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Crack Of Dawn On Lake Zumbro

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Let me set the scene of this dissapointing yet fun morning. I got my boy up at 5:30 am for what i was sure would be a great day of fishing. I had packed, and hooked up the boat monday night. Nothing to do but wake up, eat some chow, and hit the road. As we neared the lake, I was feeling confident in my choice to take the boy out for an early morning fishing trip, and the feeling got even better when I saw the sun steatching over the trees and that early morning fog lingering over the lake. It was going to be a great day, I could feel it! The water was like glass,...being one of the first people on the lak was a great feeling. We trolled for pike up to the spot that we have been hammering blue gills for the past two weeks,...big Gills too,...for the most part!!! My boy has been having the time of his fishing life doing so!!! we pack up the trolling poles, ready the ultra lites for deployment, and ease into the area that has been panfish heaven for us this year, and anchor up. It's a spot thats about 10 fow, with 20 or so fow right behind the boat, small weed beds, sunken wood, the whole nine yards!!! we wet our lines and let em sit,..thinking that with no boat traffic at all that they'd be on the move a lil more,..we waited quietly,..wich for a 6 yr old at that time of day, a hard thing to do, we get a bite, and miss the hook-up. Then a few more long waits and missed bites,...finally the boy hooked up with one,..was a dinky lil gill, the boy, showing of what he's learned says, "he's just a lil guy dad, we gotta through him back",..a quick chuckle and back he goes!! after that we did a lot of waiting, expirementing, and some more waiting. So we reluctently gave up on our spot and tried another,..more waitning, for the last hour and a half we gave up on the shallows altogether and tried drifting for susspended fish over deep water,...finally we found a few fish,...not many,..and the size was just not there for the most part,..the bite picked up a lil during our last half hour on the lake,..wich is when we've had our best luck, about 2pm-9pm,...we only managed about 9 gills and a 18" flattie,..we tried small leeches for a short while,...with no hits,...we mainly used waxies on a small hook with a small spinner blade on it and some small jigs with waxies,...witch has caugh both the 18" cat, and a previous 24" flathead. Can any one tell me what the heck i was doing wrong? or was it just an off day for pannies in the early morning? I'm normally more geared toward casting for pike and bass,...but in try'n to let my son have tons of fun fishing, I've put that on the back burrner to case the pan fish with him,...any ideas on the early hour fish would be much aprecaited,...and hopefully I'll get my new digital so i can start posting some picks!!! cool.gif all in all it was a beautifull morning on the lake, and the time spent with my son is more valluable then the hottest bite,...just wish i could have put him on some better fishin for being such a trooper at that time of day!! Thank you for any advice u guys can give me!!!

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I wouldn't say that you were doing anything wrong, either just an off day or the fish vacated the areas that you are used to finding them in. They are most likely in their "summer patterns" now, and in my personal opinion, this is when they are the hardest to figure out. One day it is a green jig with a waxie, the next a black jig with a red plastic. I don't try to figure out why, I just try to have a decent selection of gear to try to figure out what they want and then capitalize on it.

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Tyler Holm

I’ve had several days unfold just as you said. A few weeks ago I hit the lake with my father and we only caught 4 fish all day long (1 cat, 2 smallies, and 1 sheepie). We were fishing for carp and cats, but a very slow day nonetheless.

The first spot you tried for panfish sounds dynamite. Often times I’ll pay close attention to my electronics and see if I mark and suspended fish. When I do, I’ll set my float at that depth. If the first bait doesn’t get any action I keep changing. The very last time I was out the gills were hammering a small piece of crawler on a 1/32 oz jig under a float. Tried a waxie at the same depth on the same jig and nothing. Just those little pecks, but no commitment whatsoever.

If you get in the prediction again and want to get your son into some fish, try tossing 3” twister tails on ¼ oz jigs up towards shore. That will usually yield some bass action with the occasional decent one.

I really don’t see any flaws in your tactics. Chances are if you tried it again another day the results would be shifted in your favor.

I guess it makes a guy appreciate those days when the fish do cooperate.

PS. Nice work on the cats, but I’m quite confident that there are only channel cats in Lake Zumbro. I’ve never heard or seen a flathead catfish come out of there, but I guess it’s possible.

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