|All summer, panfish bite on the endless weedline.
Crappies, bluegills, sunfish, and perch gather at the deep edge. This pattern above all
others is the easiest to identify and exploit, and it often produces large fish.
key is to focus on the most fertile half of the main lake. Work the portion of the main
basin with softer bottom and larger weed flats than the rest of the lake.
Once you identify the big picture, look for major structural elements within that area.
The biggest panfish cruise the edge of major weed flats, huge weedy points, and submerged
islands. They gather in cuts, pockets, and holes on the deep weedline or suspend nearby in
To quickly locate concentrations of fish, drift or backtroll the edge with a small
spinner rig. For bluegills and perch, tip the single hook with a worm, the light colored
portion of a crawler split in half, or a small leech. Crappies and perch often seem to
prefer a small minnow hooked through the lips.
Work your boat into dips and points in the weedline, looking for fingers of rock or
gravel and other transition lines. Any irregularity becomes a sanctuary for invertebrates
and a dining room for panfish.
When you find fish, anchor and cast small jigs. Use a 7-foot or even slightly longer
light-action rod to catapult 1/60 to 1/32 ounce jigs on 2 to 3 pound test line. Small
tubes and curly tails often are productive, though tipping with a maggot, a piece or worm,
or a nick of crawfish usually is best.
When you can't find fish, carry a selection of floats to probe for fish cruising high
above deep weeds. Suspend the same tiny baited jigs into pockets and holes in the weeds.
When weededges run deeper than 10 feet, work from the bow of the boat with a trolling
motor while vertically jigging the same light jigs.