“To find big panfish, you need to locate a deep basin near their summer weed beds,” explains Brosdahl. It is all part of a rather ordered seasonal movement of fish—a migration to deeper water that begins in late summer and continues through early fall once the vegetation starts to die off or thin out. The fish remain in these deep-water haunts throughout the winter. But not all deep-water basins are created equal. Hard bottoms are generally not rich in forage, and silty lake beds are too soft. Mud is best—sticky mud that is composed of decaying matter attracts invertebrates, such as bloodworms, zooplankton, mayfly larvae, and freshwater shrimp. All of these critters are food sources that will attract not only baitfish, but also panfish.