Bedding patterns of fish

Published 6:27 pm Friday, April 15, 2011

We expect the panfish to bed during the month of April each year. There have been times in the past that the shellcracker have bedded in March, but that has not happened much lately.

Also, many years have seen the panfish not bed in April, or if they did, it wasn’t much to the first bedding because of the cold.

In 2011 we should get closer to normal than we have been in a while. All that warmer-than-normal weather in February followed by March has seen the water temperature rise more than we had expected and the panfish should bed quite good around the full moon in April.

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Folks have said they have caught shellcracker earlier in the month around the new moon and some good ones too. But that is something that can happen and more times than not the shellcracker will bed a moon or two ahead of the bream, but when they both get started, you as the fisherman will catch both even on the quarter moons as well as the major moons until they catch up with their bedding. Bedding will continue on until at least September or until the weather begins to turn cool.

Of course later in the summer we expect to catch the panfish bedding on the major moons and especially the full moon. This past weekend the 25 fish limits seemed to weigh better than a pound a fish. One fellow got on some that weighed 2 pounds each, but he did not find many. It really doesn’t matter much as a shellcracker weighing over 2 pounds is something to brag about. This lake has given up some over 3 pounds. The old world record was caught over in Marianna, Fla., so this area is known for producing big shellcracker.

Almost every tackle store in town has stocked up on telescopic poles in making ready for the bedding season. I have seen the stacks start to go down in numbers. A good bedding season could wipe out a large stockpile of poles and that is what we want. Those store owners buy all this stuff and expect to sell it during April and May. We really want them to be successful so that next year they will again stock up for us ahead of the spring bedding season. If everything goes according to plan, the store owners will make a nice profit and we will eat a lot of fish saving on the grocery bill. You may think about giving the grocery store guy a good mess of fish to help him out.

My brother-in-law went camping last weekend and took his youngest daughter’s boyfriend with him. The camping area was full so they were not the only ones to get out and enjoy nature in the outdoors. They put out a trot line to help catch some fish and caught enough to feed themselves. I know that this Saturday afternoon we are having a family get-together and are having hamburgers. So I know they did not catch an over abundance of fish, but did have a lot of fun. Camping this time of year can cause you to encounter a snake or two and also it is turning warm and almost hot. I prefer to camp in the winter when the snake encounters are minimal and the sweating is something that you are glad you don’t do.

The bass fishing boys have been having themselves a fine time these last few weeks and most especially when they could get out on the lake with the wind down to a tolerable state. That is one thing we have to contend with in the late winter and early spring—the wind.

Lucky folks can find good fishing on the back side of an island. I hadn’t been lucky as the fish I have found are out in the open. Any fish is a good fish to hang in to when you find the time to go. Working folks have to go when they can and that is surely the best time.