04-08-2004, 10:15 PM
I went out yesterday and caught one small largemouth and only a couple of bluegill. Here's the question, what do you do when those frustrating and pesky little panfish come up and give your fly a smack and a swirl but no take? Do you go to a smaller fly, lighter tippet, change your retrieve? Just curious as to how to turn these fakers into takers.
04-09-2004, 10:34 AM
I usually will not go to a smaller fly, more or less because I don't want to decrease the average size of fish I'm catching. When I keep getting short strikes, I borrow a page from saltwater and do a very slow hand-over-hand retrieve. When I feel a take, I just continue to retrieve the fly until there's pressure moving in the opposite direction. That's when a fish has truly taken the fly, and that's when I do an additional strip set.
It can be hard not to set the hook when you feel the taps of smaller fish, especially when you can see them coming. As weird as this may sound, don't be afraid to do the hand-over-hand retrieve with your eyes closed or looking away once you see fish headed towards the fly. Rely on feel, and you'll get more fish.
04-09-2004, 10:43 AM
I avoid going too small with panfish since it resulted in a lot of very deep hook-ups and difficult releases. They somehow manage to get their tiny mouths around some pretty big hooks! My favorite method is using surface flies and I probably connect with one in five, maybe one in three on a good day. The continuous retrieve is a good technoique with surface flies too.
05-01-2004, 03:32 AM
Usually, when I'm playing with bluegill or shellcrackers, I find the best way for them to take it is by letting one of the smaller ones take a nab at the bug, then as soon as I see the bug move, I pop it a good foot or so on the water. This pisses them off, and usually the first one to get to it after I pop it is the biggest, fastest, and meanest of the group. He'll give a nice, strong, quick fight before you play him out. This technique never fails me. If the next hit is just a kiss as well, I pop it again. Sometimes it takes one or two pops for them to take it. I've had miniscule bluegill minnows play with the fly, and after I take it away from them there always seems to be a bigger fish ready to take it. Good luck...
05-22-2004, 05:51 PM
Newbie this tripled my catch rate :eyecrazy:!!! UNBELIEVABLE