Panfishing Gear Tips
Panfish Fishing Gear Tips
There are a couple great gear setup options to consider when fishing for panfish. The big two are ultra light fishing and fly-fishing. Each technique has it's own advantages and dis-advantages, but both are very fun and very rewarding! When fly fishing for panfish chose a rod between 4 and 6 weight, with emphasis on the 6 weight if there's a chance of hooking up with a large bass. If ultra light fishing is more your bag, look for a 6 foot, single piece, fast action rod. The rod will say "ultralight" somewhere near the handle. As always, be sure to match your reel to the size of your rod. Now that we have our rod and reel, lets discuss a few panfish fishing gear tips:
• Be sure to carry a pair of hemostats with you at all times when fishing. Many panfish have pretty small mouths and a bad habit of swallowing small lures and baits whole. A good pair of hemostats will save you from wrestling a hook out of the poor fish's throat, wasting your time and killing a perfectly good fish.
• Check your line periodically for abrasions, knots, and twists. Sunfish enjoy heavy cover, and heavy cover can wreak havoc on your line. Also consider purchasing a fluorocarbon line. It may be pretty expensive, but the added sensitivity and abrasion resistance can be a wonder to behold.
• Invest in a vest! These handy loads of wearable pockets keep all your favorite gear right at your fingertips. If you enjoy wading they can also perform their primary function, keeping your gear dry and out of the water.
• Always keep a small assortment of swivels, snaps, sinkers, with you. You never know when more fishing supplies are needed.
Panfish Fishing Bait Tips
With so many different baits and lures, and even kinds of panfish out there, it can be a daunting task to chose the right one. Luckily panfish can be split into two "groups" according to their diet. The first group, which includes bluegill, green sunfish, red-breasted sunfish, long-ear sunfish, and pumkin seed can be considered the crustacean/insectivore group. The second group which includes white and black crappie, warmouth, rock bass, and Roanoke bass can be considered the fish-eating group. While crappie will eat the odd crayfish, and a large bluegill will eat small bait fish from time to time, these are the exceptions to the rule. Here are a few panfish fishing bait tips that will allow you to take full advantage of these differences:
• Small, soft-plastic lures such as grubs, tubes, and small minnow baits will work for all kinds of panfish in both groups and should always be considered when heading out for a day of fishing.
• Consider small, soft-plastic stick baits (or jerk baits) when after schooling crappie or rock bass in small streams. These baits, when worked properly, give a lively "injured minnow" action that these fish can't pass up! Also the ability to add weedless to the equation makes this a fearsome bait.
• Marabou jigs between 1/32 and 1/16 once are a very effective bait for panfish in streams and river. Merely cast your bait "ahead" of the fish, and allow the current to drift the lure by, only giving it small hops with the tip of your rod. This combination is great for getting your bait under tree limbs and other shoreline cover as you can just let the current drift your bait where you want it!
• Next time you're on the water, consider flipping over a few rocks and checking what's there. Knowing the natural forage items in your local fishing hole can be a killer bit of knowledge, helping you choose the most effective bait.
• Miss fishing with a bobber like when you were a kid? There a several great bobber rigs (most crappie-centric) that can be deadly on any body of water that holds panfish. Most of these rigs utilise slip-bobbers, as they allow for a more direct hookset and greater sensitivity.
• Like fly-fishing? Many nymph patters will work wonders on the insectivore species, and small streamers and wet-flies can dominate the fish eating species. Both types of panfish can also be readily taken on popping bugs
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