winter gills
i live in south florida and have been doing pretty well this winter on decent-sized gills and redears. using red wigglers and a cane pole from the banks. every little segment of freshwater down here – and that’s a lot – has panfish in it. grew up fishing in TN, and bluegill was my favorite back then. anyone else fishing for gills in the winter, in florida? how about up north? BTW, i’m kind of a panfish addict, too.

pan fish
The ice is just now thick enough to fish here in the Finger Lakes region of Up-State NY. A good bait here has always been a perch eye on a tiny jig. Meal worms, golden rod grubs, and mousies are always good. Fish safe and have a great New Year. LJB.

Do the gills ever stop bedding down in S
Florida? Mostly, only catch the little ones, bait size in shallow water in S.East Texas. Going to try drop shottine into some holes to see if that works.

I wade
My primary target species is smallmouth bass, but I usually fish for them from a kayak. When I’m interested in panfish, I wade. The bedrock rivers in this area support large grass beds in the summer. When I want to cool off, I wade out in one of these rivers below the grass beds and cast beetle spins or similar spin-baits between the grass beds. You can catch a bunch this way. I wish the water were healthier, as I’d enjoy making a dinner of them from time to time, but release them nevertheless. I’d also prefer to wet wade, but even a small cut in that water can cause some serious infections, so I wear waders too. At least the rivers aren’t burning anymore.

  • Big D

they bed from march until october most years. it’s incredible. one-pound plus males fiercly guarding many nests. during summer it can be easy to pick off a dozen adults for a big fry. i try to take it easy on them, though, and only take a few of the bedding fish from different spots at different lakes.

where do you fish
sounds scary

Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers
Not any scarier than most of the larger rivers in the mid-Atlantic. The Clean Air & Water act has done a lot of good, but the job’s far from finished.

  • Big D

teh roxors
I’ve got more gear for panfishing than anything else. 2 rods, one 5’ for fishing from the boat, one 12’ for casting from shore. Nothing higher than 4# mono line. Needle floats and little jigs and finesse minnows, sometimes live bait.

Every spring, the Crappies and Perch are an excellent start to the season. When they’re on, they’re on hard and fast. When they’re not biting, light a smoke and pass the flask. There’s quite the community of shore anglers around here. From old farts sitting on their buckets to young asian couples on a date.

I should have been asian. I’ve never had a gf that would have considered fishing a reasonable date. Percheru! Percheru!

Thu the ice
right now.

For us Texas saltwater fishermen
It’s kinda like catching stuff other than reds, specks, and flounder.

I would rather spend a day catching little sand trout over and over again than just catch one keeper red and nothing else all day.

Pan Fish
I love to fish, but with a fly rod. It’s the only way I know how. My father didn’t fish, and I didn’t get into fishing until I was 40. When I decided to give fishing a try, it looked to me like you needed less stuff to fly fish, so that is how I got into it.

Then it happened. One day, when I was home alone, bored, and had nothing to do, I went to a local boat launch where I saw people before fishing for pan fish, and gave it a try with a fly rod. WOW.

I never had so much fun fishing before. Soon there after, I bought an Orvis 3 weight rod, that is today my pan fish rod, and I fish for pan fish more than any other. And guess what, bringing in a big Bluegill on a 3 weight rod is like fighting Tarpon.

What I use is a mid-weight sinking tip line with terrestrials, like grasshoppers or a big ant, and pan fish strike the fly like there was no tomorrow. The sinking tip line lets me cast like a normal flyline, but then lets the fly sink down to the fish.

Now what I have since done, is bought a big, big 10 foot Orvis 8 weight rod, intended for a two handed cast, and I want to give bass fishing a try.

That’s a lot of rod for what will be
relatively small fish. Most of your catch will be under 3 lbs. A 5/6 or 7 wt would be most adequete and easy to use. My flyrod is a 5 wt with a fast action. It’ll handle anything up to 20 lbs.

Fly Rods
Hi Jeri:

Most of my pan fishing is with a 3 weight. But the eight weight isn’t for the weight of the fish, but rather to have the power to cast the large deerhair plugs and some of the monster bass streamers that I have.

Most of the guys around where I live use one hand 8 weight rods for bass. But using a two hand rod, lets me use some Spey cast techiques that I want to give a try. It also lets me use the rod for steelhead and salmon, fish that I haven’t gone for, but intend to give a try one day.