How to Fish a Crankbait? A Complete Guide!

How to Fish a Crankbait? A Complete Guide!

The industry has many different lure varieties, and crankbait has an exciting place. Most anglers use them seasonally every year when they know the lure has the very best effect. Types, colors, and depths select the best crankbaits. You have to learn how to use each bait, especially for cover or other underwater obstacles.

Ask any angler about the differences between crankbaits, and you better pull up a stool. What size crankbait is best? How long does a crankbait last? How to use a Crankbait? Can you list the colors of Crankbait? and many other questions we will answer in this article.

Tell me the meaning of crankbait lure?

So let’s first clarify the meaning. A crankbait is a moving bait made for catching the predatory species of fish under the surface as a moving animal imitating a baitfish in its environment.

These lures are designed so that the user can control how deep they dive in the water. They often have a plastic lip that allows diving, but lipless options are available.

How to fish a crankbait for largemouth bass?

Crank baiting for largemouth bass is an incredibly successful strategy. This technique can be advantageous when looking for bass.

The most significant benefit to a Crankbait is it covers vast areas in the water column and allows easy target shooting in specific depth ranges.

Here’s how to catch big largemouth bass with these simple and effective techniques, so continue to read.

Best Type, Size, and Diameter of Lines

Choosing a suitable line is an important aspect when crank baiting. Yes, the rod and reel are essential, but the line is the connection between the two that make it work. Sizes in the line and diameter can significantly influence the depth of your bait and their action.

The smaller the diameter of the line, the deeper the lure will dive. So, the diameter of the line determines the depth to which the crankbait can dive.

Monofilaments or braids float, fluorocarbon sink. Braided lines have less strain and are less attractive to crankbait fishermen because they have no stretch.

The lack of stretch pulls the hook from the fish’s mouth, just as a stiff fishing rod would. Monofilaments and fluorocarbon are the best choices for crank baiters.

Tell me the best color of crankbait?

To learn the fish with a crankbait with success is to understand the trick in choosing the correct color. It’s always good to select a model that looks like a natural baitfish, shad, crawfish, etc.

Another thing worth considering is its size, but we will get back to this later—the basic principles of choosing a color or standard.

First, choose a natural color with clear waters fisheries. Next, choose the bright colors crankbaits in murky water or off-colored water.

They are bright and sometimes unnatural colors and make them easier to see. Baitfish also seasonally change, so changing with them is crucial.

Choosing a color is occasionally frustrating but an efficient technique for improving your performance.

Choosing Crankbait Fishing Gear

Today’s anglers use crank baiting rods and reels developed explicitly for the technique of cranking. The reel you use should have the capacity to hold enough lines and have a shorter gear ratio to give better cast distances.

We like 5.5:1 gear ratio or lower is ideal for all cranking because it forces anglers to fish slower.

It also allows for more incredible speed during reentry of your next cast. Your crankbait rod length must provide you enough leverage for more casting distance and to help you reach the maximum dive depth possible.

Ideally, the rod is 7ft or longer, and the rod could be up to 8 feet.

Most of your modern crankbaits rods have slow and soft tips on the rod to let fish have the chance to inhale the bait before feeling you on the other end. However, one of the biggest No, No in cranking is using to stiff of a rod.

Quick Navigation to Size of Lure

It’s a lengthy article, but you will have a good understanding of cranking by the end. So next, let’s discuss size, which is not always associated with body size; it can also be the bill on the lure.

Typically the length of the bill on the crankbait determines how deep it will dive.

The industry breaks these lengths up into three categories. The shallow diving crankbaits, typically 2 to 4 feet in depth. Then comes the medium diving crankbaits, ranging from 6 to 10 feet in depth.

Then comes the big boys, the deep-diving crankbaits that can ranch from 10 feet to 25 feet in depth. Two better understand each of these and break down each category below.

 

Shallow Diving Crankbaits

This lure is most suitable in shallow waters, especially when cover is present with weeds. It is easily maneuverable over rocks, docks, and other obstacles.

The task of pulling the lure through cover really doesn’t seem very challenging, and hitting obstacles is not a problem at all.

Although the hook is in place, it will seldom tangle and often attract fish by hitting an object because of its erratic movements. Crankbait fishing with shallow diving crankbaits generally performs better faster, but not always.

The lure diving depths can be different based on a square bill or conventional round bill. Nevertheless, the technique is very successful, but you need practice to perfect it.

Medium Diving Crankbaits

Medium diving crankbaits represent a diving depth and crankbait body size that is the most popular size cranks. They are very effective even in waters deeper than 10 feet.

A medium crankbait is an excellent choice for shallower water when you want to dig into the ground.

You will use these tacks on lakes or rivers with more rigid rocky bottoms to cause disturbances. Like shallow squarebill crankbaits, deflections will trigger strikes. A short stop after a deflection can cause sudden strikes.

Whenever the fish are near the bottom or suspended over deeper water, a medium diver can also be an excellent choice to attract them. As we mentioned before, the bill size isn’t always causing the strike.

It’s often the body shapes; it depends on water clarity, creek channel, retrieve to trigger bites.

Deep Diving Crankbaits

Fishing crankbaits deep is ideal for an offshore fishing structure such as rocks piles, creek channels, and ledges. The effort and speed required to crank a crankbait are even more critical.

Similar but more critical than with shallower styles, bottom contact is vital. Things under the deep water move slower, so a sudden change of direction is essential and will everything when it comes to getting bites.

A deep-diving crankbait is ideal if you’re hunting in deep water spots. The logic behind it is to have complete control of your bait, feel everything it swims by, bumps into, or even breathes on it.

When bass fishing with deep divers with two treble hooks. It’s vital to keep them razor-sharp—professional anglers like them for pre-spawn bass fishing.

Unlike the shallow and medium divers, the water temperature, line diameter, and line tie are critical for control, especially if you are a beginner. Nonetheless, similar to shallow divers, they’re instrumental in catching big fish and more fish.

Lipped versus Lipless

The article would not be complete without the mention of a lipless crank. The lipless crankbait has no bill or no lips. Instead, a lipless crankbait gets its action through a nose-down attitude caused by positioning the eye that you tie to on the back of the lure.

The majority of lipless contain loud rattling sounds, which imitate a school of shad. Lipless crankbaits are manufactured in sizes between 1/4oz and 2 oz. They’re good to fish with either 2 feet or 50 feet of water.

However, the industry does make suspending lipless baits, most sink. So a consent motion is critical to keep it off the bottom.

How can I Fish with Lipless Crankbaits?

They produce wobbly or vibrating action when cranked throw the water. Lip-less crankbaits are perfect for winter fishing, around shallow cover with a good retrieve speed. This lure is used by many as bait to find fish, scouting bare bottoms with grass.

It can travel through shallow areas with grass with no ripping. In other thick vegetation areas, you will need to learn to rip the lure without getting stuck. This model has double hook trebles and a tight wiggle like conventional models. It’s a good option when fishing a vast area and trying to pattern the fish.

Tuning Your Crankbait

It makes sense to ensure that your crankbait runs smoothly and in the direction, you want it to. In this case, the problem may have been caused when assembled. Causing a defective lure, giving errant casts, or simply will not crank properly.

This can also be caused by catching to many fish with one lure. How should I fix straying crankbaits? With a pair of needle-nose pliers, make minor adjustments in the tie eye of the lure to the right or left. Generally, the opposite direction it wants to turn when cranking it.

Make that adjustment, cast it out, retrieve it, and then make another small adjustment until the crankbait is perfectly tracking.

Modifying Hooks

This practice is essential as hooks can dull but changing hook styles and size will affect crankbait action. The treble hook styles vary in size and length, making them shallower and deeper into the water.

