Do you love big bluegill?
Suppose you moved this winter, to an unfamiliar area where you don't know anybody and have never fished. How would you look for good bluegill waters? How would you test them?
I've found that Bluegills can be just about any where, most gills I catch are mainly in the open near some kinda drainage pipes waiting for something to come out.
How would I test the water? They are all ways near a food supply of some kind. Think light weight, use a hook that one millworm will just fit and most important keep the hook point hid.
Any where I go this is how I test the waters even when they are over fished by people that don't know what they are doing.
And don't worry they will come out of heavy cover to feed.
Have a fine day all.
Assuming all other factors such as water temperature are in a good range, I personally look for two things in a body of water. What is the food source(s) and what do the gills have available for shelter. Although many waters will hold bluegill, locations that hold big bluegill are not as common and will require some research depending on the size of the new water. When looking at food sources I may go as far as scooping the grasses if available to see what's there or looking for the presence of shells that might indicate the presence of mussels or other crustaceans.....I try to match the food as closely as I can. Shelter could be submerged weed lines, manmade structures, downed trees or even deep water adjacent to shallow areas the fish might use. Above all you must fish the water instinctively maybe on more than one occasion with different approaches to determine if you have quality fish. This is why I really like the tipped jig under a float approach as I can change depths quickly and I have color, smell and protein working together to hunt out these new areas...
An example is the region I know live....I arrived in 1999 and began looking around and found that there were not many bluegill anglers in this region to poll. Most would say it was always better back in the day....So I put in one day and followed my instincts using proven methods....I found the presence of grass shrimp early on and I immediately gained confidence from this and it paid off almost immediately. I still try to add at least one new location to my arsenal every year. I first seek to gain as much information as I can on a specific place but despite all the advances in technology, this oftens yields very little. Provided you have the time, I would just grab a little of my favorite live bait and artificials and start fishing. It won't take long on smaller bodies of water.
Good Luck Bob
Look for bodies of water with lots of largemouth under 14". Also, waters that don't have shad or golden shiners will have bigger 'gills ninety percent of the time.
A good place to start is to research which bodies of water in your area have produced large bluegill in the recent past. As long as conditions haven't changed (i.e. they haven't been fished out, for instance), more often than not, those waters will still have some of the best fishing.
i agree Mike,clear water also seems to have less fish but bigger on average,maybe not as easy to hide.near me clear strip mines and old quarries always have a few big gills.maybe they are usually spring fed and the fish always seem to go real deep also
The smaller bass are what eat the most small bream, Mike; big bass sometimes eat pretty big bream. But moreso than the size of the bluegill a small bass will eat, the reason to look for lots of small bass is because that means the bass are overpopulated, and when largemouth overpopulate, very few bluegill survive to adulthood - but those few that survive the skinny-bass gauntlet have many times more food to eat than they would in conditions in which the bluegill were crowded, and they get much larger.
Typically when you find very large bass, there's also a lower density of bass, which most of the time also means there's a higher density of small bluegill. More bluegill equals less food for each fish, and less growth.
Structure, Structure, Structure, live cricket ,number 8 hook under a porqupine quill cast on a fly rod, this is how I make my population samples ,dosent take long to figure out whats going on.
I look for too many bass or good number of between 8 and 14 inch, no shad, plenty of shallow and some deep water for reduce winter or summer kill, Little fishing pressure! Some nice yellow perch is also help to reduce small bluegills. Semi-clear to clear water with plenty of weeds. Release your big bluegills for better trophy in future!