Posted by Kerry Grissett on May 07, 2006 at 09:03:39:
In Reply to: Re: Guntersville Shellcracker posted by Whaler on May 07, 2006 at 08:44:41:
Depending on the size of the bed I can usually catch quite a bit more than 2 or 3 before they spook or "get wise" to the artificials. One thing is to try and work the beds from the outside in. That is, try to catch fish from the outer limit of the bed closest to you first so that you aren't dragging fish directly through the bed. Also, something as simple as dropping something in the boat can spook them so be a quiet as possible when you are on or near a bed. That last part is very important in my opinion. I have seen many people bream fishing and having a good old time making lots of noise. When I see what they have caught later, it is usually smaller fish and not as many as other quieter/more experienced bream fishermen in the area.
As for artificial baits, I have never had much luck with the squirrel tail jigs. My best luck lhas been with the Keystone minnow (and similar or look-a-likes), small beetle spins, tiny crawdads and a few homemade jigs such as one which sort of imitates a redworm.
However, in most cases when I go after bluegill and shellcrackers, I always have crickets and red worms. Many times I simply use the artificials to locate a good bed because I can cover a large area more quickly, then switch to the live bait.
A good bed of fish can stop hitting artificials for a wide variety of reasons but will usually keep hitting the live bait. Especially the red worms for shellcrackers. And even a spooked bed will turn back on if you have enough patience.
Good luck and good fishin'
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