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It's been a while since I've been active in fishing forums.  Social media had taken over but I feel that there is more opportunity to help people and share valuable information.

Hopefully I will be able to do that.

 

That being said it's time to get down to business!  I went out fishing yesterday with Brooke and Cole in search of anything that would bite.  I was hoping for Crappies and to be honest we had to work at it.  The first lake we hit was a bust.  Bluegills were crazy everywhere we looked and they would constantly attack our baits.  We decided to move lakes rather than wait 5 hours for the evening bite to hopefully take place.  We hit the water on Lake #2 and noticed that there was a lack of good weeds so we searched for anything we could find.  Surprisingly we found the fish in 2-4' of water in and around any weeds we could find.  We started popping Crappies pretty well on Gulp! Alive! 1" Minnows and the Berkley Atomic Pulse tubes (which are being discontinued :(  ).  At times we had 3 fish on at once!  We used floats with some success as well.  It seems a bit strange for me to use them this time of year but it got us a few more bites.  

 

Hopefully everyone is having a good start to the Summer and finding some fish as well.

 

Good fishing,

Corey Bechtold

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Crappies have staged in the weeds for me... 6-10 feet of water where things begin to "sparse" out a bit. Pitching 1/16oz jigs with a twister tails or minnow baits seem to do the trick. This is Chisago area MN...

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Been finding the crappies in the thick cabbage, mostly mid-lake. 8-12' of water has been perfect. Been pitching Flu-Flu's with a minnow under a float into the pockets, or trolling Salmo Hornets around them.

 

IMG_20150613_200917712_HDR.jpg

Edited by Matt Breuer

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Very nicely done Matty B!!!  My recent activity for Crappies has been fishing shallow weedlines adjacent to docks and lifts.  No big surprise there but we don't have a lot of deep cabbage down here.  Every time I get up north I have to re learn how to target fish in the weeds.  That wish might come true later this summer when we bring my daughter back up to College.  

This weekend is shaping up to be a good one and I hope to have a good report soon!

Good fishing,

Corey Bechtold

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This past weekend was an interesting one for me.  A lot of the usual weedy areas had disappeared and so did the fish.  They seemed to gravitate to the docks that offered the most shade/cover along with some deep water nearby.  Once I found the good areas it was game on!!!  It amazes me how many fish will pack in these high percentage spots!  Baits didn't really seem to matter as long as they wee brighter colored.  I used some of the new Johnson tubes along with the Gulp! Stuff.  The tubes worked a bit better as I was able to catch more fish per bait with them.

Good fishing,

Corey Bechtold

 

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Panfish continue to relate to the weeds, but more so along deeper edges now. Found a lot of fish in 13-18 feet on drop-shot rigs. Crappies and sunfish. There are certainly fish up shallower and in the weeds, but the milfoil on the lakes I've been fishing has come in thick. Seems like the school of better-size fish is out deeper as of late. They are sitting in the bottom water column and seem pretty eager to bite. Just look for a bend in the weed line or a large underwater point, hump... some sort of structure... and the fish are relating to it.

For the presentation... I've been using #6 VMC SpinShot hooks with 1/8oz (or smaller if possible) drop weights, dropper line is between 15-20" or so. Then I tip those hooks with either small Twister tails or minnows baits. 4-6# test line. Works great for all panfish species... oh, and the walleyes are eating them on occasion too :)

Definitely a fun and easy way to fish. I've also noticed that I've catching more on drop-shots then straight lining a jig... must be the absent of weight that the fish like, and the specific action that the "flicking" presentation gives off... I plan to drop-shot more panfish tomorrow and Friday...

Same technique has been dynamite for the bass too, but just with larger sizes...

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caught crappies and big gills in 5 - 12 feet last night. Some of them were on the edge of the lily pads and bullrushes, some were out deeper on the edge of the cabbage. Checked out deep, too, but didn't graph anything. High winds made boat control tough, so we couldn't catch more than 1 or 2 from any single spot. Just one or two here and there, had to keep moving. Tried to anchor on one spot that put out two quick fish, but once we got the boat locked in position the school seemed to move on.

Best bait was 1/16 oz jig with white plastic. Twister tails and 2" Gulp minnows both worked about the same. Tried crappie minnows for a bit but that didn't produce any better than the plastics. Also caught one on an Ultra Light Rippin Rap that I had been wanting to try in open water. Also tried pitching and trolling beetle spins but that didn't produce.

This was on a 200-acre lake that gets about 30' deep and has about 6' clarity. Water temp about 76F.

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I have been fishing mid lake humps (10-15' down) humps come up to 3-5'... I like to use Swedish pimples tipped with plastics but I sometimes find this too big a rig... But the 1/32 or 1/64 jigs are too slow to drop in deeper water. do you guys use a split shot? I will try the drop shot rig MJ mentioned but I would still like some info on using split shots above light jigs? 

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I am not a fan of using a split shot, because if there is a up bite you will not feel it. I have to play around with the drop shot method more, because I believe this could be a game changer. 

Sometimes you have to use a split shot, but look for other options first. Such as Tungsten Jigs there is some biggers ones on the market and that might help. 

 

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I agree with you on "feel" with split shots but I want something to go deeper quicker... I have tungsten ones for ice fishing and that is a thought... I may need to find some with a bigger gap hook though. But thanks for the idea.

