Ontario Fishing Network E-Magazine

Ontario Fishing Network

Volume 11,  Issue 2 - Feb. 2011



Fishing for Tyler


Persuasive Panfish Tactics
By Tim Allard

2011 Spring Fishing & Boat Show!

Summer Muskies Pt 1/6
by Pete Maina

Facts of Fishing
WEBCUT - Muskie FishingL

Off the Dock
Boys' Night Out at the Watering Hole. by Phil Harrison and Maureen Shelleau

Lookout Point Camp
Comfort and fishing in Gowganda, Ontario

Rob Hyatts Nipissing Ice Bungalows
Stay overnight on Lake Nipissing

Winter Perch Fishing
By: Tyler Dunn

Two Great Fishing Events!
Fishing for Tyler and Perchin' for MS

Product Showcase
HandleBarz Muskie Lures

Get North!
Stressed? need a vacation?  Visit Get North to find your Northern Ontario get-away!

Fishing Lodge Classifieds
Come fish your heart out at one of these many Lodges, Camps and Resorts.

Facts of Fishing

French River Fishing

Ontario Campgrounds

Ontario Ice Fishing

Tim AllardPersuasive Panfish Plastics
By Tim Allard*

Soft-plastics are becoming fan favourites with hard-water panfish stalkers. Lifelike profiles, irresistible actions, and durability are a sampling of the reasons whey more anglers are opting to use artificials instead of live bait. Perch, crappie and sunfish can be tempted into slurping in soft-plastics whether aggressively feeding or inactive.

Persuasive on Perch
A curious lot, yellow perch often fall victim to soft-plastics. Minnows, tubes, and various buggy specimens in the 1.5- to 2-inch range are common baits. Iím a long-time fan of Berkleyís Atomic Teaser Tubes for jigging both suspending and bottom-hugging perch. The spiral decent of these baits is especially effective at both attracting these fish and seducing them to strike. Two other noteworthy invertebrate imitators thatíll catch perch and other panfish are the Mister Twister Micro Mania Nymph and Micro Crawfish.

A new star in my panfish jigging line-up is the Northland Scud Bug. The baitís profile is designed to mimic freshwater shrimp, or scuds, which are a frequent menu item for perch in winter. In addition to a realistic profile, the plastic also features a hinged tail that flutters and kicks with the slightest rod tip quiver. This flapping appendageís highly potent at triggering hits from fish.

Platics for Panfish

Working the Water Column
When fishing plastics I swim the offering down the water column to try and attract fish in the area. After it reaches bottom I snap the rod with a few short lifts to bang the floor a couple times. This creates a silt cloud and is a sure-fire tactic to attract perch and other panfish. Then I raise the jig up by foot increments back to the surface, working in pauses and the occasional back-step. If I donít mark any other fish, or Iíve caught the biters out of the area, itís on to the next hole.

Functionality in Frigid Conditions
Another selling point of soft-plastics is that you donít need to babysit them like live bait, which is particularly a benefit in extremely cold. Bitter temperatures are common in midwinter, a period notorious for inactive fish. The knee-jerk reaction when dealing with fussy panfish is using a maggot or a waxworm tipped jig. Unfortunately, in nasty winter conditions live bait left on a lure when hole-hopping in search of biters will quickly freeze, eliminating its appeal. Frozen live bait requires re-baiting, causing fishing downtime and frozen fingers. Soft-plastics are more efficient and just as effective way to finesse fish.

Persuasive Profiles
Itís not just the anti-freeze trait that makes these springy artificials effective for winter crappie. Todayís products are extremely subtle and deliver a fluid, natural action when jigged. Moulding techniques have evolved to produce extremely lifelike baits that imitate a range of buggy organisms panfish frequently dine on. Additionally, some soft-plastics arenít designed with flawless realism as the objective. Instead these baits are more akin to genetically engineered super-food and loaded with finesse features, such as added scent, to coerce hits from snobby panfish.

Ice fishing for PerchA Spectrum of Hues
Another benefit is baits come in an array of coolers. I prefer a white, glow, or hot coloured bait to trigger bites from fussy customers inhabiting dark waters. In clear water natural hues (red, brown, black, and green) can be quite productive. Two-tone patterns as well as infused glitter also boosts the edge plastics have over the plain patterns of live bait.

Tantalizing Tails
Hard-baits have flash, roll and rattles, but they canít compete with a soft-plasticís tail when it comes to a natural swimming action. The motion of this appendage is one of the biggest advantages of plastics. This applies to many species, but the wispy micro tail of a micro plastic is particularly lethal at fooling sunfish.

Witnessing a bait-bluegill standoff when sight-fishing is nerve wracking. When inactive, these fish will scrutinize baits worse than a ill tempered food critic. Presentation and profile must be flawless. Micro-plastics are frequently the miracle meal.

Deadly for Droppers
Soft-plastics also work on a myriad of dropper rigs. A small worm, bug, or minnow are excellent baits to tip a drop shot hook or to dress a dropper line dangling beneath a spoon or ice jig. Unlike live bait that can quickly be picked away by panfish, plastics are more resilient and stay on a hook longer. This gives anglers more time in the strike zone with an effective presentation to try and tempt fussy customers.

Soft-plastics can conjure up bites from even the most subdued panfish in winter. There are plenty of products available on the market, so be sure to try these pliable baits this ice season.

*Tim Allard of Ottawa, Ontario is a hard-water expert and author-photographer of the newly released book, Ice Fishing: The Ultimate Guide. For more information visit: www.helipress.com/product/ice-fishing-138.cfm

Editors & Publishers
T.J. & Monique Quesnel
The Ontario Fishing Network E-Magazine is published 12 times a year on or near the beginning of every month. Our magazine is geared to any angler who enjoys fishing of any type in the wonderfully diverse province of Ontario. Editorial Submissions: We welcome query letters, but assume no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Subscriptions: Subscriptions are FREE of charge and delivered via email.  You can subscribe HERE:  Privacy Policy: Unlike other publications We NEVER make our subscribers list (your email address) available to any other companies. Advertising: If you are interested in advertising please email us. Circulation - 12,000  email subscribers © 2010  Due North Marketing / Ontario Fishing Network / T.J. Quesnel. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material without prior written permission strictly prohibited.