Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

magicstix

Where do these Panfish hide in winter?

15 posts in this topic

Need some suggestions on figuring out this lake. We've been going up here for 10 years ice fishing and have not ever caught a panny out of this lake. Now from mid June - Labor day you can find panfish all day long in 6-10' fow, come 3rd week Sept there gone. Where do they go? It's like they packed up and went south for the winter.

The lake is about 1000 acres, oblong shape, lots of varying structure, humps, sandbars, rocks, shoreline is 5-10' then drops out to about 20' average, some 20-30' areas and then out to some 30-35' flats, deepest is 45-50'. A lot of locals don't even fish it in winter. I've tried the 20 and 30' areas right off of where they are in summer and notta thing. How far do these fish travel in winter? Do they go to other end of lake? Doesn't seem likely they'd expend that much energy.  What do you folks think or where would you look? 

We have a some kids going up in a few weeks and would like to see them catch some fish.  Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a bluegill expert by any means, but my go-to spots to fill a bucket are all between 6 and 12 FOW where I find them hanging out in what's left of the weeds or on the edge of it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basin, but locate variances in your boat and mark them so theyre easy to find in the winter.  Should be looking for a mid to deep 20's with little "pockets" or "holes" that only got a couple feet deeper.  Say you have a basin thats 25' but within that basin you can find some 27-28' dimples.  If you cant find anything with the style of fishing and spots you're use to, try something very different.  Might be tough with kids to locate them though and better off just setting up near some reeds in 10-15ft.

ANYFISH2 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Panfish generally head two places come winter.  Weeds/shallow flats or to the basin areas.  They are easier to see on electronics in the basin areas.  But drilling lots of holes until you find them is generally the only way your find them for sure.

Edited by Borch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few years ago I had some on my cam in 30' feet of water when i was fishing for Walleye's. I couldn't believe it but they were surrounding the camera. Two weeks ago I was in 20' trying for crappies and only got Gills. Not bad size either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find that some "up north" lakes we fish hold pan fish in much deeper water than the metro lakes I fish.

bobbymalone likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After seeing increasingly terrible walleye fishing over the last couple weeks, I decided last weekend I was going to fish a new spot (that I'd never fished before) every single day.  First night was a complete bust.  

 

With no specific species targeted, I set up the second afternoon in a 30' hole that is maybe 150 yards across, surrounded by shallow water and weeds.  After getting the holes drilled in the house I dropped my Marcum and saw that there was a whole lot of something down there, 10' off the bottom.  Nothing was biting, so after 15-20 mins I dropped the camera, and saw that it was LOADED with sunnies and crappies.  Fish stacked up as far as you could see.  They were extremely finicky, but over the next two days I did manage to snag some nice crappies, and a couple nice sunnies.  Jigging would bring them in, but if you moved after they showed up on the Marcum, they were gone.  And they would barely move the spring bobber.  

IMG_5258.thumb.JPG.e02e1f4030e3b7affd381c98eec07568.JPG

 

And one bonus 28" walleye that hit like a lake trout.

 

IMG_5255.thumb.JPG.fe93b4970e34b166b67f5431aa34ff4b.JPG  

magicstix, BassThumb. and Big Dave2 like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestions. On Friday night after being defeated again and went in,  I spent a long time looking at GPS and thinking where have I've not fished over the years. So that was the plan on Sat. to fish the unusual places. I fished 29-30' and I did try fishing the small dimples in this area too.

After reading some of your replies I realize I haven't fished the area where the reeds are but it's only about 21' deep there and I've never even seen a person over there. Maybe I need to get out to the 40' water, again that seems like it's a ways away from the summer haunts though.

Keep the ideas coming. I'm open to more thoughts. Thanks

 

LRG love the pics of your shack, the fish and the can.

Edited by magicstix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, magicstix said:

 

After reading some of your replies I realize I haven't fished the area where the reeds are but it's only about 21' deep there and I've never even seen a person over there.

When you say pannys I think gills, do you mean gills or crappies or both?  

 

Only 21 feet?   Seems like you've tried a lot of deepish water... Time to go shallow.  I wouldn't be discouraged by the lack of a shantytown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, bobbymalone said:

When you say pannys I think gills, do you mean gills or crappies or both?  

 

Only 21 feet?   Seems like you've tried a lot of deepish water... Time to go shallow.  I wouldn't be discouraged by the lack of a shantytown.

Gills. There are crappies in there but seem even more difficult to target.

 

We've thrown a tip up out there in the shallows now and then but no success. I haven't actually tried shallow (< 8') because I'd expect all the dead cabbage weeds to drive the fish out. Maybe they're just sitting on that 10-12' line, not as thick weeds there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what hours you are fishing or the specific lake, but it's been my experience that certain lakes and certain times of the year, you won't get crappies until well after dark.  5-6 years ago I fished a metro lake that you didn't even bother showing up until 9pm.  Specific to my post above from last weekend, the crappies would be down there all day long, but didn't bite until it was fully dark.  I had two short windows each night (probably around 8pm and again around 3am) where they were aggressive for only 30 mins or so.    

