Staff member
Mar 22, 2010
Attica, OH
[font=Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]First panfish of the year for me. Upground reservoir. Caught some on drop spoon and waxworm, others on kiptail hair jigs. Couldn't keep 2 lines in the water for a lot of the time. There was a cold cold cold shift of wind out of the North when i first got there but it layed down and ended up being really nice temp and not too bad wind. Fished after dinner till it was too dark to see..... forgot my headlamp today or might have stayed longer. Caught the bigger fish right at dusk and there was a lot of activity on the surface as i made my way back to my vehicle. Bluegill were all around 7.5", pumpkinseed went 8" and the black crappie was 11". Ended up keeping 10 fish and easily threw back twice that many. Sure wish the nice weather would stick through the weekend...........[/font]

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Active member
Mar 23, 2010
Saint Louis,Mo
Nice to put something on the board. I think I set a record for me for latest date before catching a crappie, last Tuesday before I found a few. Bass and hybrid stripers have been filling in the gaps with some nice fish. Daughter gave me 10 lbs. of cod fillets so trying to eat those before keeping anything from around here. Might be May before the crappie spawn here with the weather we've been having. Had some snow flakes this morning and really windy.


Active member
Mar 23, 2010
I think we had similar experiences last week, with our PA panfish also tired of snow & cold water. I scored,too, with a small drop spoon tipped with either a maggot or small Gulp chunk. The special lure I employed was a Wilo Mino jig by and I wrote up the following story for them on my experience:

FAR OUT jigging

Was that actually a bump I felt? Naw, couldn't be , nobody was getting anything ,despite this being the beginning of Pennsylvania's trout fishing and lots of anglers working. Wait, there's that slight pop again ,but no fish hooked. HMMM, time to bring my ultra finesse jigging tactic to the rescue ! Next cast out into deeper water and I nailed my first crappie of the season! Then, several more on consecutive flings out beyond the dropoff from my shoreline position. By the time the midday session was over I'd tallied over a hundred, including trout, bass, crappies (lots), bluegill, and even a big sucker !

I was employing a favorite jig & worm tactic that was once taught by legendary bass pro Tom Mann. One of the original top producing tournament anglers, Tom developed his roots in small water farm ponds& stream holes during his youth in Alabama. Mann discovered early on that with shy biting fish of all types, that if he pointed his rod tip straight up, skyward, not only could he feel the most delicate of takes, but ,on a bare nibble, by giving a mere slight nod upward of his rod he essentially eliminated normal poor rod leverage & excess bend to instantly and more solidly punch in the hook point.

This rod position is especially effective when working one of Wade's wonderful Wilo Mino Jigs while walking a shoreline (even with snow still on the ground,as has been my experience during recent days!). Panfish and bass had not yet taken to shallow post spawning grounds, but were lingering in deeper holding areas offshore -fortunately just about a long cast length out there. So, I'd cast out, push my short (4'9") rod tip straight up, reel & handle in close to my belly, and carefully observe the line sink down ,pulled by the slight weight of my zig-zagging Wilo Jig. Normally I'd wait to see a slackening of the line to indicate bottom was reached, but instead usually was greeted by a tiny twitch just above bottom. Juke the rod tip upward about 4" and another fish on !! This almost seemed like vertical jigging to a productive brush pile, but without a boat or a dock to drop from !

I was actually thinking of emailing Greg Wade and instructing him to include directions for his Wilo Mino that read " Cast out, let sink to bottom, reel in fish !" Sometimes it was that easy. But if I didn't acquire a fish on the initial drop, I'd keep my rod tip up, reel about 3 cranks worth on my UL spinning reel, and then allow my Wilo to wobble back down again. They ALL love that flutter and knuckleball drop of this tiny jig! Just maintain this short retreive and drop sequence all the way back to shore. During a hot bite you'll rarely get all the way without fish interception (and during Spring/early summer you never can be sure what species will grab on!).