How To Catch Monster Panfish (Really) | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
Skills
A kayak angler poses with a small panfish. Photo: Dustin Doskocil

Three pros give their best tips for landing big and tasty panfish

Often overlooked in favor of bigger game, pound-for-pound panfish are some of the hardest fighting fish and hands down the tastiest. Chances are, you can find crappie, bluegill or white bass a few miles from your house. They’re a blast to catch—and more fun to eat. Three pros tell us how to target slab panfish.  

Matthew Scotch of Lonestar Kayak Guide Service in North Texas targets crappie by first locating schools of bait near standing timber, brush piles, docks, rock piles and drop offs. A Thermocline Lures Mr. Fry in natural shad on a 1/32 ounce jighead is Scotch’s go-to bait. He throws the jig past the school and slowly lets it fall while swimming it back to the kayak. On windy days, he’ll use a heavier jighead. He spools his medium-action spinning combo with 20-pound braid and a four-foot leader of eight- pound fluorocarbon. “This set-up gives me great sensitivity and the strength to pull slabs out of thick cover,” Scotch explains. It takes a sensitive fishfinder to identify the thermocline. Bait and fish often associate with the temperature change between surface and deep water.

Wilderness Systems Pro JD Desrosiers loves catching bluegill in the backwaters of South Carolina. He uses a one-two punch to target jumbo ‘gills around cypress stumps and adjacent flats. He begins by casting a 1/8-ounce black in- line spinner. Using artificial lures saves time and money, JD doesn't have to take time to change bait or money to pay for it. If the fish are being lazy, he will thread a trusty red worm onto the... 

 

 

 

WebArticleFooters_SummerFall20164.jpgWebArticleFooters_SummerFall20163.jpg

 

Related items

  • Three Tips To Mastering Your Fishing Bait

    Three Tips To Mastering Your Fishing Bait

    JEFF LITTLE, a regional team director for Wilderness Systems, is an expert on crawfish and aquatic insects in mid-Atlantic rivers. He stresses that too many anglers get caught up in…

    Read more...

  • 67 Essential Skills For Kayak Anglers

    67 Essential Skills For Kayak Anglers

    Some people fish for the fish. Some people fish for the great outdoors. Whether you fish for comradery or solitude, relaxation or adventure, big fish or small ones, there are…

    Read more...

  • Trophy Hunters: Josh Dolin

    Trophy Hunters: Josh Dolin

    Trophy: Virginia Angler Recognition Program Citations. Hunting grounds: Virginia. Trophy room: Virginia Class III Master Angler. What's a trophy? I use the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries guidelines for a trophy…

    Read more...

  • Trophy Hunters: Aaron Rubel

    Trophy Hunters: Aaron Rubel

    Trophy: Light tackle lunkers. Hunting grounds: Gulf Coast. Trophy room: Kayak-caught length world record holder, four-time kayak fishing tournament winner.  What is a trophy? I’m an engineer, so I’m suspect of absolutes. I…

    Read more...

  • Trophy Hunters: Tom Fucini

    Trophy Hunters: Tom Fucini

    Trophy: Striped bass. Hunting grounds: New England. Trophy room: Three-time On the Water magazine Kayak Angler of the Year, Connecticut Catch and Release Trophy Fish Record, tournament champ. What's a trophy catch? Any…

    Read more...

  • Trophy Hunters: Kerry Flowers

    Trophy Hunters: Kerry Flowers

    Trophy: Striped marlin, yellowtail kingfish, snapper. Hunting grounds: New Zealand. Trophy room: First kayak striped marlin in New Zealand, New Zealand Kayak Fishing Series champion. What is a trophy catch  A trophy catch…

    Read more...

Popular Articles

FREE NEWSLETTER

Join 30 000+ fellow anglers! Get the latest fishing news and special offers delivered straight to your inbox.  

 

 

Popup text