Tough Travel Sight Fishing

Tough Travel Sight Fishing

By: Bryan Myers, In-Depth Outdoors Pro

One of my favorite techniques for chasing panfish is sight fishing in clear water. It’s something I have done for years but I never feel like I spend enough time doing it. It’s something that works for me late in the year even when the snow gets deep.

I will use my Marcum Recon to locate fish normally in or around weeds. It can be harder later in the year to find the weeds that aren’t dead and are holding fish but when you find them it can be really fun. Once I’ve located the fish I will dig in the Otter and bust out the Tuned Up Customs maestro.

I am normally a run and gun guy but sight fishing is so fun and when the snow is deep it’s a great way to hunker down. I choose the maestro mainly because of its short length. That is key when you’re setting almost right on top of the hole and you don’t want to have to fish with your arm next to or behind you so you can fish centered in the hole. The maestro, having a touch stiffer tip than the Noodle allows for the quicker taper to the backbone, which when that finicky big bull Gill grabs your jig you want that hook to dig in quick.

Bryan lives in northwestern Wisconsin, where he spends most of the cold months targeting crappies and bluegills. “My specialty is probably catching basin crappies, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for sight fishing bluegills.” His home water is pretty much anywhere in northwestern Wisconsin, he says, “but I spend more time on the Island Chain and Long Lake than most of the rest.”

During the open-water season you’ll likely find Bryan chasing largemouth and smallmouth while competing in as many bass tournaments as he can. “As far as go-to summer techniques are concerned I really like to fish offshore structure with crank baits, jigs and Carolina Rigs,” he says.