I went to Lake Athens this morning. It has been far too long since I have put the float tube on it and it felt really good to get on the water again. As is usually the case, this lake was good to me but it took a little time to get into them.
Normally on this lake I can catch all the sunfish I want with a piece of night crawler about 3 ft under a float. And in that sense today was a normal day. But there was an issue; all I could get with this system today were little ones about 3-4 inches long. I know there are better fish there so I had to play around to find them. I took the float off and tied on a 1/16th oz gig head and tipped it with a piece of crawler and fished off the bottom. This worked a little better and the fish were bigger but the fish were hitting really light and if I didn’t hook them they dropped the bait.
I decided the problem was the weight. I’ve seen the same thing for trout in my native CO so I decided to use a trout tactic on the sunfish. I took off all weight and tied on a thin wire hook and a piece of crawler and cast it out, letting it slowly fall to the bottom. Once on the bottom I brought it in using 3 or 4 inch strips of the line like a fly fisherman. That worked. They began to hit like caged rattlers. I quit counting at 25 sunfish. Also got a couple crappie that were too short and a small bass.
I kept 6 fish for supper. The smallest is a little over 6 inches long and was bleeding so I had to keep it. The biggest taped just shy of an honest 10 inches. They have a date with the bacon grease and the cornmeal later tonite.