Thursday, February 14, 2013

Year of the Bluegill - outlines of an action plan . . .

In response to Bill Trussell's comments asking which rods I will use and how I may be planning to attack those fiesty critters, I'm gonna post my answer.  I have a lot to say and it's more than just a comment.  Bill has got me thinking about how I want to make a plan of action.

Okay . . . I am currently making up some sort of plans here as I type.  Hoping that I can make sense of all the outings I could make this year.  I always try to make some trips to certain spots but never stick to it.  Rods . . . which rods . . . so tempted to take some smallmouth bass . . . gotta load up the kayak too.

Rod selection - I bought a 3 wgt. rod last year and it handles pretty darn well.  Pretty similar to my 4 wgt. but I do use the same 4 wgt. lines on both rods.  I may use a 5 wgt. with sinking tip.  An 8 wgt. will be used for bass but will be used to land bluegills at the same time.   I would have to say that a 3 wgt. will be the rod I will start out with.  I did use it to land smallmouth bass.  Although, that small rod did cost me a few big bass.  I will probably be using a 3 or 4 wgt. on the lakes to target panfish.  I guess the same goes for streams.  I've learned to cast heavier flies on smaller rods but it's really messed up my presentation for delicate casts and I usually have to realign my cast when in the kayak because I have developed a side arm cast.  I was using an 8 wgt. for crappie and bream as I casted Clousers.  The rod seemed a bit rigid but when casting into nasty brush and cover, it at least gave me the ability to tug and pull the line a bit to shake a fly loose.  I was casting Clousers with a mid size stainless steel eyes.  I like to cast streamers off the bank for panfish.  When the brush is in deep water, I like to fish deep and slow with a jigging action while using floating line.  I seem to have forgotten about using nymphs for panfish on lakes and ponds but drift them on streams.  I was using the Jeremiah Nypmh Two, Montana Nymph, scuds and sowbugs.

When casting top water flies on lakes and ponds, I will be using an 8 wgt.  There is probability I may use the 5 wgt. but will have to buy floating line.  The 4 wgt. will be used for top water patterns on streams and lakes.  I am currently tying up nymphs and am reading Harry Murray's Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass and will be tying up such patterns as Murray's Hellgrammite, Bitch Creek Nymph, Strymph, and Brook's Dark Stonefly Nymph.  These will be used for both panfish and bass on lakes, streams and ponds.  I will be casting Panfish Charlies on the 4 wgt.  The eyes are bead chain - so, they won't be too heavy.

I like the sensitivity of a smaller rod to feel the fish.  Such as if they are tugging or soft striking.  I love the play on a smaller rod.  I don't mind using a larger rod if necessary but prefer not using rigid  ones.

I've been catching large Goggleye and Rock Bass on streams and decent size Warmouth on ponds and lakes.  I know a few locations where I can land some monster Pumpkinseed too.  I've scouted out some smaller streams.  Most will be taken on top water patterns but I'm gonna load up a few boxes to take along.  I am looking forward to posting photos and keeping up with Jeff at J&m, Cameron at The Fiberglass Manifesto, Bill, Kevin and others as they go out for "Year of the Bluegill".


  1. That's a pretty green sunfish in your photo. I'm going to target bluegills over a pound this year. I hope I can find them again.

  2. Josh
    I like your plan of action, using different weight fly rods to fish different flies, especially those with weight. Different weight fly rods play a big part when fishing in cover and in deeper water. Last year I hand trouble landing some big shellcrackers with my 4 wt which cause me to go with my 5wt to land some big 1 pound gills. I still lost a couple even with the 5 wt through break offs and hook ups in the brush. I remember that day because I lost 5 poppers that day either by break offs or by the fly getting hooked in the brush. Josh I am glad we are going to have company this year; it will make it a lot of fun to go after the quest in “THE YEAR OF THE BLUEGILL!!!! Thanks for sharing