch and even a Smallmouth Bass on one.




I like the grasshopper color.

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- shallow coves

- shady banks

- under shady overhangs

- weedlines (edges of pads), shady or not



- ultralight/fast (panfish can be a blast on these)

- light/fast



- spinning



- Crappie Magnet (black and green)

- 1/16 to 1/8 oz jig head with 2-inch curl tail grub (bright green, or green/white)


I've tried a M/F rod for panfish and really wanted to make it work, but it just wasn't sensitive enough for the light bites and didn't catch much. My go-to panfish setup is now a 7'0 L/F on a nice blank with a 2-inch curl tail grub on a jig head. A UL/F might be better but mine is only 5'6 (short casts) with a less sensitive blank, and the L/F is good to have for that occasional bass.


Once in a while a panfish will grab something big. Last trip out I tossed a 5 inch worm from a baitcaster hoping for bass and brought in a chunky sunfish. How the heck that fish thought it could swallow a 5 inch worm is a mystery, but he tried.  



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Kalin's Crappie Scrubs, Nail Tails, and Berkley Gulp. Are you shorebound or have a boat?

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