Panther Martins for Warm Water

   My son with a nice crappie caught on a Panther Martin spinner.

Not too long ago, Shoreman from Northern California Trout gave me a hot tip when I posted about fly fishing for bluegill at a local pond.

Here is his comment and my response.

Shoreman said...

I would be interested in finding out, the next time you fish this pond, if you would try a small black & gold Panther Martin about 1/16oz to 1/32oz and see if it would produce a good size bluegill. Some years ago, I caught a big one from a small pond (a lot smaller than this one) on that lure. Just curious.

nimrod243 said...


Thanks for the tip! I promise I will try it and report back at my earliest convenience. It will be a fun little project, and if there is any hope of catching a nice sized bluegill, I'm up for it!

My friends, if you are looking for fishing advice, I recommend you pay Shoreman a visit.

A couple of weeks later, (with no camera on hand, of course) I purchased said lure and drove down to said pond. I caught a couple of respectable sized bluegill, and then it happened… (insert Jaws music) I cast near the dam and started reeling in slowly, when I had a good strike, and could feel a heavy fish at the end of the line!

I love that feeling of anticipation to see what I have at the end of my line. Sure enough, I reeled it in and saw that it was indeed the biggest bluegill I have ever caught, by a large margin! This thing was probably 10 1/2 inches long and about two times the thickness of my hand. I wished I had a scale to weigh the bruiser, probably would have been close to a pound, I think.

Since I didn’t have a camera with me, and I didn’t plan on eating it, I gently released it in hopes of catching it again when I actually have a camera with me.

Undoubtedly, you are thinking I am just making up another fish story to keep up your interest, but I give you my word of honor that this is a true story!

A couple of nights later, I caught a nice crappie (which I let my son reel in) and a largemouth bass on the same lure, which was really exciting because I had never caught either species at this particular pond. I love making these discoveries (with a little help from Shoreman in this case) when I am fishing. Reminds me of the day I reeled this in.

Reminiscing about the formidable Panther Martin also takes me back to a day several years ago when I was in Colorado and we went fishing at a reservoir where “there are rainbow trout up to six pounds” (reportedly).

It was a reservoir near Grand Junction, Colorado. That’s about all I can remember of the whereabouts of this particular body of water. I think we ended up at the wrong place though, because we sure as hell didn’t catch any six pound rainbows...

I was casting a Panther Martin spinner similar to the one described above and caught a nice largemouth bass, probably about 11 inches long or so. Not too shabby for a “dyed in the wool” trout fisherman like myself. Who knew them Panther Martin spinners were so good for warm water fish?

Thanks, Shoreman!

Tight Lines!


  1. You're very welcome. The best lure since I was turned on to it way back in the mid-60's. God, I love it when a plan comes together. Be careful with the praise though, I am a Leo and we already have fat heads. Bigger lake, bigger PM. I use 1/4 oz up at Bear River.


  2. Congratulations on such a nice big Bluegill. I love Bluegill fishing when I get a chance, and, I will take (or steal) Shoreman's advice on the Panther Martin Spinner. They are, indeed, a great fish catcher.

  3. All hail Shoreman! :)

    Seriously, nice to see you had a good day and that the PMs were productive. Have always been a fan, they are such a versatile lure - everything seems to like them.


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