Monthly Archives: April 2023

BROSDAHL ON SPRINGTIME PANFISH – Catch More Good Eating Panfish In the Springtime


Brosdahl on Springtime Panfish

Brian “Bro” Brosdahl shares strategies for hunting early-season open-water bluegills, crappies, and perch 

from St Croix Rods

Like big, saucer-shaped panfish? If so, you’re kith and kin to Max, Minnesota’s most-famous resident, Brian “Bro” Brosdahl. The prolific fishing guide with a penchant for all things panfish has been on the leading edge of bluegill, crappie, and perch-fishing techniques and innovations for well over two decades now. 

While Bro pursues panfish year-‘round, he gets particularly giddy come ice out. “Wintertime sticks around for a long time in Northern Minnesota,” the St. Croix pro says. “While you’ve always got something going on beneath the ice, most northern anglers I know are eager to make the switch to open-water fishing as soon as the ice goes out.” And for good reason. Bro says the months of April, May, and June bring some of the best panfishing conditions and opportunities of the entire year.

“Of course you’ve got the unique aspects of the spawn – perch and crappies first and then the ‘gills – but those details aside, the common denominator for springtime panfishing is shallow water,” Bro advises. “It’s the first water to warm, so it’s where the weeds get growing and where concentrations of bait begin to get active. As a result, it’s where the panfish want to be, too.” 

Bro says he spends ample time covering warming, shallow-water flats by casting micro jigs early in the season. “I’m looking for any weed growth,” he says. “The fish I’m hunting are often scattered in less than six feet of water. I’m usually searching with a Northland Thumper Jig or a Fire-Fly Jig tipped with a wax worm or a small crappie minnow.” Bro says he rigs with eight-pound Sunline green braid with a four-pound fluoro leader. His rod of choice is a 7’ light power, extra-fast action St. Croix spinning rod. 

“Anglers familiar with St. Croix’s Panfish Series and Legend Elite Panfish Series rods know how good the 70LXF models are at bombing light jigs on light line, but they may not yet be familiar with the 70LXF model in the new Avid Series Panfish lineup (ASPS70LXF),” Bro posits. “This take on the most-versatile length, power, and action panfish rod ever made features a lighter and stronger new SCIII+ carbon blank, plus an all-new Seaguide Delta TYG guide train… they’re slightly triangular in shape, which seems stranger than the Thursday-night karaoke crowd at the bar down the street from my house… until you cast them. I’m casting the light jigs I use 20% to 25% farther on these new TYG-equipped Avid Panfish rods, which is a huge benefit when you’re searching spooky fish in shallow, clear water that’s largely devoid of weeds.”

Bro says fish pushing shallow into warmer water are generally just following bottom contours wherever the conditions suit them. That’s why he uses the sonar tools at his disposal to find them. “You can pull up on a springtime panfish flat and easily spook fish if you don’t know where they’re at,” he says. I’ll use my Talon shallow-water anchor instead of my trolling motor to minimize the disruption.” 

To expedite the search, Bro employs a one-two punch of Humminbird 360 and Mega Live sonar. “I’ll scan with the 360 to locate the communities, then investigate each school more closely with Mega Live see if the fish have any size,” he says. “The Mega Live is attached to Ultrex trolling motor, so it’s a drop-it-and-go deal. It helps me to home in on the bigger individuals avoid the small ones.” Bro says 360 also greatly helps in understanding the shape of the weedlines, plus any cribs or brush piles he encounters. “I keep the grid visible on my screen so I know how far to cast, which is very important with any kind of  forward viewing,” he says.  “It’s fun to watch the fish react to the bait when the water warms. They get very aggressive and competitive which is great news for the angler. I’ve noticed the fish following the lure usually misses out and isn’t the one that ends up hitting the jig. It’s also a great tool for keeping your jig or hooked panfish away from pike.” 

Once Bro finds the size and concentrations of fish he’s after, he’ll go to a shorter 6’4” Avid Panfish rod (ASPS64LF) with a tiny jig presented beneath a slip bobber. “I’ll use six-pound mono with a four-pound fluoro leader and a Northland Lite Bite slip bobber,” Bro reports. “If you get hung up, you want your leader to break instead of your main line so you can get back in the game that much faster. I like the Lite Bite bobbers because they are slightly weighted with a brass grommet so you don’t need any other weight on your leader. That really reduces tangles and other frustrations when casting this rig,“ he says.

Before there’s any significant weed growth in the shallows, Bro often follows beaver activity to panfish nirvana. “I often do better on beaver chew – the loose branches floating around – than on the dams themselves,” he says. “I’m looking hard at anything significant enough to provide some cover. Of course, the deeper runways leading to the dams hold fish and the dams do, too. They’re just a bit trickier to fish because the fish are often tucked up all the way into the dam.” 

