Spring is the time to clean up on bluegills, especially large males in spawning mode. Males move from deep water to the shallows for spawning when water temperatures move above 60 degrees. Bluegill fishing in Pennsylvania is at its best in the spring during the spawn. Bluegill spawning activity is the greatest when water temperatures are between 70 and 75 degrees. This is when males dig spawning beds, or redds, in anticipation of a suitable mate. The bite during this time is intense. Males attack anything entering their redds and as soon as one male bluegill is caught another is waiting to take his place.
Crappies are one of the best fighting and best eating panfish around. Anglers targeting these fish on lakes are in for a rewarding fishing experience. Unlike bass that require a variety of tackle, these fish can be caught on fairly simple crappie fishing lures and basic tackle setups. Crappie fishing 101, for those just starting out or for those more experienced anglers, can get you back to basic crappie fishing tips for catching more of them this year.
Do you think you are an elite panfish angler? The Northeast Panfish League (NEPL) gives all anglers the ability to prove it. Started in 2013 by Greg Martin, the NEPL offers competitive fishing events exclusively for panfish for all anglers willing to put their skills up against some of the best. The NEPL is an open league, open to all anglers, not a closed member organization. Competitions are held year round in both open and ice covered waters drawing both local and out of state anglers. The NEPL is more than a panfish tournament series, it provides a great atmosphere to meet like minded anglers, share fishing tales and learn new techniques. As the NEPL grows so does its reach. Major sponsors are now supportive to these events, providing anglers with first looks into new fishing products and existing great fishing gear.
Northeast Panfish League is preparing for its expansion in 2016 due to the overwhelming interest in panfish tournaments. The Ice Master Elite series will begin in 2016 and offer tournaments geared more towards the professional angler. These events will have higher entry fees but offer much higher payouts than current NEPL tournaments.
If your not a bass tournament angler or just looking for an fun way to meet fishing buddies and fish competitively, then join the next NEPL panfish tournament. Upcoming events can be found on our fishing events page or by visiting the Northeast Panfish League website. NEPL can also be found on Facebook and Youtube where you can keep current with panfish techniques and awesome fishing videos.
- Phil Manning (FISH THIS)