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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fishing Tip: Local Panfish

Heard some grumbling at the shop this morning about how everyone is seeing panfish but not catching them, so after a so-so trip to the Rock River earlier today I hit Okauchee for a bit this afternoon/evening.

Caught about 50 good sized gills and a handful of crappie, all of which are still swimming. The trick was that the fish would not move more than about a foot to bite. True for both crappies and gills. Alot of the people I saw were blind casting with bobbers, rather than trying to get the bait right in front of the fish.

Crappies feed up. You need to have your bait above them. Today, that meant right above them. Bluegills like to grab as bait falls vertically.

Downsizing worked for me. Ditched the minnows and went with Plastics-Dick Smith's Panfish grub(white) tipped with a gulp waxie (pink) was my best presentation for catching fish. But if I didn't hit the patch of weeds or wood with my cast, I wouldn't get bit.

Saw crappies in the Crane's Nest, Stumpy and Garvin. Tight, and I mean tight to cover.
For those curious about water temps: Mainlake areas: 51-54, Early warming spots (Upper Oconomowoc, Tierney and Whitakers-63-68 (Bass on beds in Tierney) Garvin: 56 North end, 52 South Flat. Didn't head into Icehouse other than to go to Tierney, and the Channel was 54-58.

Slow down, be precise and downsize. The fish are as confused about the weather as we are.