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OK

So, I have been fishing(not saying I am any good) for many years now. And I NEVER have much luck in the summer. This morning I went down to Simpkins pond, with a cat rod(No2 Circle hook and cut minnows) on a bottom rig, and a standard rod with a float, no 6 circle and a live minnow. Was out there for three hours and caught one FAT bull head. I need to change tactics and would like some suggestions on new tactics for summer fishing from the banks, I fish mostly live bait, for Panfish and Cats but at this point I am willing to target anything.
 

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Red X Angler
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Summer heat is HARD on fish. it lowers the oxygen levels and causes bacterias to flourish as well. They get slower and feed less. They will try to find the cooler places to hide such as deep water or structure that sheilds the rays of the sun. If you are fishing a pond they have limited places to hide so they will make do as best they can by becoming dormant or by staying in the areas where the pond gets its water source such as springs above or below ground and runoff ditches. Bait will almost have to be in their face to trigger a response especially with Bass/Crappie. Early AM is the best time since the water has cooled overnight. By early, I mean, use a flashlight to find your spot and be casting as soon as you can make out the objects on the water. As afr as cats, night is best and stink baits, live bait, chicken livers are best because they send out scent to call cats in and in the case of live bait vibrations in the water to attract as well as live baits ability to cover more area if you can use limited weight and allow it to roam around either under a bobber or on a live rig on the bottom.
I don't know your areas so I can't be more specific.
 

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How do you do the live rig on the bottom? Also, I'm sure everyone has a different way of doing this but I'd like to get some of ya'lls oppinions on how to rig a minnow (as so to ensure they wiggle longer)? Normally I go through the eyes, this tends to keep them alive for a little while. I've done the back but it seems to kill or paralyze them and the lips are just too weak (they get thrown when casting).

As far as summer pond fishing, other than what sundrop has posted, if you are out in the heat, and god bless you if you are, I would bring some worms or Gulp Maggots :p and go for bream. They seem to eat no matter when.
 

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Sundrop pretty much nailed it but there is one other good time. Normally there are thunderstorms in the afternoon/ evening hours on a pretty regular basis. A good hard rain will oxygenate the water as well as cool it down. It will also wash bugs & etc. into the water. Pretty much got to be there while it is raining and get out and go fishing as soon as the rain stops but fish will gather in the places where the run off enters the pond. Fish close to the banks in those spots. (Look for muddy water) Creek mouths and high runoff places in rivers are pretty good bets for cats in that situation. Again fish the muddy water. One on bottom and one near the surface .
 

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Very early morning, very late evening and night unless you have a boat and can get offshore in the middle of the day where they suspend on the thermocline.
 

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Red X Angler
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Sinker, thanks for filling in the blanks. I've done some of my best shore fishing in and after the rain!!
I hook minnows up thought the bottom jaw and out of one eye socket just under the eye. The jawbone keeps the hook from pulling out and the eye socket lets the hook pass out without hurting anything major to kill them. if you back hook them you have to make sure you miss the spine or it paralyzes them...
Yes, bream are by far the most temperature/oxygen tolerant of panfish and most fish in general it seems along with Gar, Bowfin,Carp, Flathead cats.
 

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You can also hook them between the anal fin and the tail for bottom fishing. You can get a deep bite with your hook there and not worry about hitting anything. Just keep your hook below the backbone. I use both methods but the one Sundrop described is the way to go in current. If there is no current, try them both to see which the fish prefer, if you like.
 

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I forgot all about gar fishing, everyone thinks of them as a nasty fish but they fight like crazy. I love it. I used to fish a stream for bass in the morning and when it warmed up the long nose gar would be on the move.
 

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Hm... This might be incredibly left-field.... but....

If oxygen is such a problem (or rather, lack thereof), is it worth considering, or hunting for, some means of oxygenating the water while you're fishing? Kinda like chumming? Could you throw out some kind of air hose, let the end sink, and let it bubble while you're fishing?
 

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Red X Angler
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I don't think it would be beneficial in a short term situation. It would need to build up over a larger area to acclimate the fish in my opinion.
 

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Red X Angler
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gar want their bait live and love minnows suspended near the surface with a bobber. They will ease off with the bait so you have to give them time to work the bait down their snout. They are hard to hook so if I am intentionally fishing for them I use a #2-#4 treble hook. You'll have more of them with the line wrapped around the snout than actually hooked, but it works.
 
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I would get a 6" or 8" wire leader and put a bobber right above that, put a minnow on and cast out. When they strike it, let them run for awhile (I'll even release the spool), guaging the amount is experience driven. when I worked for Petsmart I studied the needle fish they have, same as gar. They would grab the feeder fish in their mouth and run around, then they would line it up and swallow it.

Warning: it gets annoying how often you set the hook too early or the get off but they put up a good fight in-between "normal" fishing
 

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Red X Angler
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any size minnow, but a good med-large works well. I use crappie minnows too. They actually dont have large mouths so keep it resonable. I dont use shad or "shiners" I buy minnows. They seem active even midday when nothing else is.. They like 2-5ft water but they also enjoy a moving current so they are flexible. Alot of the tailing and splashing you see when your fishing is actually Gar playing around even though you always want to think it is a bass..LOL..
 

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Sorry didn't see the second page, simply repeated sundrop. I don't remember what specific size, I think bass minnows. I normally fished for them all afternoon, they will cruise up and down. They'll come in and bite your bait, if you miss then they will be back in 20 minutes or so. They taunt you by popping the top of the water.

If you go down to the bank, I normally get the best results if you can cast to the bank on the other side.

I've caught bass, gar, panfish, crappie, bowfin, and even a pike down their.
 
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