The dramatic change may affect how the crankbait is intended to be used and give the cranking a small effect. It is recommended to switch hooks to similar shapes, sizes, or even brands to prevent any side effects of the bait. Most all of these types of lures were manufactured with a specific hook to operate the property.

What Color Crankbait to Use?

Shad Season

Shad coexist with bass, and anywhere this happens, matching your crankbait or lipless crankbaits colors to shad patterns. It is always an excellent lure to start with, no matter what time of year.

Anything flashy colored, silvers, whites that resemble a shad works wonders when it comes to a square bill crankbait especially. Bright shad patterns like white excel in clear and dirty water, and the more translucent shades are best. A good stock of shad pattern crankbaits is always a good idea to have ready to go all year round.

Crawfish Season

We like to break the colors up into four categories. For springtime bass fishing, crawfish red imitations should be used more frequently. They are an excellent choice early in the year when the bass moves shallow. A crawfish pattern will also work while shallow to spawn and look for a quick meal.

Another benefit of crawfish red crankbaits is these hues stand out in muddy water but are also great produce in crystal clear water. You can’t go wrong with the crawfish pattern early in the year!

Reflective Season

Chrome finishes are one of the shiniest available crankbaits. These lures imitate a baitfish with flash and are an excellent choice for shad. Other similar lures are reflective patterns like blue and chrome and black and chrome. The chrome helps fish see your bait in dirty and gives off sun flash in clear water.

Besides these colors, gold finishes are another excellent option for spring bass fishing, especially in Florida. Plenty of flashes come from a gold finish to add a reflection and imitate forage like a wild golden shiner.

Loud Color Season

Bright Colors are made for Springtime, and it depends on your location and conditions. You could be dealing with muddy or high water, often caused by snow melting or seasonal rains. The bluegill is spawning on the shell beds and rock piles in the south.

Use the natural bluegill patterns for fishing in the same spot. Because of this, bright color crankbaits excel for spring bass fishing. Smaller lures with chartreuse sides, Fire Tiger, or neon blue are effective baits because the bass can see them in muddy water and imitate small, brightly colored baitfish like sunfish.

What fish can be Caught on Crankbaits?

Crankbait attracts predators that live in the water other than bass. These lures cover an immense area and trigger the attack of nearby fish. Below are some of the most commonly caught fish caught on crankbait.

Largemouth Bass

Bass anglers often use crankbaits even during bass competitions. Choose crankbaits for the conditions you are fishing. Bass will hit a plastic lip crankbait or lipless crankbaits all year round.

Shallow water, no matter the water column or diving depths, can learn how to fish a crankbait for bass. Pay attention to external conditions, transition areas off the main lake for fishing.

Crappie

The smallest crankbait can catch crappies as well. We fished in shallow waters at the end of a long day in the fall. Crappies will enter shallow waters for aggressive feeds and spawning in the winter and spring.

You should be prepared for deep dive crankbaits during the summer fishing to catch fish. You may catch crappie during Summer in shallow water using crankbait as well, but the fall is most productive.

Pike

For pike fishing, you need to use crankbaits similar to baitfish. This should guide your choice of colors. Generally, in darker water, select darker shades. Even large pike eat small baits, especially in spring when hungry.

Avoid larger cranks and keep your focus for follows to find the fish’s depth.

Walleye

For walleye fish, you need something that mimics authentic bait’s appearance. Strictly use natural colors, no flash chrome or golds. Only with some options can one choose one that will give you more than one effect.

Walleyes can capture food from above, so you must put it slightly above or slightly below when fishing.

Trout

Crankbaits attract larger specimen trout. Minnows that resemble lures will give good fishing results. You will need a calm day and a fairly quick current to catch trout.

Then with every six to seven turns of your reel, it will require unique retraction. The movement will react the trout are a bit tense.

In Conclusion

Every person is different preferences of crankbait they like and enjoy. All because they catch fish on it, get outside, get a crankbait and let us know how it goes.

Have you fished a crankbait before? How big was your catch? What crankbait lure do you like best? Got some other tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Complete Guide for Picking Jig for Bass

Complete Guide for Picking Jig for Bass

How to Fish a Jig for Bass

jig fishing with swim jig along weed edges

Using specific jigs can be an easy and effective method for certain fisheries to catch more fish. We will go over some tips for finding the 

perfect fishing jig, colors, and jig trailer.
Jigs are great because you can catch bass all year round, in clear water or stained water conditions. You can throw them on anything, and you don’t need much knowledge to do so.

This guide will help bass anglers identify the best jig and pick jig trailer or fishing equipment. Jigs make for optimum lure use because they can target almost anywhere – in any weather.

The chance of a bite occurs with one fall, and it’s essential to prepare correctly. Jigs fish correctly that mimic crawfish can be very effective where prey live. The perfect part about this style of fishing is that it allows you to enter challenging places where other baits cannot go.

As anglers, we make it very convenient for bass not to resist these life-like imitators.

Productive Tips Jigging for Bass

The art of working a jig for bass has become one of America’s favorite fishing techniques for catching fish. Catching bass on jigs is a technique that originated by skipping jigs or plastic grubs under docks and around trees. Then by casting and dragging it across the lake’s bottom, till today, swimming it through vegetation.
Anglers are common to fish jigs at all water column depths, especially along the bottom. Another reason for the lure’s success is largemouth are available throughout the country in large or small bodies of water. For all of them, you can effectively use a jig. When fishing jigs, they imitate various characteristics, namely, crawfish, goby fish, perch, and panfish. The most common imitate is the bluegill.

Jigs usually cast farther than standard bass lures, and you can use a heavier line, allowing excellent protection against the thick cover. Understanding to catch bass on a jig is fundamental for understanding all levels of the sport.

Best Bass Jigs

Jig fishing is an excellent method of freshwater angling. It is possible these jig types below will attract bass for you in the near future. Fishing with jigs can be an efficient way of covering water to catch fish; however, jigs can be tricky lures to master. When anglers succeed, removing the lure from their tackle box is challenging.

A bass Jig is also very powerful during every season and on any water body type. The only difference is the features of the jig for the presentation, which can represent the color, size, weight, hook size, and most importantly, the head style. Below read a list of them all!

Types of Bass Jigs to Use

Bass jigs are essentially a hook with a metallic weight and eye attached. After that, they feature rubber skirts, also with weed guards attached to hooks. Several varieties of styles do not require a highly efficient presentation. What makes some bass jigs differently in design in many respects depends primarily on their shape and weight.

These two characteristics determine whether a jig operates in shallow or deep water. Four designs represent the best lures and most successful jigs for bass. Look closely and see which jig heads are the best for your type of angling.

Finesse Jigs

Finesse jigs commonly have smaller diameters and are used on lighter tackle. In most cases, skirts are shorter and the head smaller, making the lengths stretch around their heads. They are popular when the technique needs to be finesse fishing. It’s a method for bass fishing slowly and lighter by putting little bits of movement in the lure.

Finesse jig-style lures can also be flipped or pitched across the top of the water for a lighter, smoother presentation. Finesse jig lure can be used in these situations, during cold-front, spring when the bass hits smaller size baits, and fall when you want to cover a lot of water using a smaller profile jig.

Punch & Flipping Jigs

Punch jigs are most commonly known for power fishing and are used when flipping and pitching jigs. There is lots of exposure on both swim jigs and casting. But the punch jig is your best jig for fishing in lakes for big fish with vegetation. They sometimes even have drilled cylinder heads to move through thick vegetation easier.

This type of lure allows flexibility in different presentations and vegetation. The jig will give you access to the thickness areas, and it is large enough to offer good balance if it sits at the bottom and thin enough to penetrate vegetation easily.

