It’s cold today.
Bitter cold. Overcast.
The rain is pitter-pattering outside my window. Tiny taps followed by the occasional PLOP as a big cold drop travels through space from the corner of the roof to the sill…
It’s calming, but… I’m restless. Restless because we have rain. Not snow.
Snow is the devil.
Rain means the snow is dying.
I was talking with a friend last night about dealing with depression. He called it “being lost in the wilderness.” You can probably relate. There are times when everything seems to be… just… blegh. Right now in this country, you can feel an overwhelming sense of dread.
Stories of chemical spills, huge layoffs, corruption without justice, $7 eggs, any number of cultural issues – it’s enough to drive a man insane… it’s oppressive.
You feel it?
One of the ways to combat these feelings is to stay busy.
Busy with prayer. Busy with work. Busy with family. Busy with hobbies.
Getting busy (giggity?) can give your brain a chance to break away from the weight we carry day-to-day, even if it’s subconscious. Not that we should ignore the issues – quite the opposite – but at times, we need a break.
Fishing is that break for me, and winter is my enemy… because it slows me down.
Fishing helps keep my mind right.
It gives me something to chase, something to work on, something to improve, something to aim at… even if the target is a bit cloudy as the tires on the truck crunch their way out of the driveway…
Let’s just go.
… and so today, as winter continues it’s slow death… my daydreams become more vivid. The plants are greener, the air is crisp, and the fish… they are plentiful. Plentiful, and so much fun to catch on ultralight gear.
If you’re like me, daydreaming about those action-packed afternoons – the 4 presentations used in this video are absolutely killer for panfish!
1. The Kalin’s Crappie Scrub
The Kalin’s Crappie Scrub is an inexpensive plastic bait with no salt or scent, but twin paddle tails that thump and vibrate aggressively on a straight retrieve.
Speaking of retrieve, you can see in the video that I’m using a Pflueger President spinning reel (size 20 I believe), which is just an absolute unit. Make sure you have one (or four) of these classic workhorses in your arsenal. Check out this monster green sunfish that fell for the Crappie Scrub – landed in the Trophy Room, actually.
2. The Donkey Tail by Mule Fishing Supply Co.
You’re probably sick of me talking about these… but… well… I don’t care.
They catch fish man!
I like the Jr., and my favorite color is Pasture Fire. Click below for a full review, and consider hucking these on another simple workhorse that Brother Mike (aka Brother Wiggly Worm) down at Table Rock Lake reminded me about just yesterday: the Berkley Lightning Rod.
They are cheap, and they work – I have seen more Lightning Rods on the boats of fishing guides than any other make & model.
3. The Bobby Garland Itty Bit Swim’R
This is the smallest plastic I have ever fished. Like the Crappie Scrub and Donkey Tail, they have no salt or scent that I am aware of – but they are just the right size for aggressive panfish.
They catch all kinds of gamefish, and pair well with small (1/32 oz) jig heads. There are all sorts of jigs on the market, but the Mr. Crappie offerings are always a good choice.
4. The Strike King Bitsy Minnow
Finally, if the cover allows for it – test mini crankbaits like the Strike King Bitsy Minnow (or Bitsy Pond Minnow, depending on who you ask). It has a tight little side-to-side wobble and pairs perfectly with Stren monofilament.
The extra stretch helps keep the small hooks pinned in the mouth of fish, and makes it harder to toss – or for us to tear it out. It also allows the bait to acheive maximum wobble!
That’s the name of my new band. We have several plus-sized backup singers. Maximum Wobble tour dates coming soon.
(Baits, I mean…)
Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots.
Thank you Readers!
Thanks for visiting! I’m going to keep doing everything possible to keep the helpful content coming, and FREE FOR EVERYONE… but I need your help. Please chip in by making a small monthly contribution to keep this site alive & growing. $4.96 will buy a sweet Pack ‘o Dingers, and with it, I promise to catch many bass in your honor. Thanks. You are a gentleman & a scholar! -AJ
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