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Where To Fish

Bluegill are found in shallow water near piers, sunken cover, and weeds. Crappie prefer shallow water in the Spring and will school in deeper water as the Summer progresses. Look for weeds.

When To Fish

Any time is a good time for Panfish. Bluegill and Crappie will be active throughout the day, while Crappie feeding intensifies around dawn and dusk.

What To Use

Panfish prefer both live and artificial baits. Favorite lures include small spinners and rigged jigs. Bobber rigs are excellent for both Bluegill and Crappie. Bluegill prefer small worms and crickets while Crappie prefer live minnows.

Fishing Strategies

Use the splitshot to balance a stick float vertically. This makes it easier to detect strikes. With bobber rigs, hook minnows through the top end of the back behind the dorsal fin. This allows the minnow to remain lively longer. When jig fishing, hook minnows through the lips. When fishing a rigged grub, retrieve the bait at a speed where you occasionally touch the bottom, but are not dragging your bait along the bottom.

Basic Rigs and Techniques

The choice of rig and technique depends on fishing conditions.
The Clinch Knot is recommended for all rigs.

Here are some popular approaches to Panfishing.

Stick Float Rig
This is an excellent rig for light-biting fish. It is easy to detect bites and it offers less weight and less resistance to the fish.
  1. Tie hook onto line.
  2. Crimp on a splitshot approximately 6-in from hook.
  3. Attach stick float to line 12-in to 36-in from hook.
  4. Place live bait on hook.
  5. Adjust float to depth where fish are found.
Round Float Rig
This basic rig is excellent for presenting worms and minnows in shallow water.
  1. Tie hook onto line.
  2. Crimp on a split shot approximately 6-in from the hook.
  3. Attach float 12-in to 24-in from hook.
  4. Place bait on hook.
  5. Adjust float to depth where fish are found.
Live Bait Rig
This is an excellent method of fishing live bait, as it allows the natural action of the bait to trigger strikes.
  1. Tie hook onto line.
  2. Crimp on a splitshot approximately 6-in from hook.
  3. Place bait on hook.
Rigged Shad / Grub / Tube
Shad or Swirltail Grub:
To fish these lures, cast and let it sink to the desired depth, then retrieve steadily. Pass hook of jighead through shad or grub as shown.

This is a good all-around lure for crappie, who are attracted to its slow-falling action.
  1. Insert the tube jighead through the tube.
  2. Push the eyelet through the tube head.
How to Hook Live Bait
Hook minnow through lips or through the back, behind the dorsal fin.
Thread hook through worm, or you can pierce it several times and coil it.
Pass hook through thorax.
Pass hook through tip of head.