1-29-13 – Shallow Water Panfish

I had to stay at work Monday night so Tuesday morning I didn’t get on the road till around 8. This was my first trip to fish Champlain since the Vermont Sportsman Hardwater Tournament Series event at the beginning of the month. The bite in general has been less than spectacular so I have devoted most of my time this winter to more local areas.

When I hit the ice, a bunch of guys were already out there spread over a large area. The fishing was pretty slow all morning and most people only had a few fish in their buckets. The day before the bite was steady and picked up a few times throughout the day. I was hoping that there would be a mid day rush or at least an evening bite!

I started off my day looking around with my underwater camera only to find that one of the dozen or so holes I checked held fish. I grabbed my rod and dropped down and caught a pumpkinseed. Second drop, I lost another. After that I went a while before getting another bite. Even looking around with my camera I couldn’t find any fish in the area.

With lots of moving we found a either a pod that was moving in a small area or corridor. From about 1 pm till I left at 4 the fishing was steady. About 90% of what I caught was pumpkinseed. The other 10% was bluegill, perch, and one pickerel. The fish weren’t picky as long as you weren’t offering them a bare hook. I used maggots for a good portion of the day but switched to plastics once the bite was on. Because of the durability of plastics, I was able to stay in the water longer by spending a lot less time re-baiting.

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