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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just adding to the post here;;;  i have i think;; about 5 ;( or more fly rods)  but generally only use 3 of them.  2 tfo rods in 3 wts;;  2 from bps ( white creek rods) in 5 wt.;  and still have my very first fly rod i ever bought;; in the 70;s-- from dawai  in a 8 wt.  all i can say is-- those 3 wt rods are a blast!!  so much fun-- it should be illeagle!!  with no less than 2 descent tackle bags--  just for fly fishing!!  and yes;; i tie fly;s some jigs  swap stuff with everybody from bbg site;;  one thing for sure tho guys;; you do NOT have to get a expensive set up to fly fish with!!   some of those fly rod set ups; in those cardboard things are pretty good;; and catch just as many fish!!   but here on the bbg site;; we also are very lucky to have some guys-- who make fly rods;; as well as spinning rods!!   Tooty;; walt foreman; and mark steine makes them-- in case yo uwant a personelized rod!!

the eagle claw feather weight fly rods are a deal and anyone can be casting one with very little practice.i had 3 of them but gave them away.the 7 ft 5 wt is less than 30 bucks.i have some modern glass rods and will sell most of my graphite flyrods.i have 2 3wts.both 6'7".identical reels and line.one glass one graphite.both cost about 150.the glass is a way better rod.lighter casts better and is tougher.had a 8lb class bass eat a 8 inch gill i was bringing in right at shore.thought the rod was toast as he really hit it hard.almost landed the bass .he spit the gill right as i was about to lip him.i think my tfo would have exploded in my hand.

+1 I love those rods. Both spinning and fly, I am planning to get another one of the fly rods soon.

I see and know just about everyone loves and uses the fly rods... but is it the weapon of choice for "Opening Day" or do you wait till the waters reach a certain temp before you go out ?

i wont target gills til the water gets into the 50s.will catch a few crappie fishing but my main focus  will be trout crappie and perch.just like late ice the gills are real lethargic until the first bugs appear

with me--  98 percent of the time;; i use a fly rod!!  soon as i go;; a fly or jig is going to hit water!!  BUT!!!  not to long ago-- tooty-GAVE me one of his signature;; hand made rods he made!!  sooooo--  im also dying to try it out!!  got a new president reel for it to!!  my reels of choice for spinning reels---  quantum  Q-vex 10   and the presidents!!   you cant go  wrong with either one!!   for a fly reel--  you wont get me to give up my perrine automatic reels!    love those!!!!   on opening day-- I;ll use both types of rods;; tootys special;; and my beloved fly rod!!  of course;; i might have to use a porkupine quill for a float to;;  LOL

Carl ... i know you like to use the fly rod too... unconventially meaning quill floats and bait as well as jigs on the fly rod... do the unconventional methods work better than conventional fly fishing methods very early in the season.

 SS, all my field testing make me believe that live bait and quills do work better with a fly rod than just flys and bugs ,when I run out of crickets  I'll put on a fly  and I can tell you it's not as fast in catching them as quills and live bait.  LOFR

im not a flyrodder per se  but ive seen the term used alot... "using the fly rod for which it was not intended" the system was designed to cast near weight less flys by loading up the weight of the line through the cast. i was using the flyrod gear unconventionally when i was dropshotting with it in 15 ft of water for gills or casting corn out there with some shot and using the flyline as an indicator for carp are some unconventional methods i have used. unconventional yes and also fun yes.

I'm no purist or anything but bait will never touch my bug rod!! ;)

i got worm and corn  juice on mine ...lol

Slip Sinker, This is one of the reasons I like the black ant so much: I'm a good caster and enjoy that part of it, so I don't put corks and other things on it that impede the cast.  Once it gets heavy enough or bulky enough to be cast on a spinning rod, I'd rather use it. I think if you aren't false casting, you aren't "fly fishing."

But that's mostly semantics. The rest of you enjoy the long rods any way you want.

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