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paceman

Panfish Pains

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On quite a few local lakes, the walleye bite is really strong on leeches/crawlers. The problem is the pesky panfish (sunnies/perch/rockies) are constantly pecking away at the same depths I have been finding the eyes. Really annoying. We have had a few double where 1 guy gets an eye, the other a tiny sunny. Would love to go more than 10' without the pannies ripping of my expensive bait. Even with just a plain black hook those buggers are there. I suppose I could go back to minnows or start pulling plugs, possible gulp, but man I just love rigging live bait. Anything that I am missing to avoid the panfish???

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I would say that unfortunately, you will have to put up with the pesky panfish if you insist on live bait rigging this time of year.  Some options are try working paddle tail minnows slowly along the edges with and without a clothespin spinner attached, cast shadraps or countdown minnows along the edges, try lipless rattle baits on a slow steady retrieve.  Depending on the depth and bottom makeup, rip jigging feather jigs or jig and plastic combos may work well and draw reaction strikes while keeping the panfish at bay.  These tactics will eliminate alot of the pesky panfish but not all of them yet still take aggressive walleyes.  Chances are the walleyes are there to feed on the small gills and perch which makes cranking a great option. If you are steadfast in using livebait rigs then try working them nearer low light periods when the panfish are apt to be slightly less active and the walleyes more active. 

Tunrevir~

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I would say that unfortunately, you will have to put up with the pesky panfish if you insist on live bait rigging this time of year.  Some options are try working paddle tail minnows slowly along the edges with and without a clothespin spinner attached, cast shadraps or countdown minnows along the edges, try lipless rattle baits on a slow steady retrieve.  Depending on the depth and bottom makeup, rip jigging feather jigs or jig and plastic combos may work well and draw reaction strikes while keeping the panfish at bay.  These tactics will eliminate alot of the pesky panfish but not all of them yet still take aggressive walleyes.  Chances are the walleyes are there to feed on the small gills and perch which makes cranking a great option. If you are steadfast in using livebait rigs then try working them nearer low light periods when the panfish are apt to be slightly less active and the walleyes more active. 

Tunrevir~

This is good info. I have pretty much given up on livebait through most of the summer here in the southern part of the state. Too many panfish and sheephead. 

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If the fish are that present and that aggressive, I'd switch to Gulp. Especially if leeches are the bait - the Gulp leech works great when walleyes are aggressively biting on leeches, and panfish can't strip them.

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Or just get spinners and troll chubs. The perch and panfish will still attack them but they won't rip them off hooks

I've used the GULP! Crawlers on harnesses with very limited success. Done better with the Gulp leeches

Edited by tacklejunkie

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Or just get spinners and troll chubs. The perch and panfish will still attack them but they won't rip them off hooks

I've used the GULP! Crawlers on harnesses with very limited success. Done better with the Gulp leeches

I haven't had good luck with Gulp crawlers either. But I've seen Gulp leeches outfish live leeches side-by-side enough to become a believer.

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Ugh, yeah that is really annoying. And somehow those tiny panfish will manage to swallow the hook while the walleyes will barely be hooked in the skin of the lip :P

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