The rigs have been formulated specifically for high-end punching rods and reels. These types of lures average from 3/4 to and 2 ounces each. This lure has become very special and unique to heavy cover fishing on Lake Okeechobee, lakes in Texas, and others.

These lures use flipping hooks to capture fish in the most complex underwater areas. Many anglers even add rattles, and some have rattles integrated for added attraction. It’s all for attracting big bass in the dense bushes for one of the most efficient methods for finding trophy size big bass!

Football Jigs

A football jig is a good lure for anglers working hard bottom lakes. The football head jigs are probably the most popular of the style of jigs and most commonly used. The head shapes are larger to avoid getting stuck on rocks, timber, and other items on the lake’s floor.

It also makes them different from the others that lay on their side. The design of the jig head makes it stand upright. Fishing with football jigs can be the most leisurely. Cast it out, let it sink. After letting it settle, start by pulling up slowly and then setting it back down with long pauses in-between.

However, these big heads do not make these good baits around vegetation. Instead, it’s ideal for mimicking crayfish in deep and shallow water. Also, thanks to its large head, it has incredible balance, always leaving itself in an excellent position to get bit by a trophy bass.

Swim Jigs

It is known as a widespread fishing method that is easy to understand and learn. You cast the jig like a spinnerbait or frog lure. These jigs are fitted with pointed heads, allowing them to travel through the cover, helping with easy movement efficiently.

In most cases, swim jigs have shorter profiles. Between the jig head point and the eye which they tie the line. The overall length is generally more straightforward—allowing for more efficient water covering than some more common and usually longer rigged lures. In addition, a swim jig hook has traditionally been used in tandem with other trailers such as paddle tails.

Swimming a jig is accomplished best with constant reeling, none stop action, or maybe just a slit pause like a swimming baitfish. A rod’s slight shake or periodic pull could induce a reaction bite that standard retrievals cannot get. Swim jigs are the best for covering lots of water or hunting schooling fish!

Advanced Swim Jig Tactics for More Consistent Bass

In practice, you should always use a Swim Jig, focus on edges, cast repetitively with little or no effort in the water column. You will notice your strike will reach your highest when you throw a jig directly across the submerged vegetation of some type.

The strikes are generally immediately followed when your lure hits the vegetation beneath the surface. If your bait doesn’t get bit, recast the lure instantly, letting the lure hit again. You can have fish that will look at the bait two or three times before striking and ripping the pole out of your hands.

To avoid hitting too many structures, you only want to tick the tops.

How to Crawl a Jig in Winter?

It’s an ultimate cold water tactic with a significant impact on bites. First, choose a jig for bass that is good for these conditions. Then, get ready for your jig to fall directly on the cliff’s edge. That bass that is cold suspends facing bluff walls or rock faces nearby.

If covered with rocks, it could have bass on it. The heat from the sun will penetrate the rocks, putting off the heat under the water for bass. The warmer the water, the quicker you can crawl the jig; the colder, the slower you should crawl.

Bass Fishing Jigs Setup: What gear to use?

It requires an excellent gear setup if you wish to fish a jig for bass successfully. A wrongly mixed rod and reel might affect the casting technique, the retrieve of your jig, the hook set and leave you with disappointment or no opportunities.

With the proper setup, you will quickly detect the bait while retaining the appropriate hook position when the bass bites. Knowing this is why we suggest getting a few supplies necessary to make your experience better.

Best Jig Rod For Bass

Long rods work more effectively with jigs because the length provides more leverage in deeper water and the accurate positioning of your bait. The rod must be about 6′ to 7′ feet long to use effectively. In addition, it should be robust, a medium to fast action rod that helps pull some hard fighting bass out of the thick cover.

You can have too stiff of a rod, but a rod too soft will cost you fish. Most prefer a baitcasting rod when jig fishing, but you can use a spinning rod effectively if long and stiff enough.

Choose Your Reel

Using grass jigs to pitch or flip, you should use baitcasting equipment. Many anglers prefer cast reels as they can give greater accuracy of your pitch or flip. A baitcasting reel packed with fluorocarbon line with a 6.21 reel is an industry standard. However, the biggest motivation for anglers over a spinning reel is its weight alone.

Using a spinning reel big enough for a 1-1/2 jig would be incredibly heavy as to why spinning is closing the gap in performance for efficiency. Angles will always favor convention reels since they have increased weight, speed, accuracy, and ability to control.

Selecting the Best Bass Jigs

Tell me what jig weight to throw? Bass jigs are manufactured with a choice of sizes that measure ounce weight, often within quarter pounds.

Wind speed and depth are also critical when deciding which to use. These two factors determine how quickly one can choose the best jig for bass.

There are various kinds of jigs. Almost as many as the different number of fish species you can catch. What is the perfect angler jig? Before choosing, see below some of the best casting jigs for catching trophy bass, describing what makes a jig work better and how to find the right one. You will catch bigger fish if you perfect your jig for bass techniques.

Selecting A Trailer

Keep in mind the different trailer affects the behavior of the bait. It mimics the baitfish species, the appearance, and the shape of the bait. For example, a jig trailer is a flexible hard plastic bait tied down using jig hooks. It enhances action around jig tails which complete the overall shape.

Each trailer seems different because it triggers an action when in the water. However, most trailers move or push water, while some don’t. Generally, the warmer the water, the bigger the action you rig. And the clearer or colder waters, you should put your efforts into reducing the size and shape to create a smaller overall profile. It is always best to use trailers every time you fish a jig in either condition.

 

Best Bass Jig Trailers for Fishing

Chunks

Generally, they seem like something else that’s like a hybrid. These are usually lesser than the craw size but larger than the grub because of their square, rectangular bodies. These are fantastic at covering up thick vegetation or slicing up boulders, dam walls, or rocks.

One other use for chunks is when using swim jigs as well. This smooth float makes for an excellent presentation through the water. But, again, we remind you that most bass bites are on moving jigs. Therefore the motions you create are essential.

Grubs

A grub may just be considered an amateur trailer or basic addon. Grubs are also plastic worms with sectors or tails attached to cover your horizontal hook. Most anglers start with a grub, but always keep in mind that they still work. Use light colors to mimic water clarity and the day of the morning as it is vital to get success.

Craws

There have been instances where anglers choose craws to chase a fish as it spawns, and they can see the appearance in the water. You also can use it if you are targeting deeper water, as crawfish swim on the lake’s bottom, which remarkably presents a great opportunity.

Generally, the most successful trailer option to choose from is when the year is correct.

What is the best color bass jig?

You must first know which food bass prefer to eat locally to know this. So this is the easiest choice for getting a quick decision to color? Below are three primary colors for you always to consider. Hopefully, as you grow more experienced in fishing with a jig, you begin noticing colors that fit certain circumstances, weather styles, or weather patterns.

Selecting colors

Colors depend on the season, geographic area that you are targeting. The jig usually imitates crawfish; therefore, color matching works well in context. Green pumpkin, watermelon, and other related natural colors are excellent choices.

If fishing dirty or stained waters, it helps to use a black and blue combination. Certain jigs often imitate bluegill and shad with color matching. For example, Bluegill imitation uses green pumpkin or jig in blue to match hatches for a bass meal. For simulated shads, a white dress and white trailer work very well.

Wind Factor

The wind is an essential factor affecting fishing. The bigger, the heavier the wind blows; it requires a larger size lure. If the wind blows your line, the jig is too light; you won’t remain in contact with the bottom. The heavier jigs help you overtake the wind and reach the bottom.

However, don’t be afraid to use a heavier jig head, but a smaller jig in size. Keep it moving by working it up and down. It will help a bass decide sooner when it looks and acts more like a natural crawfish.

