Early Season Panfishing

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Take a look at the photo of my daughter.  We were fishing a back bay of a lake about 2 weeks after the ice came off.  Notice the bare trees and dead cattails in the back ground.  Also, notice the depth setting on Mae’s bobber–it’s not very deep.  This is the time of the spring that I get excited about, because the panfish are no longer glued to shore.  In fact, in this case, the fish had retracted away from the shore line and were blending in with submerged weeds in about 3-5 feet of water.  There were fish closer to the shoreline, but the larger sunfish and crappie were about 20-30 feet out from shore.  When the fish are further away from the bank, they don’t scare as easily when you’re fishing for them and they don’t bolt every time a one or two day cold snap comes through the area.  I love taking the kids fishing in back bays.  It’s easy to duck out of the wind and stay warm which makes it easy for the kids to cast.  One thing to keep in mind when you’re using bobbers,  especially when you have kids along, is to be sure that they keep the line 90% tight.  If there is a large “balloon” of line between the bobber and fishing rod–it’s impossible to set the hook when the bobber goes down.  I always have my kids and fishing guests, reel a few times immediately after they cast out and the bobber hits the water–it draws the line tight so they can get a hook set when they get bit.   Good luck fishing the warming back waters this week–it’s going to be getting good!  Fish Good. By Ross Hagemeister

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