Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

One thing I have noticed, season after season, is that once the water temperatures drop below 55 F the bluegills show a marked preference for smaller jigs and baits. Yesterday, 11-11-14, I had two rods rigged with small jigs...one was the Pink Shrimp Auto at 1/32 oz and a # 6 hook and the other was a 1/64th oz shad dart head with a #8 hook. Both jigs were spiked with very small worm segments and as the evening wore on the baits just got smaller as the gill wanted just a hint of bait on the jig. Both were fished on 4 lb mono with 5 ft drops below small sensitive bobbers. Worm segments were approximately 1/4 inch or slightly smaller.

The PSA caught some fish, but was clearly outfished by the SD head, likely because of it smaller size. Got just as many bites on the Auto, but missed many more fish. The bite was soft with the small plastic oval bobber just 'tilting' at times or slowly going under.

Mostly hen gills but a few males in the mix along with some pretty p-seeds. Best fish of the day was a 9.5 inch P-gill hybrid. Most fish were 8 to 9 inches, some larger.

More than likely, I will go to 100th and even 1/200th oz Trout Magnet Heads as the water temps continue to drop and tip with a couple maggots or perhaps a wax worm. And, will likely have to switch to more sensitive bobbers as well.

Yesterdays totals were 50 gills/seeds and 2 bass. Fish were stacked up against the dam face as the wind blew in heavily from the south west on this 6 acre public lake in southern PA. Five ft down, suspended over 8 ft of water.

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Jason your right in line diameter. If your going to smaller baits it stands to reason to go to smaller line. It's kinda missing the point if you have a 1/80 oz jig 20 lb test the fish can see that line all day downsize everything. Good point Jason.

great report Jim;; and thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!!  if it warms back up;; I'll go fishing!!  LOL!!

good points JIm.  what would you tie with a bead head head to fit the bill? pheasant tail nymp, or something more colorful?

Mark...for cold weather, I have always leaned toward yellows, chartreuse and reds. But that certainly doesn't rule out a natural hued mimmic to score winter gills in the open water...give each a shot!

I think that size is often more important than color.

Fished the same public lake I did on Monday. only wind was out of the NW and temps were dropping. Water was a couple degrees cooler...48 to 50 and air temps went from 52 degrees down to 44 from 2:30 to 4:30 PM. Fish pretty much ignored the Gulp! Alive minnow tipped jigs. Missed numerous fish on 1/64th oz worm tipped shad dart, but got a couple. Seriously down sized to a 1/200th oz black Trout Magnet shad dart head and tipped with tiny piece of garden worm...this was the ticket.

Caught a total of 34 including numerous high-end pumpkinseeds that went fro 8 to 9.25 inches. Some decent hybrids as well, along with many 9 inch class hen gills. As the weather deteriorated, the bite shut down once the sun dipped below the horizon.

Switched to a tiny foam bobber that submersed easier than the plastic oval design. Fish were still along the dam breast at 5.5 ft down in about 8 to 9 feet of water. Wasted at least 45 minutes hunting for them in the weedy shallows.

Some really nice seeds today...

and hybs...

Just wanted one more trip before this serious cold front comes crashing through.

Nice!
1/200?? Holy smokes!
Great job Jim.
Guys, notice the sizes Jim is using. And, he's not ice fishing.....just cold water fishing. Small is not just for ice....
I have some jigs that size... Hmmm

Dead on , bluegill will hit nymphs down to size 32 when the temp drops. Just need to go a bit deeper and keep the line as vertical as possible

Tony, as you know, size is relative. This is the smallest jighead I use, and it has been very good to me throughout much of the year.

Two years ago at Richmond Mill in November, a huge cold front dropped water temps quickly as the air went from 75 to 45 in a 16 hour period. Acompanied by gusty winds and whitecaps, I was forced to fish off the small boat dock. I scaled down to 1/64th and 1/80 oz shrimp patterns and stuck with it for 27 gills over a two-day, boatless effort, including a personal best 12.75 inch coppernose.

Point being, I sure was glad I had smaller offerings than what the local guides had been using. Nobody fishes in that kind of weather down there...made the best of a tough, and untimely, weather situation.

This brings back memories of the last time I tried trout magnet heads for gills. It was chilly and almost dark. I caught several gills with them tipped with gulp! minnows (1") and a crappie nibble. Ironically, I didn't catch any crappie.....

bluegill

Excellent fish, Jason! Well done!

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