Depth factor

A bass jig can weigh between 1/8 ounce to 2 ounces. Fish a suitable weighing jig in the depth of the water you are on that day. When water gets deeper, change to a slightly heavier jig to cast farther and get down deeper. The fact that water is deep also does not mean you need to fish on the bottom. The majority of bass live in a suspended state most of the time.

Jig Fishing Retrieve

It is perfect for short casts, pitches, and turns with reflected surface cover. The bass will sometimes hold on to the lure, and it must also be a priority in watching it fall. Long hops that keep the water close to the bottom for retrieval can be helpful. A tiny action on the rod and pump allows baits to move in a streamline. Use short hops; the football head can have the best success with this technique when used under the water surface.

In Conclusion Practice

Bass fishing involves feeling and sensitivity to lure and rod. Therefore you need to be close to the rod’s seat to detect vibrations emanating from the jig. Bass can bite the jig and spit it out in one half second, so keep a close feel of what’s going on. Over time you will learn how a bass bite feels over the different object that is touching. Jigs can quickly help people explore beneath the water’s surface, allowing you to understand the different types of submerged debris. You will learn the fishing technique with practice, and it will become your own.

Have you fished a Jig before? How big was your catch? What bait/lure did you use? Got some other tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Orlando Bass Fishing Guides Checklist

Orlando Bass Fishing Guides Checklist

What is Fishing in Orlando, Florida like?

Central Florida and Orlando areas have a sum of 5000 lakes or bodies of water to fish. Wounder, why fishing is so popular, is the ability to be fishing on a lake in one of the most amazing cities in Florida while being just minutes from theme Parks, Downtown and Convention Centers. The experience you have, helps you get away from the everyday stress and take part in something out of the ordinary. It’s unique, and there’s undoubtedly not another place like it.

What Do I Need to Know!

You might have gone on a fishing trip before but didn’t get the experience you were expecting. Did you ever wonder why? This could be because there are many things that you might not know about the area and industry. Life is about making good choices; finding an experienced Orlando fishing guide can solve all those disappointing problems.

But truth be told, not all fishing guides have been created equal. No different than a gas station, grocery store, restaurant, hotel, or local barbershop. You just can’t Google and choose one, expecting that you will have the time of your life. So, if you are choosing a guide, here are a few solid tips that you need to keep in mind.

Trophy Bass Fishing with bass fishing guide service

Is this something I Should Consider?

Orlando’s outdoor activities always attract visitors from the attractions, and fishing is not different. Looking for something different, to take a break from your favorite water park, interested in taking your kids on a boat ride. Why the activity is fishing, depending on the time of the year and weather, you will see eagles and other birds at close range, as well as the ever-popular Florida alligators.

A good fishing trip provides tips for beginners, new techniques, and methods for the professional. A qualified service should emphasize boat safety and reasons certifications are essential. A top-level service provides all supplies, everything necessary for a family outing, without requiring any experience. This includes instruction, advice, and steps for success for the first-timers.

Why is Reputation Important?

If someone you know recommends a Central Florida guide to you, they are likely worth a look. Consider if you did not know a guide before booking a fishing charter. Below are valuable items to consider and check if they have an online presence. If they do, check carefully to see recent trips. This will give you a belief about the last time they were out, their experience, and their popularity. Fair warning, Instagram is not a valid source. Anyone can post; it is not policed for accurate content. Pictures are sometimes fake or even reposted from years ago. If you like their Instagram account, make sure it matches all other social sources.

Orlando Bass Fishing Guide Reviews

Whenever you hire an Orlando bass guide, reviews are the number one resource you should consider. Make sure that you read each of them as you would with a hotel or restaurant. A word of caution, look for fake reviews. Keys signs are a lot of reviews that are all five-star. Not everyone is going to be perfect all the time. Read the context of the reviews; are they friendly and family-oriented? Is this what you’re looking for? This will give you an idea of whether they are the right company for your family or maybe corporate groups.

Bass Fishing Guide Service and Booking ServiceCatch Claim and Rules

It is necessary to ensure that you are familiar with the bass guide service rules related to who will keep the catches. Do you even want to? Would you instead catch and release? These are all the options that the service should allow you to make. In certain companies, the captain makes it mandatory to keep the catch.

On the other hand, there are also guide services that catch-and-release is mandatory, so no fish for you. Does the service clean your fish? Are they willing to pack the fish in an ice chest? Hence, you read the guide’s website and ask questions to avoid disappointment if you plan to take the fish home.

Read Orlando Fishing Web Page

Every reputable Orlando bass guide should have their web page these days; if not, that’s a big red flag. So take a glance around. Is it mobile-friendly? Do they have an online booking? Can you get all these questions answered without having to call them? This way, you will know what you should expect before hiring a guide without wasting valuable vacation time.

Adaptability

You have to consider if your Orlando fishing guide knows how to organize a charter even on the worst day successfully. Good Orlando bass fishing guides will take you to more than one or two spots on the water before saying, “they’re just not biting today.” A good captain will make adjustments and find the fish “because they are always biting somewhere.” A qualified captain will make sure that you have an experience worth talking about. The right expert guide will have backup spots in mind when their favorite places are not producing.

Adapting to different lakes, maybe you want to experience the Kissimmee chain of lakes, Lake Cypress, Lake Okeechobee, or Butler Chain. Can that service provide a qualified guide to help you with the same experience level?

Are they a Trophy Bass Guide Service?

Central Florida has the best bass fishing waters; some have lots of fish, and others trophy bass. Is the guide service catching big bass or just on the water taking people fishing? Again, pictures are worth a thousand words. Typically your Universal Studios, Sea World, and Disney World lakes have standard Florida bass, meaning 1-3 pounds are average, and they occasionally have that outlier fish that weighs 4 to 5 pounds.

If you’re looking more for trophy bass, stick to guides that fish West lake Toho or the Kissimmee Chain, close to Disney and in the Central Florida area. Butler Chain is popular for some local guides, but mainly because it’s compact and they don’t burn as much gas. If you are looking for big bass lakes, make sure your guide knows them and fishes them regularly!

You have to choose an Orlando bass fishing guide that is right for you. If you have the right guide, you will have an unforgettable experience trophy bass fishing!

Trophy bass fishing in Central Florida

Type of Fish the Fishing Guide Catches

Know this is not an Orlando deep sea fishing charter, this is local in small boats, and you will not pursue a big fishing game like Marlin. Locally in Orlando, there are various fish species you can fish for, of course, the ever-popular large mouth bass, but also crappie and bluegill. You also have a Florida Gar, Bowfin, Pickerel, and catfish bi-catch. A good fishing guide should accommodate you in catching any species without advance notice.

What is the best month for bass fishing in Florida?

Winter and Spring months book up for several reasons. First, it’s cold up north, and people come to Orlando to enjoy the warmth. It’s also when the big trophy bass spawn; this simply makes them a bit easier to catch.

With all that said, a Florida largemouth bass has to eat every three days and generally a lot more. So even in the warmth of the summer. Good guide services will know how to find and catch fish for you.

Orlando Bass fishing pricing, What to Pay?

The money you will have to pay will depend on the Orlando fishing guides you hire. The price differs from one company to the other. In general, all are close-priced. Companies that are $50 to $100 higher are generally part-time guides that don’t care how much work they get as long as it pays enough for them to take a day off. And on the opposite side of that coin is the struggling solo guide, and he’s priced himself $50 to $100 cheaper than the market price. Why, at a brisk glance, it looks like a value; what you typically get is a worn-out boat and even unsafe in many cases. What goes along with the cheap guide price is Old equipment and a guide that will be concerned with how much gas they burn. It’s tricky, of course, but it seems somewhere in the middle to upper is the safe bet for a smooth experience.

How much is a Fishing License in Orlando?

