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smalliehunter

Open water panfish

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smalliehunter

I've never chased panfish during the open water season.  I caught my first bluegill this winter, and have developed quite the crush on them.  What's your go to rod, length and action?  Plastics or bait?  Line type and lb?  Do you use a bobber?  Should I use same jigs as winter or plain hook? 

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IceHawk

For rods -6 1/2 ft for many standard applications.  A good basic length that will usally get the job done.   I prefer 7 ft and 8 fters med light extra fast tips for bobber rigs or for fan casting small 64-32 0z jigs and sometimes Ill add a occasional split shot for added weight. You can really increase your casting distance with longer rods.   Also run a 6ft 9 for Dock shooting a technique I use a lot in the heat of summer. Amazeing how many big crappies tuck them self back in the shade under docks and  boat lifts. Try it you once you get good at it its a blast!  I also have couple extendable cane pole style  rods for dropping into pockets in pin weed bulrush flats. A definite plus being able to pull the fish straight up as you never normally get them out of that thick vegetation as they wrap you up instantly.

 

Techniques and hooks- For bluegills I throw a lot of tungsten plastic bobber combos. I like Panfish Plastic chigger frys and Panfish Pirates Rippers, sometimes deer hair jigs in 64 0z baited with small leeches. For fan casting  weed edges brush piles I use 32 0z custom tied flu flu's with  Gulp alive 1 inch minnows colors I prefer emerald shiner and black shad. Rick G is right come August Sept when big gills setup on deep rocks humps a standard straight rig over side of boat is tough to beat! Last but not least the bread butter of gill fishing something we all grew up doing and cant be beat simple hook bobber sinker and a small red worm or panfish leech tough to beat anytime.👍

 

Crappies use some of same setups only more 16 oz jigs, twisters, beetle spins, tube jigs and a standard bread butter slip bobber hook sinker good old crappie minnow.  In summer I do a lot of slow trolling along weedlines with my Minnkota trolling motors  targeting active crappies. I usally drag bettle spins and twister at a slow crawl. once a school is found follow my plot trails and continue back through the area. If the school is tight stop and use faster applications to be more productive. When crappies go deep especially fall I do a lot of jig rapping with #2 and #3 jig raps a blast when hovering over deep crappies and very productive. 

 

Line- I use a lot of Hi-Vis lines as I am a line watcher many times you see the bite before feel it. 3 lb sensation in Solor green  and yellow Stren crappie mono 4lb. Always have couple setups with some clear line 4lb Trilene xl for line sensitive fish and straightlining. 

 

For bobbers I love rocket bobbers and take Thill center slider slip boobers adding a small splitshot on top bottom to make it a fixed bobber. You can cast a mile with these two bobbers. 

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eyeguy 54

Good info guys. I use my 66 foot light rods most of the time but do enjoy the battle on the 56 and 6 foot ultralights that I have.  Bobbers!  Dang I get frustrated finding one to do exactly what I want. So I have a lot of different ones along. Lol. Always learning. Plain jigs and tungsten. Small tubes mainly for plastics and I go thru a ton of gulp minnows. Amazing how much they love em!  Trilene xl in 4 pound is on all of the reels. Haven’t tried the solar in summer but might have to give that a try. Fenwick Eagle rods and Pflueger reels. My favorite old rod is a 5 foot Shakespeare Stealth Stik. Gotta be close to 30 years old. Almost always in the boat with no bobber. 

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smalliehunter

After lots of trial and error, and with a little luck I finally caught some open water panfish.  Tons and tons of fun on the 6 ½ft UL!!! Thanks for the info guys 

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