I'm not sure what hours you are fishing or the specific lake, but it's been my experience that certain lakes and certain times of the year, you won't get crappies until well after dark.  5-6 years ago I fished a metro lake that you didn't even bother showing up until 9pm.  Specific to my post above from last weekend, the crappies would be down there all day long, but didn't bite until it was fully dark.  I had two short windows each night (probably around 8pm and again around 3am) where they were aggressive for only 30 mins or so.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, magicstix said:

I haven't actually tried shallow (< 8') because I'd expect all the dead cabbage weeds to drive the fish out. Maybe they're just sitting on that 10-12' line, not as thick weeds there.

It's probably not super thick with weeds anywhere.  not sure why they would be scared of dead weeds.  Probably all sorts of food chain happening in the weed decay. 

 

I've slayed the gills in places that were thick enough with residual weeds that the flasher was basically worthless.

 

I dunno.  But it's probably worth a shot.

 

 

Big Dave2 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, bobbymalone said:

It's probably not super thick with weeds anywhere.  not sure why they would be scared of dead weeds.  Probably all sorts of food chain happening in the weed decay. 

 

I've slayed the gills in places that were thick enough with residual weeds that the flasher was basically worthless.

 

I dunno.  But it's probably worth a shot.

 

 

I figured they turned brown and died hence lack of oxygen. Guess it wouldn't hurt to try it.

 

7 hours ago, Lip_Ripper Guy said:

I'm not sure what hours you are fishing or the specific lake, but it's been my experience that certain lakes and certain times of the year, you won't get crappies until well after dark.  5-6 years ago I fished a metro lake that you didn't even bother showing up until 9pm.  Specific to my post above from last weekend, the crappies would be down there all day long, but didn't bite until it was fully dark.  I had two short windows each night (probably around 8pm and again around 3am) where they were aggressive for only 30 mins or so.    

    

We have caught a few on accident and they have been of very nice quality,  just never tried to pattern them.  One evening during open water in the fall we got into a few but haven't been able to replicate that day. Most lakes I fish the crappies are night biters too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drill lots of holes and try to cover as much of the lake as you can!  I would bet that there are a small number of big schools that roam around the lake.  I wouldn't even fish, just drill and put the flasher down until you find them.  Those weeds would be the first place I try.  6-15 fow or wherever the weeds are.  The deepest pockets at each end of the lake are good too, probably find them suspended over the deepest pockets.  

Are there any streams/rivers going in or out of the lake?  Those carry fresh water (oxygen) and those pannies like being close to that.  Seems to keep the veg alive longer too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pop a pic of a map up here and we can help you out. Sounds like you are fishing too deep to me. 16-22 seems good if you are next to a shallower feeding flat. 

swamptiger likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now



  • Posts

    • I would say your results speak for themselves, we often do things that don't make sense or trade short term gain for long term trouble. Nature does things for a reason that we often don't understand, why try to fix what isn't broken?
    • Two charter boats. (11 people) Fishing was very slow last Sunday afternoon (8), but we did really well on Monday morning (43). Due to bad luck drawing cards, neither Mrs Duff or I touched a rod on Sunday. She went 5 for 5 on Monday. That's fishing for ya though. And true fishermen understand that.   Some real nice fish this year, good luck to those that make it out there.      
    • And no, it does not have some sort of virus. They are calling it a phishing site and it is not. It competes with Google adsense so it make sense for Google to be sloppy in their algorithm.
    • Great storytelling with pictures on a portion of your life experiences in the  great outdoors.  Thanks for sharing Len.  
    • Len - This was a very nice article.  I enjoyed your writing style.  Take care.
    • I am going to pick up a box to pattern against what I am shooting now. Here is my question. They are available in both 1 3/4 oz. shot and 1 7/8 oz. shot in 12 gauge. In a 3" 12 gauge #5 shot shell, that comes out to a 21 pellet difference. The velocity for 1 3/4 is 1200 fps, for 1 7/8 is 1080. At 20 yards it would make very little difference, but say at 45 yards would you rather have the extra 21 pellets or the added velocity? I suppose the answer is to buy both and pattern them, but I am curious as to the thoughts of the folks on this board. Thanks
    • I was looking to get an otter XT pro cabin this winter, I was wondering of anyone on here has an otter in the pro platform and how they like the extra insulated walls. Does it seem bulky? Too warm on above 0 days? I wouldn't mind just the normal cabin but they only offer it with a bench it seems but having the extra insulation may be nice to have for those cold days here and there. 
    • Thank You for the very interesting and enjoyable morning read
  • Our Sponsors