In Florida, no fishing license is required while fishing with a charter captain in saltwater. In freshwater, the state of Florida does have the same laws. Each person on a charter or non-charter must have a license between the ages of 16 and 65. Under 16 is exempt and does not need one. Check with your captain to verify all the laws. While licenses are an extra fee in Florida, it’s one of the cheapest in the US. At $17 plus tax each. Your guide can not supply this for you; it requires you to purchase it via the internet, Walmart, Bass Pro, or download the APP.

Check the Orlando Fishing Guides Equipment

Equipment is something the service you hire should have, and you do not have to worry about. They should have ample equipment for the entire party; you should not have to share. The equipment should be newer, less than a year old. In good working order, the guide should not pull out tools during the trip to fix equipment. The reels should be full of line and fully rigged before you arrive. Here are a few items to make sure that your guide has onboard.

  • Both Spinning & Bait Casting Rods
  • Right-handed and Left-handed reels
  • Fishing net for scooping up your catch
  • Knives for cleaning fish if desired
  • Comfortable Seats for Everyone, not just one person
  • Good live well in a boat for Wild shiners, not a 5-gallon bucket
  • Ice chests for keeping your drinks & food

The captain should also have a local GPS, first aid kit, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant, and toilet tissue.

Lures/Live Baits

There are two popular ways to do bass fishing in Orlando; it is to throw artificial lures for more skilled anglers. For less experienced anglers and fishermen looking for the biggest bass, live bait is available, also locally known as wild shiners. A variety of artificial lures should be included with every guide service. The wild shiners are extra cost, and you should have the choice to choose. Also, you decide how many you purchase, which is generally based on your experience or the guide’s recommendation.

Consider the Top 3 Orlando Bass Fishing Guide Services

It is always better to find a fishing guide who will cater to all levels of experience, interest, and skill. Based on all the outlining perimeters we have discussed, we have made your search easier by providing three of the area’s best fishing services.

#3 Bass Fishing Guide Orlando

They have good reviews, a good assortment of guides and are well established in Orlando are fishing many of the most popular lakes.

Trophy largemouth bass on Lake Toho, West lake Toho, Kissimmee Chain and Lake Kissimmee

#2 Florida Bass Fishing

The longest-running guide service in the area, run by Capt John Leech, has been guiding the area for over 30 years and featured in Bassmaster magazine more than ten times. Clearly, one of the bustiest Orlando guide services in the area for years. Have good reviews, a good assortment of guides, well established in the Orlando fishing industry.

#1 Orlando Bass Fishing Guides

The most prominent, most reviewed, and consistently reliable fishing service in Orlando. They are sold by TripAdvisor, Expedia, Airbnb, Camping World, and NASCAR. Take the guesswork out of hiring a guide, as it is done for you. There is a massive assortment of fishing guides, over 80K in catch pictures, all for you to choose from, well-established and prominent supporters of conservation in the Florida fishing industry.

Orlando bass fishing guides

Transportation

Some guide services offer pickup service but have no flexibility in where you fish. Discover the best location and service, then look for transportation. The area is trendy for Uber and Lyft drivers at all-day hours. Also, many of the local hotels offer easy and hassle-free shuttle services.

Let’s book it

Just enquire via any contact form; the service should have a live chat for your convenience. You can still use old contact us forms on websites, but they are slow and unreliable. A reliable, professional service should have instantly bookable software, so the whole process is not a waste of your time! Of course, you should always pay a small deposit to hold and confirm a booking. Otherwise, the service can cancel last minute for no reason.

We hope this helped ease the pain and process of booking with the right place. Orlando truly has the best spots in Central Florida’s Orlando Kissimmee area for a lifetime of fun.

Best Fishing Bait for Lakes

Best Fishing Bait for Lakes

Good natural freshwater fishing bait for lakes consists of worms and other insects, including different fish species, leeches, minnows, and other bait fish. Freshwater fish feed on various ingredients, including prepared bait such as dough to lure the fish into biting.

Before getting deep into this topic, always follow all local fishing regulations. Make sure your bait is fresh and legal for fishing on the lakes you fish. For details regarding freshwater bait, lure selection, time of the year, and season for each species, be sure to visit your local DNR or Fish and Wildlife Department. We are happy to offer simple methods below to get you more fish on live bait when fishing lakes.

Top 6 Live Baits for freshwater fishing

Let’s get it started; the following lists some of our most popular style types for live freshwater fishing bait. Although artificial lures catch plenty of fish, almost all fishermen start and enjoy using real natural stuff. Some bail out on freshwater fishing lures because live bait is relatively easy, but they can’t argue how well it works. Based on the other species, there are several different approaches for success when bait fishing.

1 -Crickets and Grasshoppers are Top Live Baits for Pan fish

Bait fish for freshwater fishing

Crickets are great freshwater fishing bait that is very successful. They serve well when fishing for bluegill and other pan fish species in most cases. Gray cockles are used in some parts of the country in the industry and sold in bait stores. Marjory of anglers says crickets catch the larger bluegills and the most fish. When fishing with crickets, you typically feel shallow waters or the lake’s edge utilizing a vessel or walking the shoreline.

Another great bait is the grasshopper, seldom found in bait shops but very productive if you can find them. All these baits can be easily hooked to resemble a distressed animal in the water and become plentiful prey for pan fish. The grasshopper in some regions may even produce other species, like trout in the streams, if they like it!

2- Freshwater fishing with nightcrawlers and worms

Often, Walleye anglers are prepared with a nightcrawlers package, using a special harness to entice the toothy critters. Depending on the season, body of water, you can use many versions to present the bait to Walleye. Many times they want a minimal but natural swimming look. No matter the presentation you choose, they should be designed for a great presentation and look natural. There are many fish in the lakes to be caught with worms along the lake’s bottom.

At other times of the year, anglers use large-sized worms rigged with multiple hooks to hold bait and catch more fish. They can be combined with specific baits and lures used again, mainly in shallow waters. The baits are easily rigged on the hook and generally attract fish from the worm juice that flows directly into the water.

live fishing bait for freshwater fishing

3- Minnows are another Excellent Freshwater Fishing Bait

Live minnows score 3rd and 1st among freshwater crappie anglers. Fishermen seeking to capture trophy crappie and bass will employ the minnow method. Some think minnow traps the fish by having enough freshwater bait in the water to catch an adequate number of fish. However, by using a smaller live bait, species like smallmouth bass, Walleye, and even bigger trout, among others, will bite. In most lakes around the country, small to medium-sized minnows are good at fishing crappie, bluegills, and trout.

Hook it vertically through one lip or in the tail. Make the fish swim naturally, do not hook the spine, which will damage your bait from swimming naturally, and move freely under the water. Minnows are often raised in farms for marketing purposes and can easily be purchased at tackle shops across America and stored in water containers using a small aerator system.

live freshwater fishing bait - minnows big fish eat

4 – Crayfish

It’s best to have the crayfish on the body firmly attached with a most effective tailhook. Pan fishing should only use the tails of the larger pincers in pan fish. Fishing for catfish bullhead and flathead using dead fish that are threaded around hooks works best.

Crayfish are sold in freshwater bait shops or gathered onshore edges, riverbanks under submerged rocks, and other structures. They are easily captured with a small mesh net or crawfish traps. Crayfish are most active at night, especially in warmer waters or during the summer months. Therefore, many anglers set out to catch crawfish at dusk to collect them in the morning.

With various names, crayfish, crawdads, crawfish, or mudbugs, they are one of the most lethal bass, catfish, and big-trout baits you can fish with on your line. Crawfish is one of the baits not legal in all states and sometimes can not be transported from one fishery to the next. Always consult local authorities to be sure to check your local laws.

