Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

I finally got my biggest gill. A 9 incher.
Many of them actually. And with in the first few casts. Then it became easy.... And it wasn't because I had the right rod set up or live bait or because I was using my custom tied hair jigs. It was because for the first time I actually found water that held quality fish. Not easy to do it seems on public lakes in Pennsylvania.

I seen so many on here catchin pig bluegills and I could never break that 8" mark. I fished lots and lots of different lakes locally. All public as I have no access to private lake/pond honey holes. I put in so much time while having fun come away frustrated. Never getting the sizes I had hoped for.

I went up to northern pa to a place I had researched. What I do is pull up and read biologists reports from every single lake. And read them through looking for ideas in the fish class and also predators. More larger predators mean less small fish. And no alewives baitfish or white perch to destroy n feed on bluegill nests. When you do that n travel around n find these places n just keep trying you finally figure it out.
And I found that you can basically catch em on anything. One of the easiest fish to catch. But you have to fish the lakes that have the quality fish in the first place. Stop wasting your time with equipment and special micro baits n stuff. And find water that contains large gills. Put more effort into location then tools and techniques.

Techniques do matter. But are low on the list compared to the water fished. Thanks to all those who have helped be obtaining my 9" gill quest.

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This is what I need to do Smoltz!Find the waters that hold the bigger Gills. I have gotten a 9" in years.Nice work!

Still ,I'm curious what you caught those 9" ers on ! :)

John,
I got big ones and little ones on straigh bait n Aberdeen hook. Worms and waxies. I also tipped 1/64 and 1/32 oz hair hugs with bait and fished plain. Same thing. I got both big and smaller fish.

I caught the bigger fish more consistently with less small fish on minnow patterns like gulp Minnows 1" versions fished alone. Both casting and under a float on 1/64 or 1/32 ball jighead with #8 sickle. 4lb line

Using the minnow I would also pick up crappie and bass. That I wouldn't pick up on bait(worms/waxies)alone. If i used live minnows I'm sure I would have then. I think slip sinker really found the ticket to larger fish using those minnow plastics he uses. That's where I got the idea to use the gulp 1" minnows. I have used the creature and micro plastics for panfish before. Both ice fishing and open water. But I think I need to look into a small 1-1.5" minnow plastics. And put it to the test. I want to see if the gulp attractant helps or if it's th minnow profile there looking for. I'm betting it is. The larger fish I believe are feeding on fry... starting around 8" and up class fish.

Yesterday I used the 1.5" Storm Bait and switch Minnow and caught some fish but the most fish came on this spinner rig i fashioned .(Size 0 hammered silver blade)No big fish yesterday but the best fighters were the 9" White Perch and the two Pumpkinseeds .Plenty of Bluegills but only up to maybe 7" 1 small Yellow Perch ,a tiny CCat. 5 species in all . Tipping a jig got bait stolen too often . .If i pushed the Crawler up the #8 Aberdeen hook shank they got hooked and couldn't get it off and steal the bait and I caught multiple fish and species that way . The Pumpkinseeds took the 1.5"Minnow .I didn't use the Gulp 1" minnow yesterday but it sure is a great bait .Caught Trout this year using that bait .

That's nice looking swim bait.
Only thing I notice is the boot tail. Where a small tapered tail I believe the gills have an easier time getting into there mouth. Maybe they are smaller than they look though. Hard to tell.

Those harnesses catch anything. Really good searching bait/lure fished slowllyyy. A real fish catching machine. I fished mine like that on a 3 way swivel. On the bottom I used a walking type sinker obviously on the back of that 3 way swivel goes your harness.
I have also found you can go up in line wight when building that type harness and it don't effect your catch. Generally silver bade sunny day brass or copper blade overcast days.

20170708-Congrats on breaking into the 9-10” slot! Northern tier states its Lunker Class!!

We are now entering the full moon phase for the month where fishing could get downright great… did you get your fish during a major period during the day? Timing with the solunar tables is very influential on even the easy to catch B.Gill. I’ve had many days on my best b.gill lake begging for a bite … any bite on the Poor Solunar days.

Congrats on your new level of success! But don’t leave your skills of presentation behind! The other guy in the boat or standing next to you on shore with the better presentation including longer casts will outfish the other everytime. IMO

Good luck and continued success moving forward!

 

Slip,
At one time I used to pay attention to the lunar predictions. I kinda got mixed feelings about that. Same as it went along with hunting deer. So I don't pay much attention to it anymore. Early morning and just before dark has always been the best times for larger bluegills for me.

There is so much that depends on your area or particular lakes that are fished. Lure colors, presentation, jigs size, line shyness, that it's hard to put a pattern together off others advice sometimes. You really need to figure out your own groove for your area. And fine tune it to optimize your catch rate or size. But the fish have to be there in the first place.

