Thursday, July 8, 2010

Supa’ Pans!

My fishing addiction gets so bad at times that many friends, co-workers and associates have suggested therapy. This apparent compulsion I have towards panfish (sunfish, crappie or other slab-shaped fish that fit nicely in a small skillet) borders on some form of mental disorder. As soon as I see a decent school of these little fish be it bluegill, green sunfish or even crappie, my brain goes nuts and the focus shifts immediately to nailing a few hundred of them. This is but one of the reasons why I don’t fish bass tournaments. I could be top 10 on day one only to come across a few schools of panfish and blow the whole contest going after these slabs. It’s a problem.

My panfish compulsion wouldn’t be so bad if these fish weren’t so cool looking. I find myself mystified, hypnotized and completely amazed by these fish.

The rigs for these fish can vary as greedy panfish won’t be too selective in the summer. In this case I am running an 1/8oz weightless grub across the weedbed and the pans nail it. Green chartreuse with black dots and some extra sparkle seemed to whack ‘em but as stated before…they’ll hit just about anything this time of year.

(Above: A sample of two panfish plastics that get clobbered by gills and sunfish. Crappie can be a little more finicky requiring different baits such as marabou jigs. The top-left is a baby shad in pearl color and the other is the yellow and green grub made by Mister Twister I belive.)

A few of these “super pans” were beefy enough to get a quick measurement. Even though I am not a big fan of “fish on the ground” shots, this one was subjected to a little green carpet on one side.

“Sorry ‘bout that lil fish buddy.” I said getting in a quick photo with the tape and release. “Just want to show these folks how ##$%^ awesome you are!”

A few pans were over 8-inches and some were nearly topping the 9’s. 10’s and above are very impressive but this pond tends to set the limit at 10-inches. This may be due to smaller lake size (it is a pond really). Population numbers are kept in check by the predator base ie largemouth bass. Catfish and even carp also keep these finned works of art stabilized in an area that is difficult to reach thus keeping down the take pressure. All of this combined creates an amazing opportunity for super sized panfish. These are the brood fish and a key part of the ecosystem as they provide a steady food supply for bass and other species. Taking out the common size slot and releasing the super pans is more ideal.

I have more photos and some video footage that I hope to roll up into a video montage for later posting. How awesome are these fish!?!

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.


Shoreman said...

I don't see anything thing that would require therapy. Maybe your friends, co-workers, and associates need to get out and wet a line once in a while. Being a fishing addict seems normal to me. I might add, those slabs are mighty nice and I'll bet there's a lot more to them than a 9" Rainbow.


Captain Mark said...

Thanks for all the post comments. Those are some awsome panfish. On light tackle there is nothing better. Good fishing

Anonymous said...

Therapy, smarapy! It just looks like plain ol' fun to me and how bad can fun really be for a person!?!

Those are beautiful looking fish and what some fatties to boot!

Anonymous said...

Hello I'm Jason and I am also a fishaholic...I enjoy going to therapy...I get out at least everyday......I think we might have to start a forum or something for support for our colleages.

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

I'm pretty sure there are worse addictions? And you can EAT the product of this addiction, so I think you're probably ok! But, don't take my word for it. I thought I needed to go dig worms so I could learn to fish this summer. Apparently, from looking at this post, I need to go to Kmart instead. Sigh. Such a learning curve!

Coloradocasters said...

Oh you folks are awesome! My blog is fueled more or less by my addiction to fish and your fantastic comments. The term “panfish” comes from the shape of the fish as I mentioned in my blog. But to be honest, I rarely eat any of the fish I catch.

However, panfish are generally prolific and some lakes actually benefit from the selective harvest of bluegill, sunfish, crappie and other “panfish”. And they taste great! If you do harvest panfish, please take from the common size slot at times when these fish are most plentiful. This will help generate a natural dynamic where the remaining fish can grow to optimum health and size.

Removing the largest fish hurts the sport and overall breeding base hence why my blogilicious comes off as a sermon more than a “how to” most of the time. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you want additional info or can tolerate more of my fishing insanity.

Wolfy said...

