2017 Crappie Fishing – Best Crappie Bait Out there!

Catching Summer Crappies

Looking for a lot of action and fun fishing, then you need to try Crappie Fishing in the Mid-West. As the water warms up in the summer and the new fry (minnows) put on some size the Crappies move into the shallow water chasing and feeding. With the following presentation you will find yourself in the middle of all the action.

Best Times To Fish For Summer Crappies

1. June Sunrise and Sunset in shallow water near the weed-lines, 5 – 7 feet.
2. July sunrise and sunset in shallow water near the weed-lines, 5 – 7 feet.
3. August after sunrise throughout the day, in the deep drop-offs, 10 – 12 feet.

Best Bait For Catching Summer Crappies

The best bait I have found for catching summer Crappies is the Gulp or Berkley 2” minnow on a Crappie Hook. With this presentation you can catch 20, 30, or even more crappies off one bait.

Crappie Action

See the action with this bait and how to use it.

2017 Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass Fishing At It’s Best!

The lake I typically Bass fish has both Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass. So what are the differences? What baits work best, what structure do you fish, and how do you tell them apart?

Smallmouth & Largemouth Structures

Smallmouth Bass prefer rocky bottoms, boulders, and ledges. Their diet specialty is crab, so you will find them working these areas aggressively. You will also find Smallies suspended in deeper water.

Largemouth Bass prefer aquatic vegetation and warmer water. They can be found near the shoreline and on the weed drop-offs. Their diet specialty is minnows, but frogs and crabs will work.

Bass Baits

When fishing for Bass I use the same baits, Buzz Baits, Bass Poppers, and Crank Baits (Bandits 200s). However, leeches in rocky structures will do well for the Smallies while small suckers on a harness will do well for Largemouths.

Visual Differences

The Smallmouth has a yellowish-brown back and head with dark vertical bars on the side. Between the vertical bars the fish will have a lighter yellowish-brown. The belly of the Smallmouth Bass will be white, turning more of a silver color on older fish. The eyes of the Smallmouth are reddish in color.

The Largemouth have a dark greenish or even black back. The sides are a lighter greenish color giving way to yellow and then a white belly. The eyes of a Largemouth are black.

Easiest Way To Tell A Largemouth From A Smallmouth

The best way I have found to tell the difference between these two Bass are by closing their mouths. When the mouth is closed the hard exterior jaw bone will give it away. On the Largemouth Bass the end of the jaw bone will extend beyond the back of the eye. Where on the Smallmouth Bass the jaw bone will only extend to the middle of the eye. Once you are familiar with both Bass you will be able to tell by the fight, color, and body before you ever get it into the net.

Smallmouth & Largemouth Bass Tips!

1. The Smallmouth produces a harder strike.
2. The Smallmouth puts up a tougher fight.
3. The Smallmouth will be commonly found in rock structures or cruising deeper water.
4. The Largemouth will be found in the weeds and near drop-offs.
5. The Largemouth is a better eating/tasting fish.

2017 Largemouth Bass – 4 to 1 vs Northerns

It’s mid July and the water is starting to warm up finally here in the upper Mid-West. So we headed out to video some Bass Action for you. Typically I like to see much warmer weather and water before focusing on Bass & Crappies, but I don’t think we are going to get it this year. Now, before going out we need to make sure we have a good steal-leader since there are a lot of Northern Pike in this lake. You will see in the video that we end up catching 4 times a many Pike as we did Bass.

Our Bass Baits

I like to use top water baits since it’s a blast to see the action, so we start with a Blue Bass Popper & Yellow Buzz Bait. If the top water action is just not there then I will move to a 200 Series Bandit. Visit this link to see how to make your own Bass Poppers!

Bass Baits In Action

Here you can watch these baits and strikes in action.

Catching Smallmouth Bass On a Fly Rod

SmallMouth Bass – A Great Fight

If you are looking to have some fun try fly fishing for Smallmouth, what a fight and after a couple you will know your arm and risk have been in a battle.

Where To Find The Smallmouth Bass

If you have a lake with Smallies in it then you will find them feeding in the gravel or rocks. So find a shallow bay with this type of bottom structure. The Smallmouth Bass will be there feeding on spiders, dragonflies, and crabs. On a calm day where the water is motionless you should be able to see the Bass hitting the surface, so work slowly and be ready for a fight.

The water depths I like to focus on are two to five feet with most of my strikes in ~3 feet of water. The challenge is keeping the Bluegills and Crappies from hitting your dry fly, so I try to stay out deep casing in toward the gravel shorelines or rock piles, stay away from the weedlines.

Which Dry Fly Works Best For Smallmouth

I have found the Brown Spider (Dry Fly) with white legs to work great, but have also caught them on Green and Black body spiders. When fishing for Bass I use my larger homemade Spiders, which use a size 10 Aberdeen Light Wire Panfish hook.

How To Handle A Smallmouth Bass On A Fly Rod

When using a Fly Rod for Bass I use the same rod and leader I use for catching Bluegills. The leader I use is not tapered, but just a three foot piece of 6 or 8 lb monofilament line. The key for handling the Smallmouth is; do not horse them in, let the fly rod do the work and wear the fish out. And do not try and lift them out of the water with your fly rod, but rather use a net or grab them by the lip while their still in the water. This should minimize any risk of breaking your leader.

Fly Fishing For Bluegills – Up Close Action

Fly Fishing – Ultimate Method For Catching Bluegills

The most exciting way to fish for Bluegills is with a floating spider on a Fly Rod. Once you have found the gills and you drop a dry fly (Spider) over the top of them the fight is on. This fight begins with the gills that are just under the surface, each fighting for a quick lunch. I have seen up to 4 Gills at one time come out of the water for my bait and what a thrill that is. Then you have the fight between you and the Bluegill, in which a nice sensitive Fly Rod makes it a challenge on every big Bluegill. After 75 to 100 fish your arm and risk will definitely be feeling it and you will find that you have to use both hands on the rod at times, especially when they take you down into the weeds.

Late May & Early June Bluegills

This time of the year is a must for shoreline fishing and a fly rod. The best baits will be a Purple, Green, Blue, Red, or Brown spider. With a good homemade spider (dry fly) you can catch 100 Bluegills before needing to replace it with another. Here are a few tips on an artificial foam spider;

1. Make your own Spiders, they will last longer, catch more fish, and cost pennies not dollars.
2. When making your spiders wrap thread on the hook first, then place the sponge spider body on the hook and wrap that. This will help keep your hook from rotating after catching a few Gills.
3. Do not use colored hooks as the paint will break loose and your hook will rotate, a rotated hook will not catch fish.
4. Epoxy the body unto the hook after you have tied it on.
5. Thread your spider legs through the sponge body and epoxy each side, where the legs exit.
6. Use flashbou instead of rubber spider legs, it’s much stronger and will not break or rot.
7. If using rubber spider legs do not purchase them, cut open an elastic cord, as they have the same rubber strands, but they are much tougher and cheaper.
8. Have both small spiders and large spiders (large hook & body) so when fighting the Gill & Weeds your hook will not straighten.

Bluegill Strikes On Homemade Spiders (Dry Flies)

Here in this video we are using the large Green Spider and showing you the strike and retrieval. On some of these strikes we have slowed down the action so you can get a better idea of how aggressive & explosive these strikes are. Here we started with only keeping 8 inch Gills or larger, then changed to 8.25″ and larger, we filled a 5 gallon bucket up with these.