May

16

Minnesota's Panfishing Treasure House


Panfishing in Minnesota is always a popular past time. Got Kids? It's a great way to get kids into fishing. Perhaps the best thing about panfishing is that everybody in Minnesota is only a few miles away from a lake or pond full of panfish that will tug your line. Panfishing is exciting fishing so grab your rod. Let's look at a couple of the more popular types of Minnesota Panfish – crappies and bluegills.

Crappie fishing is a good choice for the family. They are easy to fish and don't require a lot of exotic equipment. Light spinning tackle and cane poles are both effective gear for crappie. Crappie fishing is great in shallow water near vegetation. Small minnows, called crappie minnows, and a small jig fished below slip bobbers are the preferred setup and often the best way to catch this finny friend. During the spring, crappie are most often found at depths of three feet or less, and they are rarely by themselves. Crappies prefer warmer water than most fish in this area, which is why they will be the first fish into the shallows after ice out. Crappie tend to stackup in such spots. Crappies are tougher to find in hot weather, but can still be caught.

Don't laugh the next time you hear your buddy saying that she is going Bluegill fishing. A nine-inch Minnesota bluegill on a light rod will fight as hard as a smallmouth on regular tackle. Bluegills can be recognized by the powder-blue coloration near the bottom of their gill cover. Bluegills eat both insects,small minnows and worms or grubs. They prefer slow current in streams or rivers and weeds or woody cover in ponds and lakes. A small tackle box is all that you need. Keep small jigs and a some light weight lures and you are ready to go. Keep your eye on the water temperature and when it hits 70 degrees get out there and have some great fun with the bluegills. When the water temperature hits 70 the bluegills build nests in a couple feet of water and will attack most anything that comes near the nest. Bluegills are fun fishing regardless of when you are fishing.

Panfishing is great for the family so remember to take a kid fishing! Panfishing is a wonderful how-to for all those assorted, taken-for-granted, fish that we all learned to fish while catching. Panfishing is still what I do with my uncles and grandpa when they can't handle blasting across the lake at 50 mph or trolling through an opening weekend walleye chop anymore. Fish panfish just to have a good time and shoot the breeze with your fishing partners. And occassionally, you have the adventure of accidentally hooking up with a northern or walleye while panfishing. Just remember, panfishing is always pretty reliable for the fish fry. So don't embrass yourself just hit the weed edge with a minnow and a slip boober about 6" to a foot off the bottom and you have more than enough to clean.

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