Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

     Using the analogy that the sport of  Bluegill Fishing is similar to Baseball... we are in the off season and the ice will be off the lakes and opening day is coming up soon. you've probably made some adjustments to your tackle... traded some stuff and added some improvements. Maybe...possibly hitting the lake first and doing some scouting...surely something as important as this you must have a solid game plan. whats your opening day of BlueGill season going to be like?

Im first:

During the off season ive upgraded my drop shot and jigging rigs spinning reels from Lews to Shimanos…. I’ve had the Lew’s now for over three years and the bail springs fail continuously for me. Hopefully the Shimano s will prove more durable. Ive also made some improvement in my live well by increasing its capacity to hold true trophy fish and keep them alive and healthy.

I plan on hitting a trophy lake just north of me. The initial look at the mapping available ive selected large expanses of reedy sandy flats that I know should be very good for possible spring spawning sites. The plan includes an initial scouting trip as soon as the ice clears to check out the breaks along this flat and develop a detailed map with my sonar. Hopefully I’ll be able to spot some schools of fish which would probably be crappie as well as gills. I’ll have my dropshot rig as well as a jigging rod to test and identify these fish.

At this point I’ll be marking these fish on the sonar and developing a pattern of waypoints recorded on the sonar and mark them as gills or crappie etc. I will then take this data home, develop the map through Insight Genesis study it and set a fishing date with a good forecast of weather on a warming trend.at that time the water warms pretty quickly into the mid 50's.

On this trip I’ll be taking some ultra light jigging rods as well as a slip bobber rig and some drop shot rigs with different weight setups. Bait will include night crawlers, waxies and gulp products highlighting Pink Gulp Maggots. Starting the trip early hopefully ill be able to last till dusk.

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During the off season ive upgraded my drop shot and jigging rigs spinning reels from Lews to Shimanos…. I’ve had the Lew’s now for over three years and the bail springs fail continuously for me. Hopefully the Shimano s will prove more durable. Ive also made some improvement in my live well by increasing its capacity to hold true trophy fish and keep them alive and healthy.

I plan on hitting a trophy lake just north of me. The initial look at the mapping available ive selected large expanses of reedy sandy flats that I know should be very good for possible spring spawning sites. The plan includes an initial scouting trip as soon as the ice clears to check out the breaks along this flat and develop a detailed map with my sonar. Hopefully I’ll be able to spot some schools of fish which would probably be crappie as well as gills. I’ll have my dropshot rig as well as a jigging rod to test and identify these fish.

At this point I’ll be marking these fish on the sonar and developing a pattern of waypoints recorded on the sonar and mark them as gills or crappie etc. I will then take this data home, develop the map through Insight Genesis study it and set a fishing date with a good forecast of weather on a warming trend.

On this trip I’ll be taking some ultra light jigging rods as well as a slip bobber rig and some drop shot rigs with different weight setups. Bait will include night crawlers, waxies and gulp products highlighting Pink Gulp Maggots. Starting the trip early hopefully ill be able to last till dusk.

Just replaced my old GSX Tournament with a Pflueger President on my panfish setup. It gave me a few good years of service being used pretty heavily and started getting worn out this year.Can't wait to break the new reel in.

i have some Pflueger Trions ... step under yours... very smooth... nice price and i got spare spools with i love that! your going to enjoy breaking that in

Can't say I'm much of a bluegill coach. Maybe I'm just old and set in my ways, but bluegill fishing is one of the few things I know I can count on, sort of like my golden retriever. Over the decades I've honed bluegill methods I can count on too, so I don't really get too excited about it until May. I did, however, recently get a new fly rod specifically for bluegill fishing.

Blew the head gasket and engine in my old truck yesterday, so I'm scrambling to get the money together for a used engine. 

Ron...2.5 years ago i wanted to learn how to fly fish but had no equipment. i visited a local outfitter and they set me up with a 5wt fly rod setup. i called the DNR and asked them for some advice on a good panfish lake to learn to fly fish from... they recommended Five lakes in Clare not far from me with a healthy population of gills and crappie. i didn't get far from the dock before i trashed my 6 dollar leader. i went online with my smartphone and learned how to tie a nail knot and made a leader out of 6lb braid. then proceeded to catch my personal best bull bluegill at 9.8" lol.

me too ... i always started fishing for them later around June though... but i thought i would forgo the pred fishing and hit the bluegills early

good luck on your truck!

WOW!!! Slip Sinker you are definitely motivating me to take my game to the next level. That is impressive. Good luck to you and keep me posted on the results. My game plan is based on getting organized. I will be ordering a 360 tackle bag from Bass Pro while they are on sale and I will find a home for all the panfish tackle in my boat, closet, on my bookshelf, rod racks and floor. Hopefully, I can stay organized throughout the season. Maybe this will help me plan better outings and also be more ready for those spur of the moment trips. Oh yeah, Slip Sinker I have several 1000 series Shimano spinning reels. I don' t want to start a debate but they are IMHO the finest spinning reels you can use. I fish mine hard and somewhat year around. I think you will like them.

thanks and good luck Maurice...

i used to own Shimanos in the eighties and ninety's and never had any problem with them... i have no idea why i switched away from them.

each Lew's spinning reel ive owned has gone through at least one bail spring.... their service dept has been excellent about the situation and they admitted there was a problem with the spring they sent me a quantity of them for free and said the problem was fixed on their current models.

just looked on line that bag looks really nice

I havn't broken a bail spring in the past 25 years of high-volumne panfishing simply because I manually flip the bail with my left hand, and not by engaging the reel handle to do it. it works!

i do too Jim for line twists... and they suggested that also... they also gave me a recommendation to fill the spring pocket completely with grease. they said it acts as a cushion and prevents micro fractures from starting prematurely in the spring itself. so early this winter i did just that and shifted them over to my fixed bobber rigs... less casting. we'll see... i really like the look and feel of these reels.

Just got a Johnny Morris Signature spinning reels from Bass Pro. I haven't used it yet, but from loading it and casting in the back yard, , it is the smoothest little spinning reel I've used, which is the best sign I've found for durability too. Bigger spinning reels last me well, but I go through a lot of smaller ones, including Shimano and Lew's.

ive owned (2) Royal Express spinning reels... they still work and now they are the guest rod and reel setups. i also own a BP extreme bait caster that is 10 years old and has a ton of miles on it. great quality

I started fly fishing last Spring also. I am totally hooked. Don' t tell my wife but I now own 4 fly outfits(3 5wts & 1 6wt). I have not even used the 6 weight because the 5wts are so much fun. I have been scanning online for a kayak and a new 8wt. I don' t know how I am going to sneak that kayak in the house. Maybe, I will buy her one too. I found them bedding in a little private pond about the middle of April last year but I feel like I could have caught them earlier than that. I plan on it this Spring. I wore them out on a size 12 beadhead hares ear nymph under a small indicator. It was unreal. I can' t believe some of those huge redears I caught could even see that thing. Oh yeah, for those of you like myself who don' t tie flies at the moment, check out Anglers Dream Fly Shop online. They have great prices.

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