Hooking grubs for crappies and sunfish
For years, dedicated readers and attendees at my seminars have
heard me explain that I always hook maggots through the beveled
end. That’s changing a bit, but one rule that’s not changing is the
need for a sharp hook. Why? Because you want to pierce that outer
skin on your grub, not annhilate it.
I take my hook and slip it just a fraction of an inch from the top,
then slide it upward. By sliding along the upper portion of the
grub, we’ve secured it well, yet most of the grub is hanging
straight down. These are small baits, so we don’t need to worry
about them being stolen and constant rebaiting.
With our large waxworms, we will deal more with small fish stealing
our bait. Therefore, to secure it better, I’ll run the hook into
the center brown tip, threading it onto the shaft so half the waxie
is hanging below the bend and the rest is coming up to the eyelet
of the lure. That will keep sunnies from pulling off the waxworm,
and minimizes short bites.
Another live bait tip for winter panfish: Generally you’ll find two
to three sizes of waxworms in a container. In a tough bite, pick
out the smaller waxies. Always, and I mean always, use the freshest
bait possible. Don’t use brown ones or gray ones. Your bait needs
to be fresh. Replace the bait often, and don’t just leave it out
there, because you’ll lose scent and the lure/bait profile.
I replace my bait often and switch between waxies and maggots.
We’re trying to match what the fish want, because if you’re marking
fish, there’s a way to catch them.
A final point about picky panfish:. When a fish approaches my bait,
I give it no more than 2 to 3 minutes to take it, then I move on,
and drop my lure down to start working other fish. Sometimes that
one I start to ignore will quickly swoop in and grab my bait, and
even if he doesn’t it’s time to move on.