Need advice lures or artificial bait for redbreast sunfish - East Tennessee Fishing

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Old 06-27-2011, 06:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Here's the situation there's a large school of redbreast sunfish where I fish for bass and when the bass get lockjaw I like to go after the sunfish just to catch something. Thing is only thing I've ever caught those sunfish on are bits of nightcrawler.. They are staying at about 6 inches underwater so spinners and jigs aren't getting their attention. I am not buying nightcrawlers since I only go have the sunnies if the bass are being finicky. I've tried popeye flies, every topwater lure I own including floating grasshopper lure and all they do is stare at the treble hooks. Trout & Crappie Magnets, Trout dough, crappie nibbles and salmon eggs don't get their attention. Oh and the Powerbait fake earthworms in a jar do not fool them either. What can I catch them with that is not live bait since I want something I can carry in my bag at all times? These guys are driving me crazy...nobody else I've seen attempting can catch them either. BTW-why does a brown trout school with these sunnies? Its the weirdest thing he always stays in the center of the school like they were his bodyguards. I've been watching him for two months.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Beetle Spin?
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tsalagi View Post
Here's the situation there's a large school of redbreast sunfish where I fish for bass and when the bass get lockjaw I like to go after the sunfish just to catch something. Thing is only thing I've ever caught those sunfish on are bits of nightcrawler.. They are staying at about 6 inches underwater so spinners and jigs aren't getting their attention. I am not buying nightcrawlers since I only go have the sunnies if the bass are being finicky. I've tried popeye flies, every topwater lure I own including floating grasshopper lure and all they do is stare at the treble hooks. Trout & Crappie Magnets, Trout dough, crappie nibbles and salmon eggs don't get their attention. Oh and the Powerbait fake earthworms in a jar do not fool them either. What can I catch them with that is not live bait since I want something I can carry in my bag at all times? These guys are driving me crazy...nobody else I've seen attempting can catch them either. BTW-why does a brown trout school with these sunnies? Its the weirdest thing he always stays in the center of the school like they were his bodyguards. I've been watching him for two months.


I say just give in and buy the nightcrawlers. They will keep for months (NO KIDDING) in your fridge as long as you keep them cool while your out fishing (small lunch box with an ice pack). You might as well buy the real worms because that is WAY cheaper than buying all kinds of artificial lures just for bluegills. And with real worms they will always bite. I do have a rebel crickhopper. It always gets a bluegill bite for me on just about every lake, but you can't swim it, you just gotta twitch it and "walk the dog" with it (keep it moving but not swimming). Green is the best color for me. Oh and it has to be REBEL name brand, Bass Pro cricket DOES not work. Not sure about the brown trout....sure it's not a small bass?
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Beetle Spin?


Beetlespins go too deep. They are barely 6 inches underwater. Do you have any luck on Beetles? I've never caught anything on them.
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I say just give in and buy the nightcrawlers. They will keep for months (NO KIDDING) in your fridge as long as you keep them cool while your out fishing (small lunch box with an ice pack). You might as well buy the real worms because that is WAY cheaper than buying all kinds of artificial lures just for bluegills. And with real worms they will always bite. I do have a rebel crickhopper. It always gets a bluegill bite for me on just about every lake, but you can't swim it, you just gotta twitch it and "walk the dog" with it (keep it moving but not swimming). Green is the best color for me. Oh and it has to be REBEL name brand, Bass Pro cricket DOES not work. Not sure about the brown trout....sure it's not a small bass?


I used a Rebel Crickhopper and they would not take it. ... I was surprised. They just would go up to it, see the hooks then turn around and race in other direction. Livebait just isn't doable because I often fish after driving 20 miles to my gym which is in another town working out several hours, then doing some shopping or visit family then stop to fish in evening on way home. So I'm not going to cart around nightcrawlers all day. The car gets so hot inside anyway. Surely there has to be something artificial that works?? Do those Berkley Gulp maggots and wax worms in a jar work? The nightcrawlers in jar do not. I don't think the brown trout is a bass.... and it has same markings/look underwater as the young brown trout I caught further up the river a few months ago. It doen't seem shaped right for even a young bass. I got it on a Trout Magnet once and lost it because I tried to set hook too soon.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Have you tried a Lil Skunk? also your running out of time to throw a black fly behind a twist bubble bobber (I think that what they are called, they are a clear inline bobber that you slide up your line and twist it to keep in place about 2-3 foot in front of a fly like you would cast with a fly rod I suggest a small black fly or black spider.) your other choice is to take a couple of hotdogs with you from the fridge in the morning. You just cut them in small pieces thread them on a hook and cast them into the school and watch them sink you bobber. Good luck.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Try a 2 inch powergrub with a 1/16 oz blk jighead works good in very shallow water pumkinseed is a good color,a good natural bait is the bag worm sunfish will swim around a worm and around a sm minnow or hot dog to get to a bagworm. this is the best brim bait on the planet like stick bait for trout this is the secret bait. What is a bagworm? on cedar trees female bagworms use cedar needles to make a teardrop shape cocoon the female spends its whole life in this while the male morfs into a small moth and flies away.Once you know what to look for you will find areas that have cedars with bags every year the cool thing is they are much cleaner than crawlers, just need razor knife to cut bags open,they can go in your shirt pocket in a brown lunch bag works good they are good about hot and cold temps and live for a very long time,all fish love em, use a wire hook and thread hook worm. I know a few places in sevier co that always have bagworms if you find some now and keep them from freezing they will last most of the winter(some bags are duds about 10%) your only problem may be keeping the brownie off the bagworm all fish LOVE BAGWORMS!!!
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