Catching panfish

If you are looking to get some action because you are taking a kid fishing, visit your favorite body of water. Panfish, especially bluegills and sunfish are the country's number one fish--always have been, always will be. Most people started fishing as youngsters for panfish and these little scrappers provided us with hours of enjoyment. Bluegill, ounce for ounce, fight better than any other freshwater species of fish. Bluegill are also fun to catch and make excellent table fare straight from the frying pan. Catching a mess of big bluegill is a common event throughout the spring, summer and early fall.

Concentrate on the weedline and bottom cover like logs, fallen trees or brush piles. Worms and small minnows are the preferred live bait and you can buy them at your local bait shops.

Some bluegill and sunfish anglers use small spinners on 2 or 4 pound test line. If you are an ultra lite spinner fisherman use a single hook spinner with a small yellow or white skirt and cast the lure to the weedline, let it sink to the bottom and then slowly retrieve the lure.
This lure could be a 1/16 - 1/64 ounce Beetle-Spinner (any color) or a small Mister Twister with a tiny yellow or white curly tail.

Use a light rod-and-reel combination, with four to six pound test line. Tie a snap swivel to your main line. Then tie a sinker to a 3 foot leader and attach to the snap swivel. Now add a #6 or #8 hook on a twelve inch leader to the snap swivel and another hook of the same size about half way down the leader line. Tip one hook with a worm and the other with a small minnow. Now attach a bobber set for the proper depth. Let the fish tell you which bait they prefer.

If fishing from shore, cast to the outside of the weedline. If fishing from a boat go about twenty feet beyond the weedline and anchor. Cast to the weedline and wait. If you don't get a bite drag the set up toward you about three feet at a time and wait. Eventually your set up will enter the strike zone for the fish. Now continue to place your set up in this zone cast after cast. Some sunfish anglers, once they find the fish change to a small jig and attach the bait and cast to the fish zone.

If, after catching many fish and the fish turn off, don't leave the area, as bluegills are home bodies and don't stray to far from the nest. A rod, reel, a can of worms and a youngster and you'll have a day to remember and a positive entry in your journal. Don't forget your camera, cap and sun screen.