Do you love big bluegill?
i believe the genetics get wiped out and anytime anyone opens their mouth about how they cleaned up on big sunfish and crappies the crowds come and people keep ALL the big males.a couple years later the average mature male is 10% smaller or more.an old stone quarry i fish alot or did until a winter kill wiped out the entire lake was just starting to get gills around 10 inches or better which is big for public water in my area.it had huge bass and some good pike in it so they were being naturally culled.but i had seen people fill buckets full of big males during the spawn in earlier years and decimated the population.
A couple thoughts: Andy, the Georgia Giant you posted a photo of is not a pure-strain bluegill, it's a hybrid and therefore not eligible for the world record. The fact that the fish farm that raises that hybrid markets that particular fish as a "world record" is questionable business practice, in my humble opinion. And, as Tony alluded to, more than a couple very knowledgeable, respected pond experts have had very bad experiences with that particular fish. Lastly, I have seen several photos and mounts of both northern-strain and especially coppernose pure-strain bluegill over three pounds, but have never seen a single photo of a Georgia Giant, apart from the photo below, much over two pounds.
And, for what it's worth, I still contend that it's rare to find a pond being properly managed for trophy bluegill. I regularly see people who claim to be after big bluegill, talk about thinning out their bass so the bass can grow, or stocking some shiners for the bass, etc. Just my $.02 but it seems common to me that because most pond consultants and biologists focus mainly on growing big bass, they tend to default to that mode even when managing or advising about trophy-bluegill ponds; and so pond owners read article after article, recommendation after recommendation that says to thin out the bass, or stock more forage such as shiners, shad, etc. It's rare that I have a client who tells me he wants trophy bluegill, that I don't also have to talk out of harvesting bass, because that's all they have heard, and they think it's something that needs to be done in every pond, but it's the worst thing you can do in a trophy-bluegill pond.
I didn't post a GA giant, that was Ken I think. I posted a 4#+ NC state record from '67; not sure what strain. I am one of the proponents of the "freak" theory. I think the record stands because a very rare specimen way outside the normal size range was caught here and in AL. I also think the one from the fish farm is an outlier (not to be confused with an out and out liar, or maybe it is) and not an example of anything you can reasonably expect.
which picture Walt?
The one that someone was admiring of the boy holding the very big lepomis that is marketed as a Georgia Giant. I personally have never seen a photo of a Georgia Giant over two pounds, nor have I read of anyone else reputable in the bluegill/pond world reporting having seen one.
I have to second Walt's statement on the rarity of a 2 pound Georgia Giant. If these are the BG x GSF hybrids, then a 2 pounder would have to be an exceptional fish, indeed.
Don't know what the other sites may have, or claim. But the largest hybrids I have seen were on this site...Walt's 1-15 he posted a few years back from a pond he managed and the fish from Bruce, Tony's and my friends pond...all fish from 1-9 to 1-14. I have actually weighed two hybrids at 1-13 and one at 1-14.
That huge, and dated, photo of the young boy and the 5 plus Georgia Giant is a rare, freak of a fish that is very misleading as to what most quality hybrids actually top-out at.
Hector Brito's big red ear was posted somewhere else and it go me thinking about this more. What's interesting to me about that fish is it does not look like a freak. It looks super sized with everything in normal proportions. I have read that some biologists think the Havasu fish are getting bigger due to an invasive mussel. I think the altered diet is having a lifelong effect; my guess is that fish was substantially bigger than most at pretty much every point in its life. I doubt this is true of the freaky looking big bluegills. I think they continue to bulk after they stop growing. The tails look undersized, heads get that bulge and they get out of proportion - more round than oval. It's like overfeeding kids; most will just get fat, not become giants. It's genetics. I think the key may be to find fish who are bigger than average while maintaining proportion and breed them with other fish that show the same growth pattern. I don't mean the fastest growing fish; I mean the ones that don't stop growing bones and fins until they are larger than average.
i really like that point you brought up
I have read that some biologists think the Havasu fish are getting bigger due to an invasive mussel. I think the altered diet is having a lifelong effect;
reading a similar analogy in Jeff's posting of the second best gill out of the Ketona Lake
Environmental factors, and WW II which took some fishing pressure off the fish, seemed to make the difference at Ketona Lake. Scale checks of McKenzie's bluegill showed it to be nine years old. That is three years older than most experts calculated as a maximum age attainable for a bluegill at that time.
Biologists concluded there wasnt anything special about the lake except a change... "less fishing pressure" allowing the fish to attain trophy proportions.
I missed the part about the age of the record fish. IMO that further supports my freak theory.
Hi, I have a book with a picture of the 1947 world record by Cole McKenzie in Alabama. Also that the record was beaten by 2oz. and the fish was not preserved Great looking fish
Tennessee angler lands bass weighing more than 15 pounds to potentially break a 50-year-old record...
Don't know how many of our newer members are aware of this, but here at BBG we have info on BOTH of those giant fish out of Ketona.....including photos and testimony by family members.