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When looking for panfish suspended over deep basins, using an oversized search bait can be the ticket so that the fish can see it from further away. Jason Mitchell explains that the goal is to ultimately get those fish to raise up to the bait because when it becomes a race to get to the bait, the fish with the biggest tail usually wins. Some of the best go-to search bait options to consider for panfish are the:

  • Clam Tikka Flash – the ultimate search bait for bluegills especially when tipped with a wax worm
  • Clam Pinhead Pro – best for crappies
  • Soft plastics with oversized tungsten jigs – the Clam Drop XL paired with the Maki Jamie XL plastic is a great option and can easily be modified and trimmed down
The Best Search Baits for Panfish
Left to Right: Clam Pinhead Pro, Tikka Flash, and Drop XL Jig with Maki Jamie XL plastic

The key when beginning your search for suspended basin panfish is using larger profiles that fish can see from further away. This also results in fishing in a way that allows the fish to find and come to you. Some days when the panfish aren’t as aggressive you might have to scale it down and use some finesse, but you can’t go wrong fishing big and fishing fast when beginning your search.

Wondering the best rod setup and line for running these larger presentations? Read more on that here.

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