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... 

 

 

 

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