I’m sure many of you have had banner days when right place/right time allowed some record catches and we’ve all dreamt of being that lucky. And so it went Tues. and Wed.
In the northeast, we had a record amount of rain in a short time that raised water levels like crazy in all lakes and rivers. In the lake I fished yesterday, the lake was up 2.5 feet affecting the spawn locations of yellow perch – one of the first fish to spawn in spring. Where perch spawn, most fish follow to eat their eggs. I’m talking about four to five other fish species that are in dense, mixed-species schools in water no more than 3′ deep. I’m talk’n crappie with perch and sunfish; white perch with crappie, yellow perch with crappy and a few bass in the same school.
wetland channel I had to row to get to schools of fish:
Granted, a child could catch fish-after-fish in that scenario, but one thing it allowed me to do is to discover and rediscover more things about lures – particularly about soft plastics on light ball head jigs. When fishing a wetlands shallow water pattern, it pays to work lures slowly, mid-depth. To do that 1/32, 1/64 and 1/24 oz jigs are a must along with hook sizes to match. A lure can be 3″ on a 1/32 oz jig but the hook size/gap must be at least a #2 hook, like this example of a 5″ plastic worm that caught all kinds of fish yesterday – many on the same lures:
perch, sunfish and bass caught on the same 4″ plastic worm:
Float fishing isn’t my forte and especially not in 3′ of water, but when you find dense schools of very irritable fish, anything is possible. When I tried a small cigar float it opened doors as far as ultra-slow fishing using a rod pull & pause presentation!! Cool was seeing crappie attack the float once it plopped down, at times jumping out of the water! Many lures worked under the float and one that excelled over all others was the Mojo grub made from using clear plastic:
Used under a cigar float:
I’ve poured clear plastic shapes before, but the clear plastic Mojo – even in murky water – did as well as any color! The thin, straight tail flutters with the least motion imparted.
White perch on a clear plastic Mojo grub:
Another find was the Chubby Grub made from cutting 2″ off the front of a plastic worm (like the one shown above), blunting the end with a lighter: Nothing says, come & eat me like the wagging of a Chubby Grub rigged on a 1/32 oz jig!
Having been a bass angler for years, I can understand staying with heavier lures. But light tackle fishing has a lot to be said for it – regardless of freshwater species.