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Matt Johnson

Bass Really are Panfish

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I've been changing my tactics lately for bass. Mostly because during the little free time for fun fishing I have I've been concentrating on having fun and not so much about sticking the norms. With that being said, I've been using a lot of light gear for bass lately... and by light, I might my pannie gear.

IMX S782 with a 1000 Stradic and 4# Gamma is my weapon of choice. I've been throwing 2-inch Mister Twister Minos, 2-inch Berkley Power Minnows, 2-3" twister tails... mostly all small stuff.

And to be completely honest, the fishing has been very good. I've been targeting a lot of same areas I normally would, just downsizing a bit. Fish up to 19" have come on this technique and I honestly think I've been catching more fish overall.

Here's a downsize largie...

MJbassMTL.jpg

Just something to get the brain working smile

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I have a 5 year old kid that is super into casting and lately we've been going after bass a lot.

One bait he likes using are small jig-spinnerbaits (kind of like beetle spins) ----- and there's lots of times he outfishes me and my traditional bass tackle on them.

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Ditto on that Perchjerker. My kids also cast out 1/32 ounce jigs tipped with Berkley Trout Worms and hammer bass all day long on these. Lot's of small bass but they catch 'em up to 4-5 lbs as well. Hmmm.....

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i have had success fishing for bass with panfish gear on opener and about the first week of opener but havent had much luck any other times.....

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I know guys that fish tournments with that type of stuff for smallies on beds or smallies in general and have done very well

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Had on the biggest bass of the year for me on a 2-inch Mister Twister Mino out on Clearwater the other day... didn't get to touch the fish but it was around that 6 pound mark frown

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Talking about light tackle, I like using my cheap-as-heck pen rod for kicks when I go bass fishing sometimes.

I'd have to agree that bass "really are panfish", and by that I mean that I have my best luck fishing for bass with stuff that work well on panfish. I only run into trouble when I fish areas so thick with bluegill and whatnot that I'm always hooking into those instead of bass. That's when I switch over to larger hooks that I'd never use for panfish, or crank baits.

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we've been doing that for years! lots of fun. i've gotten patial to using ultra lite surface plugs.( hoola poppers,jitter bugs, and little twitch baits) but will tie on small crank baits also! just be WARNED! big channel cats love those little surface baits too! frown

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I have them hit my panfish poppers all the time. And they do put up a great fight, especially against an ultra-light fly rod. Gotta love pulling them in by hand too.

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Matt, I used your tactics today on what I thought was a tougher bite. We down sized to 2 inch grubs - did a little dropshotting, etc - and scratched out (what I thought was) a decent day.

We are waiting to get on the dock and a guy in a Stratos pulls up besides us - asks how we did. We said we scratched out some fish - and he said they did great on the weedline- throwing TEN INCH worms. Their biggest was 4-10.

I must be too smart by half. LOL

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So what are your hook-sets like? Are they always easy like your fishing for panfish? Are they always hard like your fishing for bass? Or do you make a judgement call based on feel?

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My biggest bass over the last few years came last November in Arkansas on my ultra-light. 2" Senko in pumpkin wacky rigged on a #6 Gamakatsu Octopus and 3 lb test line in the timber of all places. She tipped the scales at 7 lbs even, so you can certainly catch big fish on little baits. It was incredible to catch such a large fish on such light tackle. I knew it was a huge fish as she hit just a couple feet away from me and I saw the swirl when she came out of the tree. I just laid back nice and easy to keep tension on her. When I lipped that beast, the hook was just barely in her. It is important to play the fish with lighter tackle as one sharp turn and run and its game over.

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I set the hook like I'm bass fishing smile Probably shouldn't all the time, but its a judgment call for the most part. Sometimes it just takes q quick snap of the wrist...

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