Finding Goliath Gills

Finding Goliath Gills

Rick Hammer caught this one on a Lindy Bug. (That I gave him.) And a wax worm. To find him, we had to move several times.

When the most dependable spots from times past failed to turn up more than a couple bulls, Dave, "Shoggie" Shogren suggested we cross the lake to an area I'd never been on. We actually never needed to go very far from the entry point to this lake to find fish, but the coldest day of the year so far took place just a couple days prior. The fish we did find were very reluctant.


So we found some fish slightly less pressured. Almost virgin, you might say (if such a thing is possible, like being slightly pregnant). It was a sandy point or bar with cabbage around it. Now, finding a spot like that is one thing. But you then have to find the fish on the spot. Easy with a boat. Takes a lot of holes to find the right cabbage stalks on the right slopes at the perfect depth.



Actually, we never found much.


Cabbage, that is. And what I could find with my Vexilar was in water too shallow, disappearing at about 10 feet. The bluegills, this day, definitely preferred depths of 14 to 16 feet. We find them in 8 feet at times, but 12 to 18 is the general range.


The key is finding a bottom transition leading to those weeds. If you can. In the outdoor media, we tend to make it sound like transitions are narrow and everywhere and obvious. They aren't and, uh, they aren't. Not always obvious, either. Sometimes you have to train yourself to look for changes over an area 20 to 30 feet across. Barely noticeable changes in bottom readings on a flat can make all the difference.

A rise generally indicates harder bottom. Finding that "sharp break" is another key. In lakes like these, "sharp" describes a drop of three feet over a linear distance of 12 feet or so. Find that spot. If it has weeds on top (way up there — all three feet), ooh, baby.

Better to find these pug-nosed pugilists away from the cabbage, like they were the other day, 48 hours after the most severe cold front of the year. So far. To find them up on top (way, way up there, man) in stable, warm weather is to battle with many more than we did. But, to find them at all? And to find a few that can be convinced to bite with a Thorne Brothers Quiver Stick? Piscalicious.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Fish Recipes

Steelhead Trout Niçoise Salad Recipe

This recipe for Steelhead Trout Niçoise Salad is heart healthy, paleo- and gluten-free...

Bass

Deep Cranking Confessions from the Pro's

John Neporadny Jr - December 18, 2017

Here's some important crankbait lessons from the big leagues.

Walleye

Spring Walleye Fishing Tackle Choices

Steve Ryan - October 19, 2017

Spring walleye fishing often means large numbers of fish concentrated in small areas.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

The Scoop on Garmin's New Force Trolling Motors

Why did Garmin's new Force trolling motor win a Best of Show category award at the 2019 ICAST Show in Orlando? OSG's Lynn Burkhead gets all of the scoop on the amazing features that come with Garmin's first entry into the trolling motor market.

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

As Pure Fishing's Andrew Upshaw explains, reel making giant Abu Garcia has done it again at ICAST 2019 with a new spinning reel geared towards finesse fishermen.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

Bass

Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...

Catfish

All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers...

See More Stories

More Panfish

Panfish

Finding Big Bluegill in Tall Corn

Matt Straw - April 02, 2018

There are several reasons why spring is the season to invest most of your bull-hunting time:...

Panfish

Top Panfish Tackle

Steve Quinn - July 09, 2018

The old expression "Luck is where preparation meets opportunity" certainly pertains to...

Panfish

Strategies for Shallow Panfish

Dan Johnson - March 06, 2018

Nothing against the deep bite, but I'd rather fish for shallow panfish any day, especially...

See More Panfish

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×