Once green weeds start to sprout on the shallow flats, Bro says the crappies, bluegills and perch spread out a bit and become a bit less spooky, especially when there’s some wave action. “ Once the water warms up a bit the fish move closer to the surface,” Bro says. “Lakes with patches of rushes or cane in three-to-six feet of water become hot. That’s when I become a crane operator,” says Bro, referring to the use of the 9’ model in St. Croix’s Avid Panfish, Panfish, and Legend Elite Panfish series. “I can pitch and even drop vertically into the openings in the rushes,” he says. “Even though they may still be rotten from the winter, they’re still strong enough to break your line. A long rod allows me to drop into the voids and pluck and pull ‘gills, crappies, and perch straight up so I can fight them on the surface to avoid tangles and break-offs.” Bro says Fire-Fly feather jigs in pink/white, greens, black/yellow bring him consistent results when “craning”, adding that small plastics work great, too, as do ice fishing lures like a Bro Mudbug tipped with waxies. 

Bro says once the weeds really start growing, they represent the best options for finding mature, springtime panfish. “Invasive milfoil grows really quickly in the springtime, and once it’s up the fish never really leave it,” he says. “It can be difficult to fish, but it’s easiest when it’s only up about three to four feet off the bottom. I like a shorter rod like the 5’6” Legend Elite Panfish of the 6’ Avid Panfish when jigging in the weeds. I’m often fishing vertically right in the sonar cone so I can watch what’s happening. The fish aren’t scared down there in that thick stuff, but subtle presentations still rule. I’m just moving my rod tip with micro-movements.” 

Wherever you’re located, the coming weeks and months represent prime panfishing. Follow Bro’s advice, try some of his favored panfish techniques, and make sure you’re geared up with rods that give you the upper hand on the water. All-new Avid Series Panfish rods consist of nine technique-minded spinning models in angler-preferred lengths, powers and actions to support today’s evolving panfish presentations that demand fast, accurate, sensitive, and forgiving tips, as well as a firm backbone. Pitch and swim, dipping, jigging and swimming microplastics, under spins, bobber rigging, micro-crankbaits, dock shooting and more; all are supported by Avid Series Panfish via advanced St. Croix design, vertical manufacturing, and precise and prideful handcraftsmanship on US soil. Models range from 6’ to 9’ in length with ultralight to medium-light powers and fast to extra-fast actions. Prices start at $200 with a 15-year warranty.




Brunswick Woman Lands New State Record Vermilion Snapper

Brunswick, Ga. – The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that a new state record has been set for the heaviest vermilion snapper (Rhomboplites aururubens) caught by a woman angler. The record-setting fish was caught by Stacey T. Pope of Brunswick on April 7, and weighed 5 pounds, 5.56 ounces, breaking the previous record of 3 pounds, 14.4 ounces set in 2018 by Alli DeYoung of Savannah.

Pope caught the vermilion snapper while fishing offshore near Artificial Reef DW approximately 70 miles east of Sapelo Island. She was bottom fishing with a 7-foot Eureka Charter Special rod and Avet SX G2 reel terminating with a knocker rig baited with menhaden. She was accompanied by licensed charter guide Capt. Quentin Van Heerden of Eureka Charters. Her catch was weighed on a certified scale at City Market on Gloucester Street in Brunswick.

According to Pope, she was surprised to catch such a large fish and was thrilled when she learned that she had set a new state record.

“It was amazing to catch the fish,” said Pope. “It was a little scary, but it was exciting. We just bought a boat in December, and this was only our third time offshore fishing. It’s a lot of fun, I love it.”

DNR’s Coastal Resources Division (CRD), which oversees the Georgia Saltwater Game Fish Records Program, congratulated Pope on her achievement and provided her with a state record certificate signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, DNR Commissioner Mark Williams, and CRD Director Doug Haymans. Pope’s name will be eligible to appear in the 2024 Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations Guide and has been added to the state saltwater records list online at

DNR reminds all anglers to follow best practices for ethical and responsible fishing, including proper handling and release of fish that are not intended for consumption.

The new state record for vermilion snapper is a testament to the fishing in Georgia and the skills of the state’s anglers. DNR encourages all anglers to continue practicing safe and responsible fishing and to report any potential record-setting catches to the DNR for verification.

Anglers in Georgia are required to have a valid recreational fishing license, free Saltwater Information Program permit, and to follow size and possession limits for various species. State saltwater record rules and regulations can be found at

For more information about fishing regulations in Georgia, please visit

Red snapper are different

I Am the NRA and A Law Abiding Gun Owner – Until They Make Me a Criminal

    I am the NRA.

    For years I had that bumper sticker on my truck and it is true. I became a life member in the 1980s, joining about 5,000,000 other like minded gun owners.  When politicians, taking heads and others claim I am responsible for shooting deaths, I take it personally.

    Contrary to the hype, half-truths and outright lies about the NRA, it is the oldest civil rights organization in the United States.  It was started by two Union Army officers in 1871 to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.”  This was in response to the awful marksmanship of union soldiers in the Civil War.

    Safety has always been a prime concern of the NRA and many free programs are offered to promote gun safety.  The Eddie Eagle Program has been locally to teach kids to stay away from guns unless an adult is present.  Gun range safety gets funded through various NRA programs, and many law enforcement gun training programs are directly supported by the NRA.

