Whether targeted for fun or for the table, panfish please most anglers– especially lunker crappies and hand-sized bull bluegills. Fall is a great time to catch them, but with variables like changing vegetation, cooling weather, turnover, and fall bait migrations, how do you crack the code for consistent success?
We asked four of the nation’s top panfish specialists five questions about fall crappie and bluegill fishing. Their answers will help anyone become a more successful fall panfish angler.
The swimbait is a lure type that has gone from trophy hunting bass anglers to something used for many different species, including walleye. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be fished all year long, making them some of the most versatile lures used today.
Everyone is throwing bladed jigs these days so sometimes you need to give the fish a different look and sound.
The downsized Chatterbait MiniMax has a downscaled hex-blade and other componentry, but it has the punch to handle big, tough smallmouth, spotted and largemouth bass.
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By Louie Stout
Excuse me while I rant this week.
Admittedly, I’m not very patient. It’s a flaw, I know. But so is being an inconsiderate, lackadaisical schmuck who holds everyone up.
It happens everywhere. Like, the other day I stood in line for 15 minutes behind several people at a fast food joint. I was headed to the lake, wanted a bite to eat and figured McDonalds could keep me on schedule.
Wrong. Of course, there were the stereotypical indifferent behind the counter. We’ve come to expect that.
But when the lady customer in front of me - who waited in line as well - finally gets her turn to order, she steps to the counter and says, “Oh gee…I don’t know what I want” and then wants to play 50 questions with the apathetic girl wearing golden arches on her shirt.
I was good, avoided saying what was on my mind, bit my tongue, got my order and left – in a huff.
So what does this have to do with the outdoors? Try visiting one of Michiana’s boat launches on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
By Louie Stout
In Michigan, If you catch 25 bluegill like this one caught by Brooke Schaap, you’ve limited out. In Indiana, you can keep 100.
Proponents seeking an Indiana bluegill bag limit gained some support from a 2016 DNR Licensed Angler Survey conducted last winter.
At least 60 percent of the anglers responding to a mailed survey said they would support a bluegill harvest limit and a size limit on crappies. Less than 26 percent expressed opposition.
Are you listening DNR?
Northern Fisheries Supervisor Jeremy Price says biologists are listening but want to proceed carefully.
As it stands today, you can keep 100 bluegills if you wish.
Remarkably, some anglers do.
As you may recall, Indiana proposed a bluegill bag limit a few years ago, but backed off when it was pointed out that the proposal put too many constraints on tourist anglers.