Fishing For Shellcrackers – The 2018 Catch

Let’s Get Fishing

It’s the first week of April and we just had a Blue Moon (two full moons in the same month) so the Shellcrackers should be moving in to spawn.

Searching For The Shellcrackers – The Signs Are There

We are in Tavares Florida on a chain of lakes searching for the Bully of Bluegills, which should be spawning. The spawning signs we look for are; a full moon (it just ended), the Gar-Pike spawning (very active), the Gators are very active (yes see video), and water temperature. Unfortunately the water temps were lower than we were hoping for.

How We Started Our Search

We first started by checking out every spot where we have caught Shellcrackers in the past. Next we spent hours moving down the shoreline and dropping our freshwater shrimp, only stopping when we ran into a small school of Copperheads (Bluegills).

Where Are Those Bullies

So why could we not find the Shellcrackers? My guess is the spawning season was pushed back a few days or a week due to an abnormal cool Spring and high water. For this first week of April the water was two feet higher than normal, very murky, and water temps a little lower than we like. Or due to the high water the Shellcrackers found areas to spawn that we could not get to or find.

The Catch – Copperheads

Even though we could not find any Shellcrackers we did have a great time fishing and catching Copperheads. See our video on the catch!

The Bait – Freshwater Shrimp

Our bait again this year was the Freshwater Shrimp. I like this bait for the main reason it’s native to the lake and easy to net. On this trip we caught the following fish using shrimp; Bullheads, Bass, Crappies, & Copperheads.

Best Bluegill Bait For Spring Fishing -2018

What is the Best Bait To Use For Bluegills In The Spring

Fishing for Bluegills in the Spring is like no other time of the year. So it’s time to get your Rod and the best Bluegills Bait ready to go. Don’t miss the action!

When Does The Bite Begin

The best time of the year for Bluegill action is as soon as the water begins to warm up (middle to late May). This is when the Bluegills move into shallow water to feed and look for spawning areas. So what is the best bait to use, by far it’s the floating dry fly/spider.

How Do I Use The Floating Spider
The floating spider can by used with a spinning/casting rod (behind a bobber) or with a fly rod. For the best action use a fly rod.

How Long Does This Bluegill Action Last

The Bluegills (Males) will come into shallow water 2 weeks before spawning, feeding aggressively. The Females will stay just in deeper water waiting for the time to lay their eggs. Since there are many types of Bluegills the spawning season can go to Mid June and later. So the best Bluegill action of the year will last four to six weeks in water depths of just a few inches.

Where to Purchase Floating spiders

My YouTube subscribers requested a new video on how to make a floating spider again, so I put the below video together. Note you can purchase these in many stores (Fleet Farm, Bass Pro, ect.) for $1.50 to $3.00 each, but you can make them for less than 7 cents. You can also make them look as nice as a purchase dry fly if you take the time, but why since the bluegills are just looking for a nice tasty ugly bug… So here I show how to make eight floating spiders for less than 7 cents each and under 15 minutes. Note; I have never caught a Bluegill with glasses so do not worry if it does not look like a perfect spider, again the bluegills are feeding aggressively and the ugliest bug you could possibly make will still see lots of action.

How Long Does It Take to Make A Dry fly

I like to make 8 spiders at one time as this seems to work best for the 5 minute epoxy I use. To make eight spiders it takes approximately 15 minutes, not counting the drying of the epoxy. Once the epoxy is dry you can go fishing.

What Materials are needed

I purchase 3mm thick foam form a hobby shop for $1, which will make up to 500 spiders, a tube of 5 minute epoxy, and either rubber strips (taken out of an old bungee cord) or flashabou for the spider legs. All these materials are shown in the video.

Show Me The Bluegill Action

This video is from last Spring with the baits I made then. I will make a new video this Spring with the baits shown in this video. The action and results will be the same.

More Action!

Early August Bass Fishing – Large & Small Mouth

Catching Bass In August

Fishing in August can be very productive, but this past weekend was challenging. Not only did we have to try multiple baits and presentations we had to contend with a Bass Tournament. The best catch was the day after the tournament, go figure.

The Baits We Tried

This past weekend, August 11,12,13th was one of the toughest weekends I have had for Bass Fishing. We had to work multiple baits caughting bass on all but one of them, not the action we typically see. The 5 baits we tried; Buzz Bait, Small Top Water Popper, Bandit 200 & 300s, and a strike King with an Reaction Innovation.

Find The Bass Strike I Missed – In Slow Motion

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.