|a trophy bluegill sunfish (bream)|
For panfish anglers, nothing tops a good day catching trophy sized bluegill (bream), pumpkinseed, green sunfish, shellcrackers, or other species of sunfish.
This list offers a few tips for catching trophy sunfish:
* During the warm months, sunfish orient to overhanging tree limbs where insects are likely to fall into the water.
* Cast lures or live baits as close to structure as possible. If a sunfish is present, strikes usually come immediately.
* for trophy sunfish, try using slightly larger baits and hooks to discourage bites from smaller individuals.
* Most sunfish species are attracted to bright colored, flashy lures, but prefer a slower retrieve than some species.
* When targeting trophy-class sunfish with live baits, experiment with using circle hooks. These specialized hooks can be used to help curb smaller fish and avoid gut-hooking. Never snatch when bites occur with circle hooks, instead reel steadily until resistance is felt.
* When choosing bobbers, using the smallest, most streamlined bobber possible will increase strikes. Wary sunfish will often spit out a bait if too much resistance is felt.
* In clear water conditions, using flourocarbon leaders may result in more strikes from line-shy fish.
* Where currents exist, look for eddies or calm water adjacent to fast moving water.
* Experiment in deep areas by jigging vertically or letting a free-lined bait sink to the bottom.
* When sunfish are located in deep areas, try another pass as more fish may be nearby.
* Fishing kayaks can be highly effective for catching sunfish. These craft allow anglers to seek out trophy bluegill in swamps and other hard to access areas.
* Talk to fishing guides. Professional guides often know where large bluegill can be found and will share information with anglers.