Open Water Panfish - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 02-02-2008, 10:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
Just Ed
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Default Open Water Panfish

Was thinking tonight about all of the fishing reports over the last few weeks and it seems there's a huge focus on perch....but I don't ever remember multiple posts about perch in open water.

Seems last year, the best luck I had was Pueblo in the fall for crappie and boyd over the summer for blue gill and crappie. Went to Aurora a few times with zMan and I didn't see single perch (mostly walleye).

I like to use micro jigs in open water tipped with mealworms or waxworms. In the fall, we were using 1oz jigging spoons - sometimes tipped with a small shad.

So let's here it for the panfish in open water - where do you like to fish, what techniques do you like to use, and in general, how do you target them?

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Old 02-02-2008, 10:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Open Water Panfish

for big gills and crappie i like throwing the trusty bettle spin!
for perch i like a bober and worms!
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Open Water Panfish

Back in the day on Lake Michigan the best bait was softshell crawdads. If you werent catching perch, your bait wasnt in the water.

Im surprised more people dont fish with them here--especially Aurora. I dont think its a coincidence that Aurora has friggin lobsters and giant perch.
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Old 02-03-2008, 05:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Open Water Panfish

I love catching magnum perch!

For the most part, people would rather catch one larger fish of any species, than one or more smaller fish. Once they've laid big cash for a boat and the gear, most will not want to target a humble panfish.

When anglers think of perch, they are reminded of fish less than 10 inches, a species caught more for entertainment with their family, especially small kids. I agree that once located, perch fishing is fairly mechanical. However, targeting and consistently catching large perch, especially in open water, takes dedication, patience, skill, and lots of humility.

Lately, I've been big on the humility side.

On the bright side, its a great tasting fish. Adding the vertical presentation skills required will add another useful fishing skill to any angler's tool set. Anyone catching magnum perch (12"+) will feel lucky...and a sense of accomplishment. And catching a bunch - priceless!

Mike
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Old 02-03-2008, 10:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Open Water Panfish

Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap are very good for big perch in the summer. Again, fish vertically from a tube or boat with small bait and move a lot until you find them.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Open Water Panfish

Just watched a show about catching Nile Perch in Egypt....the fish were going 100+ lbs. I've got to do a lot more pan fishing!
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Old 02-03-2008, 02:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Open Water Panfish

The outside edges of the weedbeds in Quincy were always good to me, with small soft plastics or swimming nymphs, and hardly anyone targets perch there due to all the trout and pesky big largemouths.
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Open Water Panfish

Quote:
Originally Posted by VolFan
and pesky big largemouths.

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Old 02-03-2008, 07:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VolFan
The outside edges of the weedbeds in Quincy were always good to me, with small soft plastics or swimming nymphs, and hardly anyone targets perch there due to all the trout and pesky big largemouths.
What I hate is when you are fishing for rainbows, you go to jefferson lake and those stupid big lake trout would just swim up and attack your lures while you had a crowd of rainbows chasing after it.
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Open Water Panfish

Ed, I haven't fished for pan fish much on open water in CO but did a lot back home. Your best bet might be to concentrate in or on the edge of weed beds or other rip-rap. Your micro jigs should work just fine tipped with waxies and mealies but I prefer pinhead minnows. The 1oz jig spoon is a lot bigger than I have ever used for pan fish. That size seems more fitting for larger fish in deep water or high currents. Even fishing for perch on Higgins Lake (norther MI) in 60 FOW the largest I used was 1/4oz

Good luck this spring and summer.
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