Crayfish the right freshwater fishing bait

5- Leeches are productive Live Baits for Walleye Fishing

Leeches can be found all over the country. Great Walleye baits and are particularly fond of these lakes. To fish a leech, use a standard worm rig, and also very effective is the Carolina rig. When fishing a leech, it works best below the lake’s surface. Some structures to target are a drain line, rock slope, or the bottom of a rocky bluff. Leeches do not like hot or warm water, so not as popular in southern states.

Leeches also are more effective in clear or cleaner water; they do not like dirty water. Leeches can live in a refrigerator; you need to change the water at least twice every day, at least two days a week. Leeches can be bought in tackle and bait stores or even online, but be sure to check your regional for availability. As with minnows and shiners, keeping leeches in aerated containers is the best use.

 

6- Anglers Ice Fishing uses Grubs and Maggots with Live Bait

freshwater fishing for largemouth bass

In the fishing world in certain regions, anglers commonly use grubs and maggot species to catch fish. Fortunately, these unexpected meals fool most species trapped below the ice. Those most frequent food worms are waxworms, readily available online. With these types of baits, the angler is always more affected when jigged the baits for a reaction strike.

Waxworms are recognized as very popular bait worldwide and are particularly favored for trout fishing. But maggots are not only for trout; they work on many fish species such as Carp, Chub, and even Catfish. In addition, in some regions, it is effective for panfish.

Most maggots can stay hydrated in their environment but do not like to get too hot or too cold.

Additional Freshwater Bait for lakes

Freshwater Fisheries occur on waterways, such as rivers and lakes. If you recognize the desired species, you will find the best fresh and dry fishing baits for you. It can be challenging for fishermen to select specialized bait species such as worms. Here are some additional very successful options?

Frogs

These very overlooked animals are other creatures willing to sacrifice their lives just for you to have a good catch. Really, frogs, what is more, natural than a frog? Maybe it’s weird that frogs are such great baits, especially when presented properly to the fish. Frogs are universal and suitable for catching smallmouth and largemouth bass.

Many anglers have found success using frogs in shallow areas around the lily pad’s tops when fishing the frog. To attach this frog to your hook, you can hook then conventionally through its lips. But more effectively, it seems to connect the frog through one of its back legs. The leg, for most anglers, is a more effective way that allows the frog to move freely—ultimately making it more attractive to fish stalking your prey.

Cautious to handle frogs as little as possible and casting mutable times will cause them to be too stressed out. To keep your frogs over time, feed them crickets, flies, worms, and other bugs, to keep them healthy for your big fishing day on the lake.

Natural bait for freshwater to catch freshwater fish

Cut Fishing Bait

Using fish cut at individual-sized pieces attracts fish differently from the freshwater fish baits that have been mentioned before. When fishing for species like fragrances, cut bait will help them get excited. Using other captured fish to produce a fish cut bait is possible. And there are many artificial replica style baits sold in tackle shops and online that are effective.

Dough Balls

It’s nicknamed for self-prepared fishing bait. This freshwater bait is sometimes made commercially and has labels describing it. Generally always a mix of ground fish, catfish, and others. They are easily used by simply molding them around your hook. These types of baits can be achieved by creating doughball yourself with the right recipe; it’s easy and affordable. 

Eels

An eel is often used whole and popular bait to hunt striped bass. Just hooking it up through the eye socket or mouth seems to be most productive. Other anglers slice up the eel in pieces and are very effective that way. Eels are durable bait that allows fishing on the bottom, around rocks, or even in the current.

What is the best Smallmouth Bass Bait on Lakes?

Baby fish for freshwater fishing baits

Gobies on the Great Lakes and other areas are typical food for smallmouth bass. It’s common to find gobies around structures and rocks. No surprise to smallmouth bass anglers, as they are often caught on rocky structures as well. As with gobies, the best fishing spots for smallmouth bass are near a submerged rock, rip rap, rocky islands, and gravel points. This is not a coincidence. A live sucker minnow, a legal bait to use in most areas, mimics a goby exceptionally well, making it a productive live bait for smallmouth bass. As the diet changes, Smallmouth bass, in particular, love crayfish; it is a very high percentage of their diet in late fall due to high protein content.

In Collusion

Fishermen know that angling is never a guarantee. Even if you have perfect conditions and the ideal freshwater bait, the fish can not bite daily. However, fishing is about having fun and experience, and the chase is part of it. Switching up your routine with a different freshwater bait will keep it exciting, but in doing so, remember to have fun!

Early Winter Bass Fishing, All you Need to Know

Early Winter Bass Fishing, All you Need to Know

Early Winter can be a frustrating time of the year for the trophy bass angler. However, a suitable lake will make bass fishing your most rewarding during the right time. We were not internet anglers and were working-class fishing guides providing our account of what works for the best Winter bass fishing equipment. As always, good luck, and don’t forget bass doesn’t go big unless you keep it big. These top 6 lures are the best in our arsenal, and with the correct technique, you will be successful this time of the year for the best fishing trip of the biggest fish on the excellent lake in the right spot.

Winter bass fishing Months

Winter Lures You Need to Catch Bass

At some points of the year, bass anglers become victims of “overthinking” fishing. The Wintertime can be the most miserable time to approach bass fishing. Bass don’t eat the whole day and don’t need so much food as often. The bass group up and spent a lot of their Winter spent motionless. They populate a zone that contains food with deep water nearby and hover there until early spring. Bass eat in the Winter, and they are always close to a food source. If a bass doesn’t eat today, they probably have a buddy that will.

5 Awesome Winter Cold Water Bass baits

Mastering the art of Coldwater bass baits will help you catch more bass during winter fishing. The lake is for your enjoyment, and you can possibly catch the largest bass of the season if you’re willing to adjust to the weather. Mastering all five cold water fishing baits is an excellent way to improve your winter bass fishing results.

Blade Baits

Using a blade bait like a Steel Shad, Heddon, Damiki, and other blade bass lures has proven to be an effective tactic in frigid waters. These baits work for catching largemouth but are specifically known for being deadly on smallmouth bass. The best strategy to use with a blade bait is to let it sink to the bottom and allow it to rest for a minute. You then want to pull up on the rod and make the bait swing upward, then stop and let it fall to the side. With lipless crankbait fishing, it’s unnecessary to set the hook, just take up the slack and load the rod. You can use the same method with deep divers in the water column. These bass lures should be dropped and rising until strikes occur for the best success.

Winter Blade baits by Sheel Shad

Jigs

Black or blue jigs are the perfect colors for the lure in light-colored waters. Anglers should use this bait specifically to fish near the cover or rocky banks during a cold front. Ensure you keep fishing this bait slowly this time of the year. Pitch or cast between 5-10 feet around cover and other debris like thick weeds, branches, and downed trees. Use a fluorocarbon clear lighter line to detect sudden horizontal line twitch. Set the hook immediately if you ever experience something new, unusual, or obnoxious. When fishing a jig slowly, a firmer hook set is necessary. Try to prevent a slackline; the bite is usually a very light bite to detect.

Winter Jig Fishing for Bass

Jerkbaits

Jerk baits are the ultimate “go-to” fish lures to cover water. They are best known for producing response strikes of bass. A better jerk bait method for cold water is to let the bait slowly sink or to suspend. After some time, jerk the bait, once, twice, maybe three times. During the retrieve, take a period of pause. This method is incredibly efficient with jerk baits that suspend. Jerk baits are excellent for working areas slow while providing an appealing presentation to the winter bass looking for bait. The lure is ideal for frigid climates but will still produce bites. Jerk baits are usable with both traditional spinning reels and bait casters.