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Fishing is so interesting!  There are so many different ways to catch them and threads like this really open my eyes.  Of course I have my favorites but there are so many times when changing things up can put more fish in the boat.  

This year is constantly changing.  One week is Gulp! And the next is all tube baits.  Lately the tubes have been best.  I have also experimented with some other creature baits like Nymphs and had some success.  The keys are still hanging around weeds.  Slow falling baits have been best as it gives me a better opportunity to detect the bites.  One absolute must for me has been hi-vis lines.  My favorite is Berkley Sensation 4lb Solar.  This line absolutely rocks!

I have tried a few other options but still come back to the Sensation.  

One thing I want to touch on is the where, when and why of Mono vs. Superlines.  A lot of people like the "feel" of Fireline but there are bites when you'll do much better with Monofiliment.  Superlines have a smaller diameter and cut the water easier than Mono.  Mono can help slow the fall rate of your baits allowing you to see the "bounce" or hesitations as it drops through the water column.  I also prefer some stretch in the line as it is more forgiving.  If you want to use Superlines than maybe using a longer rod with a softer tip will help keep fish hooked up.

Hope everyone is enjoying the heat and finding some fish!

Good fishing,

Corey Bechtold

image.jpg

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I went back to Mono for the slower drop reason a year ago... it just seemed to work better but the little jigs seem to drop almost too slow. The impulse prerigged ones take like way too long to get to 15' it seems. Weedlines are still also something I am keying on. Hoping for some bites this weekend! May have to try tubes...

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I have been finding some fish in some shallow wood very early in the day. Once in a while it will be a fish or 2 on a bobber & jig or a bobber/jig & minnow but most often it's been it's a plain bobber/hook/minnow set up working best.

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I fish a large lake that has algae stained water.    We found nice sunnies (8 to 8 1/2 inches) in two types of places.

There is an area that is a large bar with mud bottom.   There we found them in 11 - 14 foot of water.     We were also able able to find some in the sparser reeds.   It was a bit hit or miss there are there are miles of reeds on the lake.   In those cases the fish were in 6 or 7 foot of water.

The fish were caught vertical jigging with our ice fishing rods either waxies or gulp minnows.    The waxies provided more action,  the gulp had a better average size and provided a few bonus crappies.   There were 4 of us fishing and only one was not using an ice fishing rod and he only caught one over 8 inches compared to those using the ice fishing rods catching 12 - 25.  

The larger bluegill bites were very subtle and they were relating very close to the bottom.  My buddies were having some luck leaving their bait on the bottom for a few seconds and it appeared the fish either picked it up off of the bottom or immediately after it came off of the bottom.

Reading the other posts, I think I need to add a dropshot rig for this type of fishing.    Also in hindsight I would have pounded the bottom with my jig like I do ice fishing.

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Found some good fish on the mid lake humps and Pimples with gulp triggered plenty of action. Don't lock yourself into shorelines and weed points... plenty of mid lake structure is holding fish also.  

We also tried the drop shot method but that I think I need to spend some time practicing as the bites were harder for me to tell... so much to learn and so little free weekends to do it...

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What size of Pimples do you use and what type of gulp do you use?  This seems like it would be a good technique in a little deeper water?

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Still finding the larger gills and slabs near deeper cabbage.  I dont transition to deeper water until fall or if I can not find them I'll look for tiny variances regarding the depth.  Main lake flats with 1-2' "holes".  If you dont have a trolling motor that will anchor it'll be a long day in the boat trying to hold that spot with a little wind.  Which is why I rarely leave the cabbage.  Clear lakes, that cabbage will grow in 10-12', set that slip to 8-9' and you should find some action.  Put on those polarized glasses and look for open areas between the cabbage or just off the end of the cabbage.  I agree with Moose on the split shot deal, hate using them but not so much for the feel but for the line weakening on hook sets.  Ive broken countless setups on 4lb test right at the sinker.  Nothing ruins a great bite more than having to re-tie, get blown off the spot, re-bait, ugh the frustration.  

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I would love to have a post of what is working.   But last weekend I pretty found out what was not working   Spent two days heavily targeting pannies.   Man we tried, humps,  we tried in the reeds and the edges of the reeds,  we worked weedy drop-offs from deep to shallow.   We tried, waxies, plastics, gulp, panfish leeches.   I even tried drop shotting after reading about it here. 

in the end we had about 5 fish we could have kept.   We did catch some smaller ones but not even that many of them.    The electronics thought we were on fish often.  Our rods not so much.  :)  

Oh well, I guess I just have to admit the fish won this round.   

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Sorry it's been a while since I posted last.our family has been busy with camping, outdoor camps, family reunion, birthday parties, etc...

I plan on fishing on Friday but am nervous because the cooler weather and rainfall may have the fish scattered.  I hope to find something so I'll let you know how it goes.

Good fishing,

Corey Bechtold

 

 

image.jpg

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Surface temps around 70 here, found some slabs on the weed line just before the sun up. Slow trolling with tube jigs worked for us. Followed them deeper as it got light until about 1/2 hr after sunrise.

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Unfortunately the wind has kept me off the water lately.  This needs to change ASAP!  I'm going berserk!!!  

Hope everyone else is getting out at least.

Good fishing,

Corey Bechtold

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