Surprise surprise!

Discussion in 'Panfish' started by spoonminnow, Nov 12, 2021.

  1. spoonminnow

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    Water temperature in the three local lakes I fish is now 49 degrees. Interesting thing is that panfish, bass and a large pickerel have been caught - over 100 fish in two days' time from two of them. Both were very productive prior to fronts moving in with the usual high winds of 15-20 mph. This is the story of one lake's success.

    This lake has a hit-or-miss history in Nov. when the water is less than 50 degrees. Add a high wind and keeping boat position anchored can be a challenge. Here's a map of the lake fished:
    The deep end (16') is adjacent to the dam (line); a rock ridge surrounded by deep water is adjacent to where I was anchored (X); the dotted lines, the direction of the casts into deeper water (8').

    At first I hugged the wind-protected shoreline and caught small bass and a few panfish. I wasn't very optimistic of finding too many more fish but for the h*** of it decided to try casting parallel to the ridge. A soft hit made me aware of fish in the area; another soft hit & miss convinced me to cast in different directions. Sure enough, I large school of crappie were to the north of me. The hook set had to be adjusted for soft double-strikes - sometimes more than two on the same retrieve.

    The crappie weren't big by Calif. standards but decent for this lake: 10-12". Anchored I caught over 40/ missing over 20, along with sunfish and perch mixed in the school. Different soft plastic lure designs did well, some not so much (i.e. curl tail grubs).
    Here are some examples of lures that caught fish:
    gdQqZKh.jpg
    JzvN5qo.jpg ZGMRiu6.jpg 8PeIcL9.jpg

    ...as well as this clear plastic curly tail with spinner:
    rYRGR9g.jpg

    My boat was anchored the whole time in the south end somewhat protected by a rock ridge. If the bite fell off, I let the wind carry me 30' further north, anchored and caught more. This lake has no pads or wetlands, but another does and in it I caught 45 fish: crappie, yellow perch, sunfish, bass and this large pickerel - all on light jigs and small soft plastic lures:
    vf6XMHh.jpg
    The wetland shallow water and dying pads provided ambush spots for different species in 5-7'. Most fish were caught 4 hours before sunset when the wind died to 5 mph and clouds started moving in.

    Both lake catches reminded me not to assume cold water and wind mean less fish. Both lakes will be fished until it gets too cold because winters in NY are long and boring without something to cast my lures to.
     
    #1 spoonminnow, Nov 12, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2022
  2. fisheromen

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    Funny, we have a Diamond Valley Lake here.
     
  3. Nute

    Nute Researcher...
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    Any bass of legitimate size around there? 5lb+?
     
  4. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    That's a meaty pickerel
     
  5. Bird334

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    Nice report beautiful pickerel
     
  6. dmorgan3

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    So is your conclusion that less action is generally better for panfish lures? And possibly for largemouth bass lures too? Counter to what a lot of fishermen think but fish thoughts (or maybe just instincts) count more.

    There are now a lot of lures that seem dedicated to that idea: Senkos, dropshot, Trout Magnet, reapers, French fries, spade tail grubs, beavers, Ned rigs, etc. One could even say the original plastic worm was a "less action" lure.

    On the other hand, in the bay, I have yet to find anything better than a curl tail grub for spotties. Second best would be a swimbait with a wide swinging tail. Either on a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce jighead.

    FYI, there's always ice fishing in the winter there. Doesn't get as cold as it used to though so be sure the ice is thick enough and never ever drive your truck out onto the ice. But if you do and bad things happen, take pics and post here.
     
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  7. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    Some of the bluegill guys target fish in 35' or more, and we have a few reservoirs that max out at 150' or more when full, standing timber seems to be what the 2#+ sunfish seem to prefer around here...
     
  8. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    Should see the thing.. it's ridiculous looking... Hahaha.. lemme find the article... Funny, "evasive mussels may be the key..."... Hahahaha

    Where records flourish: Lake Havasu is the place for giant redear sunfish
     
  9. spoonminnow

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    A thought along the lines you posted:
    The actions of best lure designs seem to affect the lateral line as well as have the visual effect leading to the impulsive reaction required to initiate an attack for whatever reasons anglers claim. Your examples of more-or-less action describe the range of actions that provoke fish to strike. Small fish sometime strike large lures such as this 14" crappie striking a 5" swimbait:
    OQwnSvO.jpg

    To go out on a limb, two words are at the root of fish aggression IMO: irritation and impulsive.
    i.e - a bee comes out of nowhere too close to your face. You swat it to stop it from doing what it's doing regardless of any emotion felt or not felt. Territorialism (which includes the anger-to-protect) is one reason (label) given for the strike when the need-to-feed is not the issue. Could be, though you still got to piss off the fish before it will protect its turf. Higher forms of animals in general experience irritation and react sometimes violently.

    A feeding frenzy in my book is too simplistic a reason that school fish turn on and bite like crazy. All it takes is one lure of the right action and size and BANG! - fish one after another strike a single lure. A more accurate phrase in my book is strike frenzy, comparable to a riot started by one individual's actions that became contagious to many others in a crowded area. The fish don't know why they started going berserk - especially if no prey is close by, but the impulsive behavior of one led to the impulsive behavior of the many. My partner and I caught over 30 fish from the same school before the frenzy stopped.

    Getting back to lure action - more or less? Depends on what the fish will bite at that time and place. When more action works, all actions work as do larger size lures. When only finesse-action/ smaller size lures work, no big-action/large size lures will get struck on average. I guess that's why so many slower presentations using smaller lures have been created over the years.

    Nice reply Morgan.
     
    #9 spoonminnow, Jan 24, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2022
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