No matter where you are in the country, there’s bound to be at least two panfish species swimming in your local waters. Whether it be perch and rock bass up north, or shell crackers and longear sunfish in the south – they’re everywhere, delicious, and willing to give a frisky fight to even the most inexperienced anglers.
In the spirit of panfish versatility, we thought it’d be fun to examine a couple of presentations that will catch panfish anywhere you go, from the Canadian Shield all the way to the Florida Keys.
Worm and a bobber
It doesn’t get any simpler. Get a hook, a small split shot, a number 10 Aberdeen hook and a float. Cast it near a piece of shoreline cover, and wait for the action. Although more advanced anglers may scoff at the simplicity of the worm and bobber, it’s that simplicity that makes it so timeless. Panfish eat worms, and without question more fish are caught in this country on a worm/bobber combination than any other presentation. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – the worm and bobber will catch crappies in California as easy as it will sunfish in San Antonio.
Another universal truth about panfish is that they will also chase tiny baitfish when given the opportunity. Because of that, all panfish species will also attack micro-plastics like the Northland Mimic Minnow Fry. Try pitching ultra-light jigs with micro-plastics around laydowns, docks, or weed edges. Unlike the worm and bobber, tiny plastics also do a great job of helping anglers target bigger fish, as they are too big to draw strikes from the smallest panfish.
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