Springtime pan fishing is quite possibly the most anticipated and enjoyable time of the year for anglers of all ages.
After a long winter it’s time to spool the reels, load up our tackle box and grab the bucket. From shore or boat one can almost guarantee a fruitful outing. It is this time of the year that the gills move into the shallow bays to spawn. There are three main areas of consideration, water temperature, location and presentation. These factors are vital to your success. Throughout the winter months these fish have been suspended in deep water. As spring approaches they begin to congregate outside of the spawning areas. Once water temperatures reach the 60’s, these fish begin transitioning into the bays. Typically the bays located on the north side of the lake warm first. Look for shallow areas that have standing reeds, brush, old matted growth, logs or over hanging trees along the shoreline. A pair of polarized glasses can assist in both identifying these areas and actually seeing the fish. When it comes to fishing gear an ultra-lite fishing rod/reel spooled with 4lb test works well. The rod length can vary from 4’ to 6 ‘1/2” depending on the size of the angler along with the location you are fishing from. When fishing from a boat a 5’ ½” to 6’ ½” rod is fine. If you are fishing from shore with lots of brush or overhanging trees, you may want to consider going with a shorter rod. This will help eliminate continuous problems while casting from these tight spots. Next is a light bait delivery system and strike indicator. After years of trying just about every bobber/float on the market we settled with the pan fish size Rocket Bobber. Average casting distance is 30 to 40 yards, it is designed to lay flat with these light weight presentations. Once the fish takes the bait the bobber begins to stand up indicating a strike, that’s when you can set the hook. This bobber teamed with a hook and worm, small jig and plastic or in the case of this video, a 1/64 ounce ice jig and wax worm is unbeatable. Early in the season as these fish are just starting to enter the bay they are quite skittish. It is often best to cast over your targeted area and slowly retrieve your bait back. As the season progresses they will become more aggressive. That’s when you can make the switch from live bait to plastics. Pan fish tips and videos will address this transition in an upcoming video. Good luck fishing!