The organization has evolved to protect the 2nd Amendment rights of citizens as they have come under fire. After its founding the NRA quickly got involved in stopping Jim Crow laws that prohibited blacks from owning guns.

    When gun banners whine about the power of “The Gun Industry” through the NRA, they are being specious. The power of the NRA lies in its 5,000,000 members.  It is fairly easy to find information on membership in the NRA; not so easy about the gun ban groups like the Brady Campaign.

The most up to date information I could find shows the NRA with about 5,000,000 paid members, with a donation income of about 55 million and spending about 17 million in political races. The AARP compared that to 500,000 members of the Brady group with an income of 6.3 million and political expenses of 1.7 million.

    The number of voters agreeing with the NRA is its power, not industries or anything else.  Votes count.

    The most egregious lie about the NRA is it got a law passed to exempt gun businesses from product liability.  The NRA did help get a law passed that puts gun businesses on the same level as all others.  For a time the gun banners were trying to sue gun manufacturers out of business by claiming they were responsible for their product being used in a crime. 

    If business are responsible for misuse of their product, Chevy can be sued when a driver crashes into a parade and kills people.  Texaco can be sued when their gasoline is used to start an arson fire.

    The NRA is not without its problems. Some gun rights folks claim it is not strong enough. Like any huge organization, it has had internal problems. And it is hated by those that hate guns.

    When you hear “NRA,” know they are talking about me and millions of law-abiding gun owners. Another radical gun ban group the Violence Policy Center, did extensive research a few years ago and crowed they found ONE NRA member that used a gun to kill and was charged with murder.

    Search the data yourself and try to find crime committed by folks like me, NRA members.

Now we know some of the “somethings” the democrats and Biden administration are demanding. From VOX, here are the proposals in the current democrat gun ban wish list legislation and my thoughts on them:

  • The Raise the Age Act: This bill raises the age to purchase certain semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.  Two 18-year-olds commit horrific murders so let restrict all 18- to 21-year-olds. I got a semiautomatic rifle for Christmas when I was 8 years old.  These same folks want to lower the voting age to 16 and let five-year-olds choose their “gender.”
  • Prevent Gun Trafficking Act: Already illegal, so the “coulds” and “mights” in this act are irrelevant.  They are trying to stop gun sales by individuals. Same folks that sent guns to the Mexican drug cartels during the Obama administration.
  • The Untraceable Firearms Act: The ridiculous “ghost gun” law – it is already illegal to remove the serial number from a gun. But this tries to make it illegal to use a 3D printer to make gun parts.
  • Ethan’s Law, the Safe Guns, Safe Kids Act, and the Kimberly Vaughn Firearm Safety Act: Also known as “Lock up your guns so you can’t get to them when you need them” act.  If you are so irresponsible as to leave guns where kids can get to them, no law will make a difference.
  • Closing the Bump Stock Loophole Act: Former President Donald Trump banned bump stocks – so lets do something already done?

The Keep Americans Safe Act: – by banning “high-capacity magazines.”  Already been tried, from 1994 to 2004 such magazines were banned, as were a laundry list of “assault weapons.”  Contrary to the lies, there is no evidence that ten-year ban made any difference, the Columbine school shooting, the worst at that time, was committed in 1999, right in the middle of it, and it was allowed to expire after 10 years because it did nothing to help.

From the same VOX article, here is the real goal: Democrats could still think bigger

“The House’s expedited consideration of the gun control bills would likely help reduce gun violence if the bills became law, but as German Lopez ecplained for VOX, the policies that could have the most impact are ones that reduce the number of guns that people have. These include proposals like gun licensing, which would curb the number of guns that are sold because it makes it more difficult to obtain them.”

    Reduce the number of guns law-abiding citizens can get and own.  That is their goal and they will not be happy until it is zero.

I will ask my usual request.  Give me factual information, not emotional “mights and maybes,” showing how your proposal would have made a difference in any of the recent shootings.

Till next time – Gone fishing!


from Georgia DNR

SOCIAL CIRCLE, GA (April 10, 2023) – If your angling skills need a new challenge this year, it’s time to triple up your catch and take on the Georgia Trout Slam. Catch all three species of trout found in Georgia (rainbow, brown and brook) within a calendar year and you succeed!

The Georgia Trout Slam recognizes anglers with the knowledge and skill to catch different species of trout in the state, while also stimulating interest in the conservation and management of trout and their habitats, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

To qualify for the Georgia Trout Slam, fish must be caught within a calendar year, must be legally caught on waters where you have permission to fish, and anglers must provide some basic information about themselves and their catch (such as county where caught). Anglers must also be able to submit a photo of themselves with the fish, and one clear side photo of the fish.

Anglers can review complete rules and submit their information and photos for verification for the Georgia Trout Slam at

What is Your Reward? Successful Trout Slammers will receive an official “Georgia Trout Slam” decal and the names of all successful anglers will go into a drawing for an annual grand prize!

Find Georgia Trout Slam info at