Hey Matt - sorry it took me so long to get over to your site. I'll begin by saying "Great Posts and pics"

I, too, am an addict of the panfish. I'll always fish for whatever is available, but I really like panfish. I was a little surprised that you go to a 1/8 oz. jig for your panfish plastics. I use 1/16 most of the time, and recently found a 1/24 oz. jighead that has a great, longer hook and performs beautifully. I don't know if you can get your hands on them in COL, but try some Cubby Mini Mites if you can. Knock-offs aren't as good as the original, for some reason. They come individually packed in a tube. I never used to use them 'cuz they're around a buck a piece, but I tried them about 10 years ago, and now its almost all I use for panfish.

I'm adding you onto my blog roll, too. You'll be seeing plenty of me in your coments.

Keep up the good work


Coloradocasters said...

Welcome, Wolfy! I would be honored to be on your blog roll. Still kind of a newbie on the blog scene so I welcome the support greatly. Your blog is very good and have been checking out the posts there for some time. I’m glad you stopped by.

Yes! I can go down to a 1/32oz grub (Mister Twister) if needed but the 1\8oz will weed out the prime fish in a swarm of sunnies. Sometimes even the 1/8oz grub would get clobbered by dinkers in the 4-inch range…tons of those guys right now. The bass just run in with the mouth open and take four or five at a time. Sometimes I use the jig but when the weeds get thick I go completely weightless, no bobber…just sight-fish and cast at the few larger ones in the pack. It’s not always perfect.

Um…keep those “mites” on the downlow ha ha. I use those too but for crappie sometimes. I use a product from a company called “Maniac Custom Lures” out of Salt Lake City. They blast trout as well. I probably should have just sent this via e-mail. Ha ha.

Anonymous said...

Well, Matt, the gangs all here now! Glad to see your blog getting so many comments now. As has always been the case, your posts, pictures, video's and "addictive" excitement about fishing is great for any of us readers stopping by.

Plus, I have a severe problem. Each year, I come down with a bad case of the "Bluegill Flu".

truewonder said...

My pop and me use to fly fish for Blue Gill...made me quiet, still. Made me hungry too. Best darn eating in my book. Crappie was a springtime favorite, couldn't go wrong with a mess of morels and Crappie fillets. Here in Maine...well, not to up on the pans, seems they pale in comparison to the almighty excellent seafood...and trout, and now I'm going to utter a dirty, shocking statement for these parts- I don't like to eat trout, though I find them beautiful, but still...not near as beautiful as a little Sunfish, Pumpkinseed or the beautiful Bluegill. I see sunsets in their way I can describe it.
Take care-

Little Messy Missy said...

Beautiful fish! I am a fellow fisherman, er fisher-woman!!! I fish rivers and sometimes lakes. I prefer rivers because I can move around a lot. My favorite lore is a "Super Duper", works great on the trout up in our mountain rivers. Do you make your own lores??? Nice blog, I will be back!
Little Messy Missy

Coloradocasters said...

Mel, you are the best and I look up to you immensely. Thank you so much for the kind words and even guidance from your blog.

Truewonder: “Pumpkinseed or the beautiful Bluegill. I see sunsets in their colors”…that is a brilliant statement indeed. If you can pick the morels I might be able to come up with a few crappie slabs. =)

Missy, I am thrilled you stopped by and left a comment. Yes, I do make a few of my own lures but this is limited to the jigs, jig combos and spinnerbaits…most of this is purchased in kit form and assembled on the water as needed. Most of my raw material is bought online at this site:

You folks have no idea how much I am overwhelmed with joy to see the increased support. I still have a lot to learn about the blogisphere and hopefully things only improve from here on out.

Sincerest thanks and best wishes.

WildFisherWoman said...

Those are HUGE! and quite attractive I must say! I had a blue gill I found in my bait bucket one year icefishing bout 7 years ago. I put him in my fish tank and raised him up fat. Bluegill. Named him "Savage" cuz he ate all the rest of my fish when he got bigger. Then I got an Oscar. Darth Vader. He lived fine with Savage until he got big enough and ate him (by big enough I mean like 8 inches big to take on a 6in gill). :)

Stone Fox said...

"...compulsion I have towards panfish... slab-shaped fish that fit nicely in a small skillet"

I completely understand that! I have strange obsessions like that too. I always try to fit things in other things. It usually works too.

Also, these fish do look pretty cool.