Remember when you caught your first crappie or bluegil? Are you kidding….I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast this morning….But I do remember catching bluegils by the bucket full and then having to take them home and watch dad scale & clean these tasty morsels. Mom would fry them and we’d eat the tails like they were potato chips. What about fish eggs? Ate those too….not recommended today but there’s a lot of things that aren’t recommended doing today….riding bikes without helmets, outside without sunscreen, driving in The Villages…..You tell me of the 3 which is the most dangerous. Glad we’re on the same wave length here. Moving right along….did you know that the crappie, known as specks also, FL state record is 3.83 lbs? Keep in mind these are black crappies down here & don’t get as large as their northern cousins.
Then there’s the bluegil. These little guys have more punch per pound than most freshwater fish. You get 1 of these sideways pulling critters on light line – a cane pole or fly rod & you have a battle that lasts about as long as eating an ice cream cone in a golf cart running 20 mph in 90 deg heat. And you thought I was gonna say something else 🙂 The FL state record is 2.95 lbs. Right now you’ll see boats gathered in groups & chances are they’re probably catching these guys.
I think the preferred specie is the Redear Sunfish, aka Shellcracker, because they get much larger than their look alike cousins. They’re lean & mean also & can provide instant action especially if you’re in a herd of them. The FL state record is 4.86 lbs. You’ll hear anglers mention catching 3 pounders often and if you’ve never seen one this size picture a cutoff lower section of a canoe paddle with lips.
There’s several ways to find out more about catching panfish….grab your rod & bait & head to the local water hole, click on —> Trophy Catch Web Site, where the information you just read was derived, or come to our next meeting and listen to 3 experts that have been fishing for them with a combined time of over 100 years. And yes it’s different down here on the way they’re caught….but not much.
Here’s a few pics from Lakes Harris & Griffin taken in the past since April 1st. I caught this 4.7 casting a black hollowbody toad under a dock. Good old 50 lb braid when you need it because he wrapped me around a couple posts.
Then there was Wayne Barksdale who always out does me and shows off a nice 6 lbr that he caught on a swimbait at Griffin.
But wait….just because you’re in the back of the boat, don’t kid yourself. There’s still “dumb” fish to be caught. Barksdale slipped up & let 1 slide by so FFC Board Member Trevor Bailey catches this dandy that weighed 7 lb 8 oz. Just shy of a Trophy Catch qualifier. That’s STILL a fish of a lifetime . WTG Trevor….too bad Wayne heh heh.
Just a reminder that Nominations For Election Of Officers & Board Members will take place at our FFC April 11th meeting.
- Note from FFC President Randy DiSanto