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Thread: Good Bluegill/Shellcracker Tips

  1. #1
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    Default Good Bluegill/Shellcracker Tips

    A couple of years ago, Jim Hatch over at FAOL posted this. I thought it was so good, I saved it. I hope you get as much out of it as I did.

    "Good question to start off the new warmwater board. I can truthfully say that I've been flyfishing for warmwater fish for half a century now.*G* But alas, I must admit that my learning curve only started in the last few years as a result of information gleaned on this site. Up until that point, flyfishing for bluegills or bass was simply a matter of putting a popping bug where you thought a fish might be. Sometimes they worked well, and at other times it was an exercise in futility.

    Thanks to articles by Al Campbell, Old Rupe, Fritz, RK and others, I finally got the message that warmwater fish are just like trout in thier eating habits. If you want to catch more/bigger warmwater fish, go trout fishing for them. Find out what they are feeding on and match it. My best bluegill trip ever was using some PT nymphs I got from you, fishing them 18" below one of my poppers. That afternoon, I caught over 120 bluegills and shellcrackers. Only six of them took the popping bug. That was an eye opener for me. I've since had similar days using other nymphs, midges, scuds, and a whole host of trout flies. I've learned to identify the bugs before I slap them and to tie an imitation to my line and try it.

    In my local waters, midges and scuds seem most productive. In particular on the red eared sunfish that I much enjoy fishing for. Prior to this year, bluegills greatly outnumbered my red eared sunfish catches but this year, I have turned it around.*G* I can concentrate my efforts on the red ears almost to the exclusion of the bluegills. Why would I want to do this? Many of our red ears here on the Santee Cooper lakes will exceed 2 pounds and 5 pound red ears are not unheard of. My best to date has been over 3 pounds on the little banty. If that doesn't put a grin on your face, nothing will.*G* My advice to flyfishermen wanting to target warmwater fish is to go trout fishing in warm waters. It works for me.

    Pete, my biggest red eared sunfish have been taken on #16 to #20 midges and scuds. Fishing larger flies increases the odds of my catching bluegills instead of red ears as does fishing dry flies. Warm regards, Jim"
    Last edited by deathb4disco; 05-16-2008 at 04:41 PM.
    Future moderator of the “Help Me! I'm A Grown Man Posting Selfies On The Internet!" forum
    Thanks 8fishermen thanked you for this post

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    Thumbs up Great read.

    Deathb4disco, Thanks a ton for being thoughtfull enough to share that. I've been considering adding the dropper as has been discussed here before.
    After that great read, I'll get off my behind and get it done.
    That was well worded and all I can say about the fishery he is on is WOW!! lol Thanks again, Mike

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    Thumbs up good deal

    Disco,
    Thanks for the info. I don't think I try different flies enough.

    CC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hatch
    my biggest red eared sunfish have been taken on #16 to #20 midges and scuds.
    Jim is great. A wealth of knowledge and very true words. If you do use flies smaller than size 12, be prepared to keep the fish to eat as they tend to take the fly VERY deep. It is no fun digging a tiny fly from the gut of a fish that has swallowed it and it can kill the fish. Some anglers may be good enough to detect the bite and set the hook before this happens but I'm not as fast as I used to be setting the hook. It may be that I could catch a lot bigger bream with smaller flies but I don't use anything smaller than a size 12 for that reason and even the size 10s and 12s I use can be taken rather deeply. My small flies such as wet flies, nymphs, and scuds don't go below a size 12 and at least most of the time I have the option of releasing the fish. Just something to think about.
    Last edited by dixieangler; 05-16-2008 at 11:23 PM.
    Robert B. McCorquodale

    "Flip a fly"


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    I agree. Used to be for me when the topwater bite ended, it was time to go home. I began experimenting with subsurface flies and quickly realized that my catch went up.

    In Florida, grass shrimp are abundant in our fresh waters and fish love them. So, nymphs and scuds are great flies. They'll certainly extend your day and increase your catch!
    Steve
    Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing
    Native Watercraft-endorsed guide
    gibbysfishingblog.blogspot.com

  6. #6
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    Default today

    Tried the tip from Disco and Jim Hatch today. Tiny "black ant" under a "Gurgle Pop". My best day with a fly rod this year. Thanks for the tip Disco. It was surprising how "gentle" some of the bites were. If not for seeing the " gurgle pop" twitch, I would have never know that I was getting a bite and some of the crackers were 10". I found a bed in calm water and the fish did not want any movement. Another bed in windy water and I would pop-pop-pop-sit and they would slam it! Good learning day on the water.
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    Last edited by crappiecrazy; 05-20-2008 at 06:38 AM.
    Likes BAFishBarn LIKED above post

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    Do they taste better if you iron them first?
    Jerry Hamon
    Van Alstyne, Texas
    http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w142/texascrappiefisherman/MSKFCPRES_zps568e5f40.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by texascrappiefisherman View Post
    Do they taste better if you iron them first?
    That is a good one! Best portable fillet table that I ever owned. Just the right height. No tired back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crappiecrazy View Post
    It was surprising how "gentle" some of the bites were. If not for seeing the " gurgle pop" twitch, I would have never know that I was getting a bite and some of the crackers were 10".
    You are SO right! I don't think most people realize how lightly they bite most of the time. When float fishing, I dot my floats down so just a pimple is showing. Even then, some bites will barely move the float.

    Glad to know it worked for you.
    Future moderator of the “Help Me! I'm A Grown Man Posting Selfies On The Internet!" forum

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    Quote Originally Posted by deathb4disco View Post
    A couple of years ago, Jim Hatch over at FAOL posted this. I thought it was so good, I saved it. I hope you get as much out of it as I did. <SNIP> Warm regards, Jim"
    Thanks for this link. I have copied a lot of Jim's stuff off of FAOL in the past, but must have missed this one. My other "go-to" poster to the FAOL Warm Water forum is Rick Z (Rick Ziegler) who is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to ffing for crappie, bg and re.

    Rick can also be found on the warmfly.org/index.php

    forum. Not a lot of traffic there, but all good stuff.

    btw: On FAOL I am Bluegill Budd and on Warmfly I am Clint KY.

    Clint
    Far West Kentucky
    http://www.crappie.com/crappie/signaturepics/sigpic31827_3.gif
    By authority of G, no longer "Junior Member" of Team Geezer - now a Full Member.

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