While there is a time and place for slow presentations for panfish, I'm here to tell you that fishing fast is a great way to catch more and bigger sunfish, crappie and yellow perch.
Reason 1: It Covers Water and Finds Fish Faster
Part of why I like crappie fishing so much is that these fish are such a challenge to track down. Yes, some days their elusiveness leaves me scratching my head, but when I locate a school it makes the hard work worth it. Dillydallying with slow, methodical tactics is not how I search out crappie. It's run-and-gun, and fan-casting or trolling baits to sniff out calicos. The faster I can fish bays, weed edges, timber areas, deep points and other hangouts, the more I can explore in a day. This same concept applies to bluegills and yellow perch, especially when you're after big ones.
Reason 2: Fast Bait = Hard Hit
Generally, fish tend to hit a bait only as aggressively as they need to overtake it. A slow falling tube jig will get eaten with minimal fuss. A fast spinnerbait, on the other hand, will get crushed by crappie and perch. I've seen bluegills scrutinize and peck at a slow-retrieved crankbait. Speed up and hits get more aggressive, which leads to more hook-ups. Get a bait moving and you can stimulate panfish to respond with assertive attacks.
Reason 3: Fast Appeals to Big Fish
Years ago I was vertically jigging bluegills with my wife. We were in 25 feet of water and began the day with small jig spinners. This caught us several fish, but I was curious if bigger fish were around. I tied on a spoon and started snapping it up off bottom, then letting it fall on controlled slack. This got the big fish interested in a hurry. Soon we were both hauling up chunky bluegills on metal baits.
Fishing fast for panfish is fun. It brings out their aggressive nature and hard-hits on light gear is a hoot. Add more velocity to lures and you'll pull more pannies over the boat gunnel.
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