Shellcracker Fishing – The 2017 Bite Is Not Over!

Florida Shellcrackers & No Pressure

In my last article I mentioned how the lakes in Florida were warming up faster than normal this year and that the Shellcrackers would be coming in early to spawn, which did happen. During the period of March 18 thru March 25 the Shellcrackers were at their peak this year, however I planned my two day fishing trip for the first week of April, hoping to catch them during the week before the full moon.

Were The ShellCrackers Done and Gone Already

Well it was only a week away from flying to Florida and getting in two days of fishing, trying to catch a few of those “kings of the bluegills”. Then I got that call from my fishing buddy that you never want to get, the Shellcrackers are done and gone. Okay, that’s not great news i said, but you’re talking to one of the best fishermen you know and I’m still coming, we will fish Tuesday and Wednesday so be ready to catch fish.

Well I got there (Tavares Florida) early Tuesday and of course it stormed all day dropping over 4 inches of rain, we did not even get out of the house, which meant we only had one day to find and catch them. The next day we headed out around 8am and found no one on the lake, in the rivers, or even in the channels fishing. We started by working my fishing partner’s top 3 Shellcracker fishing holes snagging only one small Shellcracker, now what? After a little brainstorming we decided to try something different, fishing the weeds instead of the lily pads, which is typically where we find the Crappies. Ed’s comment was I have never found Shellcrackers there, but lets check it out.

Finding The Bluegill Bully – Shellcrackers

Well we headed across Lake Harris to fish the weeds and for the first 20 minutes never caught a fish. Then we saw a few fish working the surface down 50 yards just outside the weedline, which had to be Bluegills (Copperheads or Shellcrackers), so we move down and again could not get a bite. Next we decided to move into the weeds to see if they were in there and WOW did we catch Shellcrackers, one right after another. We were using our favorite bait the Freshwater Shrimp, once we ran out we purchased worms to avoid wasting time to catch more shrimp. What we found is that the Shellcrackers were not as aggressive with worms, but the action was still great.

We even had a run of Copperheads.

ShellCrackers In Action

Here I use both my camera and my new Gopro. Note, I’m still learning on using the GoPro and had it pointed too hi. But it does give you more of what is going on behind the scene.

Camera Action!

GoPro Action!