Cold water column look for nearby bass

Rubber Worm

Texas or Carolina rigged worms can produce year-round and are go-to winter baits as well. Ideal for drop-off points and break lines. Cast to the structure, keep the lure in place and let it settle down. Then, learn how they want it retrieved. Hoping slowly, such as a jig, while shaking the rod’s tip to permit brass and glass combinations to make noise is a favorite. It attracts fish in nearby thick cover or suspension waiting for a meal. It is also incredibly beneficial under docks, around logs, and various underwater structures being rigged weedless. When using Carolina rigged worms, make sure you use glass beads with brass weights to create the most pleasing sounds for winter bass. Vary your brass weight dependent on the size and depth of the area fishing. When all else fails, slow down!

Cold Water bass feed in creek channel on worms

Spinnerbait

Off-colored cold water requires colors like orange, white, and chartreuse to be more effective. Slow retrieve during that period is a commonly practiced strategy because of low water temperatures. Burning your spinnerbait will only leave you with disappointment. Spinnerbaits produce best when fished near covered vegetation such as logs, stems, downed trees, lilies, and sand bars. Customers so far this year have landed 14 bass over 7.5 pounds. It’s a bait that is easy to learn to use, has a lot of versatility all year long. Use medium to small profile spinnerbaits in the Winter; we like a twin blade, one Colorado, with one willow blade are most productive.

Winter fishing with Blade bait for biggest bass

Floating Rapala

Yes, a topwater lure during the Winter can be productive but takes lots of patience. Black bass can be caught in the Winter, summer, spring, or fall on topwater. But your technique must change drastically to have success. In the Winter, they prefer easier-to-eat baits, such as a dying minnow. A Rapala twitched on the surface or near lily pads is an effective method. Making a cast at the structure or shoreline, mildly twist the bait, letting it float on the surface and be completely motionless.

More than expected, the topwater bite will be very subtle. The bass sucks it in without almost any commotion. Please don’t set the hook hard; when a strike occurs, be cautious as they miss the bait a lot of time on the first strike. Once they get it, the bass will get caught so easily, won’t be able to get it out of their mouth. Remember, the key is to wait until bait dies completely and be patient.

Watching your rod tip for many anglers in deeper water in best

Beat the cold, to Boat the Bass

Wintertime can be a challenge to catch bass. But, with the right bass lures and techniques, you can catch largemouth bass even in the cold months. Winter bass fishing can motivate people to get out of the house. While it might be cold outside, nothing like catching a big bass makes you forget about it. Time spent Winter bass fishing will be a great time to locate some of those underground structures underwater, so when spring rolls around, and the bass moves up to spawn, you are ready. Give that topwater tip a try this Winter, but be sure to give it some time and use it on the right day. After a couple of successful bites on that floater, you will have the confidence to sling it all day in anticipation of another.

In Conclusion

Whether you’re here to improve your growing skillset or preparing to try bass fishing for the first time, we hope the guide by the bass fishing experts helps you make the most of your wintertime experience. Remember, slow retrieve because bass has a slower digestive system during the winter months.

Keep in mind that your fishing depth is relative to the water clarity and location you decide to fish. It’s essential to know the lake cold water temperatures. Be observant; look for feeding patterns; this will support your choice of fishing lure. Finally, remember that going fishing is a gift for all of us. To manage your expectations and focus more on the experience.

Fly Fishing for Bluegill – Everything you need to know

Fly Fishing for Bluegill – Everything you need to know

Picture this: It’s an early spring morning, with fog slowly dissipating as the warm sun begins to rise. In the lily pads, you hear the familiar “Shh-pop” and swirl of Bluegills picking off water spiders and chasing trespassers from their spawning beds.

Now, imagine yourself casting out a #14 wooly bugger with your 4-weight fly rod and watching it sink as big male Bluegill snatches it nearly from your hands; the fight is on!

The best part is this isn’t in a faraway mountain stream or exotic destination; it’s in the neighborhood lake near your home.

Bluegill fly fishingThis article discusses everything you need to know about fly fishing for Bluegill.

As a seasoned veteran or newbie to fly fishing, catching Bluegill on the fly is a great way to develop and practice fly fishing skills, and it can be more productive than traditional fishing methods.

Why Flyfish for Bluegill?

Most anglers can relate to sitting on the dock, catching bluegills under a cork on live crickets or red-wigglers. That’s precisely how I and many other anglers first fell in love with fishing.

So why try fly fishing for Bluegill? Why leave the bobbers and spinning rods at home? Well, there are a couple of reasons:

It provides a new challenge for an often-overlooked species of fish.

When many people think about fly fishing, they picture mountain streams for solitary trout, salmon, or bonefish on the tropical flats of the Bahamas.

But don’t overlook the mighty Bluegill! Not only are they abundant and fun to catch, but they are delicious to eat and inhabit a variety of habitats.

Chances are there is a place to fly fish for Bluegill, a short drive from where you live. Once you focus on catching these colorful panfish, you’ll truly begin to appreciate their place in the angling world.

Fly fishing for bluegill with floating fly box

Learn a way to sharpen your fly fishing skills.

Are you interested in learning to fly fish but a little intimidated by fast rivers and finicky trout?

You’re not alone. Panfish or Bluegill are forgiving, abundant, and don’t require too much technical expertise.

It’s a fantastic way to learn the basics and improve casting accuracy, fly selection, and line watching.

It can be more effective than live bait fishing for Bluegill

Believe it or not, when using a fly rod for fishing for Bluegill. You can usually cover more ground and keep your bait in the water longer than when using traditional spinning gear.

Only because of no casting and retrieving. Conventional casting only to have your bait stolen when it hits the water.

Instead, when using a fly-rod, use short and quick wrist casts and flips to constantly “pepper” an area. It means you are spending less time baiting and removing hooks and more time catching fish!

Catch bluegills with wet fliesBluegill Diet and Fly Fishing

Before I dive into the details of tackle, flies, and tactics, it’s important to understand just why bluegill and fly fishing is a match made in heaven.

Bluegill, are primarily insectivores, meaning that they feed on insects, invertebrates, and insect larvae if you are a fly fisherman jackpot!

Typical food for Bluegills includes mosquito larvae, dragonfly nymphs, water spiders, worms, grubs, grass shrimp, grasshoppers, and even fish eggs.

When it comes to “matching the hatch, there is no shortage of fly imitations that work exceptionally well for hungry bluegills. Many of them are commonly found at bait and tackle stores or are easy to tie yourself.

Fly Fishing Tackle

Fly Rod

Any lightweight rod will work, but most anglers prefer something in the 3 or 4 weight range.

I’ve used a 6-weight fly rod that works just fine (and is much better at handling the occasional largemouth bass).

Fly rod length is more of a personal preference. If fishing from a boat where space is limited, you may want an 8-8.5-foot rod. If space isn’t a preference, a standard 9-foot fly rod will work just fine.

Graphite rods work great, and if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on an old wooden or bamboo fly rod, even better!

Fly Line, Leaders, Tippets

When it comes to tippet, lines, and leaders no reason to overcomplicate things, for example, a simple bright floating line with a tapered leader will work just fine.

I tie on an additional 18-24 inches of fluorocarbon tippet, depending on the rig I am using. Its between 4-6 lb test line is perfect for Bluegill and other panfish.

Catch bluegills with subsurface flies on Fly Reel

Fly Reel Size

Bluegill and panfish aren’t exactly known for their long runs, so reel selection is less critical than your rod size or fly.

Nearly any fly reel will work, as long as it’s balanced to match your fishing rod. In addition, you want something lightweight and comfortable, with an adequate drag system.

Your Rod/Reel combo should feel light and effortless when casting and retrieving.

Flies

The best flies to use on Bluegill are the ones that resemble what they are feeding on in your local lake, river, or wherever you are fishing.

Take some time to observe what Bluegill and other sunfish are eating. Are they feeding on the surface, eating water spiders and other floating insects?

Or are they feeding under the surface, perhaps on grass shrimp, larvae, or small minnows?

