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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No it's not Tony, you can cast further with a spinning rig with weighed presentation than you can with a quill and live bait. the only difference  to me is that a quill is sensitive and if you hold the line in your hand it's a special sensation with a fish on the other end of your line rather  than having your line  attached to a winch , excuse me I mean reel. LOFR

I think fly rods have more flex than most regular rods, plus they are almost always longer than most of your average ultralight. I don't use fly rods for anything other than fly fishing but I have been considering building an ultralight spinning rod out of a fly rod blank, I like the length mainly because you can dip jigs into pockets and such, and it really helps cast micro jigs. I've never tried it but I would think a spinning reel on a fly rod would be inconvenient with how low the reel seat is on fly rods.

Walt built me a spinning rod on a 2-weight fly rod blank, specifically for casting  dust particle-sized offerings.

Works well!

sweeet!... what line do you usually use with that Tony?

i use a 5' cheap glass composite microlites.the only requirement is they are whippy and have hardened alloy guides that braid or nanofil wont cut into.the line to me is the key.with no stretch and very thin diameter is ultra sensitive.the whippy rod flings tiny jigs and floats a good distance.the short rod makes casting around and under much easier.my local fishing is mostly from shore so i use what works for me,but even in the boat the shorter rod makes casting under docks and shoreline brush easier.i have a closet full of what was the newest and best that are gathering dust as they never had the right feel for me.

My go to standard these days is Sufix Elite, 2 lb test mono. I will use 4lb on a couple reels.

i bring a spinning rod along with my fly rods.some times you need distance and depth.i have tipped a weighted fly with gulp waxies before as they will stay on most times.but if i am using jigs or bait my spinning rods with nanofil are much more effective and just as much fun.not to mention i catch lots of different species on  small jigs.i fly fish for the challenge and fun factor mostly.when they are on a bug bite  or on the beds tho the flyrod will outfish anything else.

one big advantage of a fly rod-- over a spinning rod--  if you somehow miss hooking one;; generally-- you have to wind in your line with a spinning reel;trip the bail; recast; flip over the spring;; wind up to catch the slack up-- correct??  ok;; with a fly rod;; you miss;; whip it up;  re-cast ;; all in about a half second!!  its a speed thing!  LOL      as for casting for distance-- sure;; a spinning reel and rod;; proably better!!  

Lol....I see where the speed thing might come into play, especially if an angler is used to setting the hook like you would on a 1000 lb Tiger shark. In that case you probably would need to reel in and recast, as your bait is probably dangling from your right ear lobe....when I set the hook and miss I doubt my float moves over a foot or so, and I typically have another shot at the fish.

I totally get the fun thing though. LOFR, sounds like you have never been properly introduced to a quality, smooth- as- butter drag equipped, appropriately sized spinning reel for the species at hand! Winch...Ha! I've seen that also, but savvy BG anglers know better....

a great example of that fun factor was playing that 18.5" bass on my ultralight ice rod.

It's not about the Bass , about the Bass , No Treble Hooks,  It's not about the Bass , about the Bass ,No treble Hooks.        LOFR

18.5" Bass on this presentation...

on my first outing with my flyrod i catch a 10" class gill PB and a 19 " LMB within an hour of each other... first time on the flyrod! it was great.

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