Saturday, December 3, 2011

Filling the Freezer with Panfish

Fishing Time: Fri. - 1-2 p.m., Sat. - 9 - 11 a.m.
Weather: Cold, calm, clear, high 30's
Moon Phase: 62% Moon
Location: Utah Lake
Bait: worms on hook, no weight
Who Went: John, MeI had a half day off yesterday, so I talked to Johnny Leach and mulled over a few areas we could go to wet a line for a few hours and land some fish. I’m on a new kick to fill my freezer with fish after realizing that I eat more fish than any other meat and have always bought it from the store, all while releasing the fish I catch myself! Duh!

I was telling John about years past and how I’ve done really well at Utah Lake during this time of year for big bluegill and figured it could be a good start to filling the deep freeze with a few fillets. It didn’t take long to talk John into that idea, as bluegill is his favorite type of fish to catch. We decided to hit my secret bass hole I found this spring that ended up not being a secret at all. I tried to fish it multiple times through the summer only to find 4 boats smashed in there.I figured it might be full of bluegill this time of year and I ended up being right. We caught them almost every cast! They weren’t small either, measuring 7-10 inches!We kept 32 of them and hit the road early to make sure we had enough daylight to fillet them all. After filleting them, John asked me if I was down for round 2 the next morning. I thought about it and figured why not fill the freezer while the opportunity is there!

Today was more of the same. I did land one small largemouth which was nice for a change.We harvested 60 bluegill, which filled one 5-gallon bucket, and kept us busy with the fillet knife for about an hour and a half. When we were done we had 2 overfilled gallon baggies full of fillets. We divided them up equally and with all the fillets I got today, plus the ones from yesterday, I had enough bluegill to make about 6 large family size meals for the deep freezer!True to tradition any time I fillet fish at my house, we always treat Duke to one fish and watch him suck it down in about 3 seconds. That dog will eat anything!I told Cari my goal is to become a fish hoarder and have nothing but fish in our big freezer in the garage! She didn’t go for it!

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