Whatever the case, it will likely take a bit of experimenting and finding out what works best.

Below is a list of some excellent bluegill flies no matter where you fish:

 Old fashioned Popper

 Wooly Bugger

 Beadhead Nymphs

 Foam Spider

 Brim Killer

 Clouser Minnow

 Elk Hair Caddis

Bluegill has tiny mouths and feeds on miniature food. Therefore, fly sizes should be in the #10-#18 range.

Dark and natural colors seem to be the most popular, but the Bluegill is not particularly picky about sure flies or colors, unlike trout. Instead, what is important is the size of the fly and presentation.

Keep it small and simple!

Bluegill fly fishing with sinking fliesFly Fish Tips/Tactics

Fly fishing for Bluegill isn’t nearly as complicated as other forms of technical fly fishing, but there are a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up that I think will significantly increase your chances of success.

Find the Strike Zone

Depending on the year, bluegills can feed on the bottom, in the middle of the water column, or on the surface.

Pay attention to where you are getting the most bites. Then focus on keeping your fly in that area for as long as possible.

For example, if you’re getting the most bites in the middle water column (sub-surface), then choose a sinking fly and retrieve style that will keep it in that area.

Tip: Try adding a micro split shot to your leader to get the nymph down deeper or sink faster.

Where there is one Bluegill, there are almost always going to be others. Make it easy on them,

and keep that fly in their face as long as possible.

Check Residential Ponds

I can’t emphasize this enough, don’t overlook residential or suburban ponds! These are usually stocked with Bluegill and other sunfish by housing associations and can grow GIANT bluegill!

You don’t need to travel to faraway destinations to find significant bluegill fishing jump on google earth and do some virtual scouting of small ponds and creeks in your area.

Take an afternoon and fish each of them for 20 minutes, and you will quickly find which ones are holding big bluegills!

Spot-Hop Frequently

Like most sunfish, the Bluegill is a very abundant species that make up a large portion of species in a given body of water. So, if you are not getting bites in 5-10 minutes, pack up and move.

You don’t have to go far; sometimes, the following log, hydrilla bed, or cut may be the one spot holding fish.

Bluegill fishing is relatively active and aggressive. If I don’t get any bites, I keep moving.

Eventually, you will stumble upon a hot spot that is holding fish. Pay close attention to what is in that area, then look for this in new places.

Subsurface fly catch panfish in local pond like big bluegill

Watch Your Line!

Pay close attention to your line when flying fishing for big “gills,” especially when you’re using sub-surface flies. Watch for the tell-tale “tink” or flick of the line. You’ve just got a hit!

Bluegill often strikes fast and hard, but its size can be very subtle, especially on a 9-foot graphite fly rod. Again, using a bright-colored fly line will help with seeing a hit.

Line watching is one of the many intuitive skills that you’ll develop when flyfishing for Bluegill. It takes a sharp eye and sensitive touch to pick it up, but when you do, you’ll be catching more fish.

Try A Dropper Rig

The consensus amongst most Bluegill anglers is that they prefer to feed below the surface. However, a surface fly or popper is excellent at drawing the attention of curious Bluegill.

So why not combine them both?

Consider trying a dropper rig. Tie on a popper, dry fly, or any surface lure, drop down 8-10 inches of line and add a nymph or sinking fly.

The surface lure creates micro ripples to draw attention, and the nymph is waiting below in the strike zone.

It doubles your presentations in the water and is a great way to feel out where the fish are feeding.

Use pan fish fly tackle to catch fish when panfish spawnCasting from a boat

Using the wind to drift a shoreline or lake edges is one of my favorite ways to fly fish for bluegills in a boat.

This method works well for canals, straight shorelines, or long weed lines when the wind is in your favor.

Position your boat upwind and orient so that you drift about 18-20 feet from the edge.

I let out about anywhere between 12-15 feet of line and held it fixed in position with my index finger. Instead of casting and stripping, I’m flipping out the same amount of fixed-line, so my fly lands right on the edge and target area.

A quick pop, or let it sink if I’m nymphing, pull it right back, and flip it out again. The key here is quick short casts without having to strip or reel in each cast.

You can pound a shoreline or edge using this method, and the Bluegill almost always bites on the drop or when your fly first hits the water.

Fishing from land

Suppose you don’t have access to a boat or canoe, plenty of excellent bluegill along shorelines or docks. That is precisely where you are likely going to find bluegills and other sunfish.

Seek out areas that have good cover- but are still open enough to work a fly. For example, in Florida, wading along a shoreline about knee-deep during early morning summer hours is a great way to fish poppers, spiders, and dry flies for bluegills.

Docks are another haven for bluegills; try vertical jigging your fly next to pilings or casting along shadow lines.

Try A Strike Indicator

If you are having trouble detecting bites, or the timing of your hook-set, try a strike indicator.

These can easily be added to your fly line and offer a visual indication of a hit.

The varieties and styles of strike indicators on the market are limitless, but foam or feather indicators are often enough to see even the slightest bites.

Keep rod tip low with larger fishBluegill Fishing Time Of Year

Bluegill feeding activity kicks off when the water temperature reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Below are a few tips for each season, depending on where you live in the country. Your season could be all year long, or it could mean until well after winter.

Winter

During the winter, Bluegills and many other panfish will school up and head for deeper water.

Metabolism slows down, and bait is usually limited.

Slow everything down and go small. Bluegill has small mouths as it is, but during the winter, the smaller, the better. But, again, this is ultra-finesse fishing; you want slow sinking flies and subtle presentations.

Start with a size #12, but don’t be afraid to go as small as size #18 flies to get those stubborn fish to bite.

Spring

Spring means spawning season for Bluegill when they aggressively defend their beds. Beadhead Nymphs or any worm/leech imitation flies are irresistible to aggressive male Bluegill.

Use polarized glasses to identify spawning beds in 2-6 feet of water. I try not to cast directly on top of the bed but instead just on edge.

Let your fly slowly sink, and chances are it will get hit before it reaches the bottom if there is a slight breeze or current, even better. Let it sit for a 3-5 second count, then give it a slight twitch.

Bluegill can’t stand anything in or near their beds, and this is one of the most compelling and fun ways to flyfish for Bluegill.

On overcast days, surface flies like an Elk or Deer hair caddis can drive territorial Bluegill to the surface for surprisingly aggressive hits. Dang, that’s fun!

Rock bass, smallmouth bass, green sunfish, yellow perch all can be caught on bluegill fliesSummer

Summer usually means one thing- topwater! So break out the poppers, floating spiders and look for that surface activity. Insects are hatching; the days are long—the perfect time of year to fish surface flies or dry flies.

Early morning and late evenings will be the best times to catch Bluegill on a dry fly when the sun is low. Fish will be tighter into cover as the sun gets overhead- a perfect time to focus on docks, boathouses, and timber.

Fall

The fall season is a great time to target trophy bluegills, as weather changes and water temperatures have the fish scattered in shallow water and edge habitat.

Keep an eye out for mini-wakes from chasing Bluegill. Cloudy and overcast days are associated with fall, and dropping barometric pressure means you can usually find hungry fish even during the middle of the day.

Final Thoughts

If only the mighty Bluegill reached 5, 10, or even 15 pounds like its famous cousin, the Largemouth Bass, only then would it receive the recognition it deserves.

Nonetheless, more and more anglers are going back to their childhood roots and pursuing this fun, abundant (and did I mention tasty?) fish.

Fly fishing for Bluegill is a refreshing way to challenge yourself and learn a new skill. It’s not too difficult for youngsters to learn but challenging enough even for hardened panfish anglers.

I hope the tips in this article encourage you to get outside, grab the fly rod and have some fun.

Thank you for reading.

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