Bluegills, Trout, Walleyes, and Catfish
Author: Frank Faldo
BlueGills, The Basics
Bluegills are popular game to go for because they are plentiful across the continent. Another reason they are popular is because they go for a variety of natural bait and artificial bait. They usually opt for areas with clear water and reasonable weed growth.
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Typically they like water from 50 degrees up to 90, and can even be taken through ice! But, the best time to get them is when the water is around 70 degrees. It is then that they become aggressive because they are ready to spawn. You can find nests from about 2 - 12 feet deep.
When it is warmer, fish early and/or late in the day, especially if you are in shallow water. Bigger bluegills can be found in deeper water, and can be up to 20 feet below the surface. When fishing lily pads, approach it as if you were going for bass. Work the points, pockets and indentations where there is open water.
Make sure to fish with small hooks and bait. They have small mouths and have a hard time taking in larger bait.
Great baits to use are pieces of earthworm, crickets, grasshoppers, grubs, wax worms, minnows, leeches, and even sandwich meat. If you go the artificial route, use tiny jigs and spinner baits.
There isn't really a need to use more than 2-pound test line - maybe up to 4-pound maximum. As you may know, light lines make the bait appear more lifelike.
They are easily spooked so make longer casts if you are on foot, stay a bit back from the shore. If you are in a boat, be careful and quiet.
After you get a strike, don't act too quickly. Wait a second before lifting the rod - you will hook more this way.
Walleyes, Use Waders At Night
It is fairly well known that Walleyes favor low-light conditions. They can be found in water only 3-4 feet deep looking for perch. Using a pair of waders you can go for them.
Some recommendations are to use a light spinning rod equipped with 8-12 pound test line, and some minnow imitations.
You can find them at points where deep water is near. Scout for baitfish feeding on plankton - sooner or later the Walleyes will show up.
If your luck is not good with early season trout, try a few patterns of midges. Mosquito larva or pupa, in sizes 12-20 is good. If it is early in the season, fish it deep.
Follow these steps to make a bait catfish just can't resist:
- 1 pound of chicken livers (including blood)
- 1 cup of yellow cornmeal
- While mixing with hands (squeeze hard), add more cornmeal until a sticky paste forms
- Add cotton balls, pulling apart each one and add clumps to mixture (use 12, they keep everything together in the water)
- Add more cornmeal until you can make individual balls without them sticking to your hand
- Freeze until ready
To bait up, pinch some dough and set it on your hook - catfish will go crazy for this mixture!
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