I went hard core into walleye fishing. Read until my eyes were sore. Wasted money on lures n colored n setups and all kinds of gear. Studied and talked to guys. Come to realize after years of trying it's just not going to happen for effort put forward. We don't have much of a walleye fishery to target. I would have to travel allot to find a decent fishable population. And even then it wasn't great. I even tried through the ice and that was a big waste of time. Lesson learned.

My post was also to help others realize there shortcomings in there fishing may not be them or the way they fish. It more than likely is the area they fish. If there looking for size. The class of fish you been trying for may just really not be there so don't beat yourself up about it.

Yup I agree on the lunar phases. I never did pay much attention to em and even less now. I'm just happy when I can find someone to fish with. Both my sons work, my old partner Doug doesn't go anymore for health reasons and pretty much the some with Old Al. My cousin Joe and I get out every chance it's not blazing hot and our schedules don't conflict .....

tooty they are back on the beds right now.i would hit em hard the next couple days

That's a shame. Sorry to hear that.
David I hope that you can across someone you connect with and find yourself a good fishing partner.

 When I wanted to break into the fly fishing game for b.gill in 2014 I asked a local DNR agent his best suggestion for quantities of B.Gill. he suggested a lake close to me that has large quantities of smaller fish willing to bite.

While on that body of water I struck up conversations with resident fishermen… you know the ones… the old guys in the hats on pontoon boats filling up the fish baskets. Several conversations lead me to believe the “big gills in this lake were the 7.5 to 8 class fish”. This was what the locals caught and believed topped out in this lake. Most complain they are stunted.

That afternoon after tagging many gills in that range, learning to fly fish, I hoisted a Bull B.Gill that measured 9.8 with a stubby tail that had been worn down from fanning recently. This fish would have went over 10.25” easily with a full tail. A year later I tagged 5 B.Gills during a major solunar period in the 9-10” slot in a fifteen-minute time frame.

So far in 2017 combined Earl and I have tagged 3 Master Angler P.Seeds and 3 Master Angler B.Gills in that same lake! Not bragging but hoping to share my success with others so they could cash in also. Not the lake but technique and working the numbers in your favor in any lake. I fully disclose tackle combinations and baits etc. I post videos verifying the combinations also.

Like you say you are not going to tag fish where there are no fish. I sight fish and prove my techniques with two ways sonar and with my eyes. If I’m on fish and they are not biting it is probably a solunar lull period. Do not give up on a lake while experiencing a bad solunar day or period. Better your chances by fishing during the peeks. You say you like sunrise / sunsets… be on your spots when the daily minors or majors coincide with those time frames … they are killer periods for tagging quantity and quality. During the Lull solunar periods I have actually seen while sight fishing, the B.Gills totally ignore any bait or offering.

I fish another lake that is heavily harvested by the locals for food. In fact all my lakes are heavily pressured by catch and take fishermen. In many cases I am launching my boat in the hot late morning sun when they are coming in from a slow bite. Then I cash in by fishing a major period while on my spots in the sweltering heat and sun.

Hey I know your limited to shore fishing mostly so to be more productive give solunar periods another shot… and it comes down to your point you have to be fishing where there are fish! So researching lakes is a positive thing but don’t give up on the heavily fished and pressured lakes.

I can recommend two Android apps “Fishing Points” and “Fishing and Hunting Solunar Time” to follow the periods on your phone.

The other thing is if your not fishing 2# mono diameter equivalent super line or less I believe your hitting a road block in big fish production. The other thing I found if the bait cannot be swallowed by a 6” B.Gill I was fishing too big. Lately, I’ve tagged B.Gill as small as 2.5” on my baits.

Ive recently been putting a system together that would cast a single waxie on a bare number 10 hook.

I believe you’re on the right track with the 1" GULP Minnow... i used to swear by them but have swapped with the Lil Minnow i believe has better action in the water and has responded well with me. Now put together a set-up that will cast the 1” GULP Minnow on a 1/64 oz jig 30- 40 ft and you are on the right track!

Of course, this is all my own opinion and recommendation.

Thanks for the great reply slip.
I appreciate all the advice. I will take it and I'll give them another shot. I'll check out those apps. And try to put it all together and see what happens.
Yeah like you the average fish I catch seems to be around the 7" mark on most the waters I have fished locally. That would be cool to put together a plan and catch some hidden bulls.

I was actually thinking of dropping down to 2lb test when this spool gets low. I been having good luck with maxima line. I'm always trying new setups out.

It will seem a little strange fishing odd times like that when the chart says, but I'll give it an honest shot.

bluegills and other sunfish are on the beds for the 3rd time in my area.big ones too.many say the full moon has nothing to do with it,i disagree and have witnessed it for many years,very hard to catch big bass during the day during the full moon as they feed at night more often.for minnow type baits try the smallest road runner type chin spin jig with a southern pro crappie slug and tip or i as i call it piggy back a wax worm .great bait for gills and crappies and swims over snags pretty well.have caught 1000s of fish on this simple rig.this time of year i live or die with my flyrods.

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