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3 Reasons to Fish Fast for Panfish

Posted by 
September 8, 2014
Published in News & Tips > Fishing > Panfish
4104   Comment

3ReasonsFishFastPanfish blogWhile 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.


Tagged under Read 4104 times Last modified on September 11, 2017
Tim Allard

Tim Allard hails from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He's a full-time outdoor journalist and author and photographer of the multi-award winning book, "Ice Fishing - The Ultimate Guide" (2010), which is also available in French under the title, "Pêche sur glace". Tim regularly contributs to numerous North American print and online publications. For more information visit

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