Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Do any of you fish for gill's in the river? I have found it to be a challenge to find big gills in the river. I always catch a lot, but just can not seem to locate the big ones consistently. Any one have any advice?

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coby i do a little river fishing,not a lot as i live about a mile from a fine lake .we call them rivers but they are really creeks.
i love to wade and catch spotted bass on flies,about a hour from where i live is the red river and we fish it sometimes when the water is right.
we catfish the RED RIVER here are a couple of fish my youngest son and some friends took last yr.
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Wow! those are huge! I also go catfishing, but I have never caught any that big! The reson that you fish in lakes is the reson I fish in the river. There are several boat launches to the Escambia river all within 10 to 15 minutes from my house.
I grew up fishing lakes near Birmingham, Al. and have just within the last few years started fishing the river. I miss the lakes!
I used to do it quite a bit in the St Johns River in north Florida. Under docks and within 6" of any bulkheads especially those rough ones made up of rip rap were the best places for big 'gills.
Cobey,

I prefer rivers, but most big bluegills come from lakes. If you want to catch big bluegills, the most important thing to do is fish lakes or rivers that have a reputation for producing big bluegills.

I fish some lakes in Canada that are formed by dams on slow moving rivers that flow through farm country and they produce the most big bluegills I have ever seen. On a fair day a guy could easily catch 3 to 4 hundred 9 ½ to 10 ½ inch bluegills. On rare occasions you might also catch one over 11 inches.

My biggest bluegills around where I live come from deep water (15' to 30') early morning and sometimes early evening.

Rivers are less affected by cold fronts than lakes and I like floating quietly downstream but in my experience produce smaller fish. Still the best advice is to fish when you can, learn how to catch them in nearby waters and when time allows, plan on fishing lakes with a reputation and go there when you can. Either that or go fish in Bruce’s pond. Lol

This is a big gill for a river.


This gill is from a lake formed by a river, well over a pound.

Ray,

Thanks for the advice! Man, those are some nice gills! I agree that lakes are better, I just need to take the time to go! Thanks again and fish on!

Lets chip in and go then. I'm ready! LOL

There may not be any on the river you fish, but if you can find them they can be hot spots, anywhere a culvert pipe drains out, or where there is a pumping station that discharges water, or a spillway below a dam. Fast water usually brings food, and food brings fish.
Thanks tom, there is actually a spillway that I need to try next time. I have always passed it up because it is on the main part of the river were the jet skies are. I will put up with them to see if there are any big gills hanging out there.
Hi Cobey...

I live not too far from the Colorado in California... (couple hours drive)... I've seen photos of Big Bull Gills from there. The problem seems to be primarily boat traffic.... unless you can get to a more secluded spot... it can be tough fishing.

I've heard of Colorado River "over spill' locations in and around Yuma... where you can find small bodies of water that have never seen a fisherman... the fishing there is supposed to be incredible. It takes some work to make your way back into the more remote pools and you have to be careful of certain things... Where you tread... Critters and such... and it probably would be smart to have a companion with you (never dive alone)...

Hope to make the trip one day and find out for myself...

Tight Lines...


Rob
Spillway is good place to try for big bluegills if that area have at least 5 feet deep! I caught some nice bluegills over 9" from below private lake's dam! Average depth is about 5 feet and almost like a pond right below the dam. Food always come down to feed the bluegills. Caught them from October until end of Decemeber. Long pole is good method when I am on shore. I keep my bait stay one spot much longer in the cold weather! Lot of carp, suckers, some bass and drum as bonus fish while fish for 'gills!
Other place I fished is river's backwater but not many nice bluegills! Most backwater is very shallow. If you find at least 5 or 6 feet deep in the backwater then it should be good spot! Crappie and Northern Pike, too! I heard that some ice fishermen caught some one pound 'gills from the Mississippi River's Backwater on the both side of Iowa and Illinois.
John,

The Mississippi River is different than any other river I have fished. When I lived in WI, it was my favorite place to fish for everything. In fact last week I talked to a good friend of mine and we decided to fish 3 or 4 days on the Mississippi between WI and MN near LaCrosse WI sometime in June as the water is droping.

I have caught bluegills over a pound in the Mississippi but it is home to some huge crappie and lots of other fish. We are going just to fun fish. Last time we caught 22 different species of fish.

It has everything and everything big. It is a fish factory. Thousands of bayous, canals, lakes. It is more like a flowage than a river. One day I caught a dozen crappie that were between 15 and 18 inches on a perfect day in a pond created by an overflow culvert near Goose Island.

If you cast a jig and minnow, you could catch a smallmouth on one cast a largemouth on another, then a walleyw, northern, carp, sauger, catfish on the next and on and on. I haven't been there in 5 years, but this year late spring when the water is perfect I'm going. Not for food, just for easy fun fishing.
Hey Cobey, thanks for sharing this site with me! For the benefit of other members,Cobey and I attend the same chuch and have only recently began to get to know one another on the outdoor level. Cobey is a great guy and loves to fish but we've not fished together yet, which will be taken care of in the very near future. Together, maybe we can keep the rest of you guys up on what we're doing here in the Panhandle of Florida. As for really big Bluegills, the best bet is farm ponds that are known for producing them, but unless you are kin to the owner, or really close friends, the only way to fish them would be to utilize our old military basic training tactics such as 'escape and evasion under cover of darkness' which I would'nt recommend, so, it's off to the river we go.We have Bluegills and Shellcrackers, the latter being the bigger.It would be rare to catch a one pound Bluegill on Escambia, but the Crackers often hit that mark and higher. The delta area has a larger concentration of both fish but up river is where you will find the larger fish.The Crackers feed on mussels and snails and can be found on sandy bottoms around fallen trees and stumps. Swift water does'nt seem to affect them so use heavier line(12 to 20 pound test) and weight and expect to get hung up and broke off.The best bait is always the most expensive ain't it? Earthworms are the ticket here and go for anywhere between $4.50 and $6.50 for 50. What gets me is, earthworms are not indigenous to this area, so how do the crackers know ? For big Bluegills, crickets and wigglers are the way to go around here.I tight line them with a small weight (1/16 or so) around heavy cover thats close to deeper water. Now don't get me wrong, I love to use a small cork and watch it tick about twice then head south like a woman headed to Walmart, and this works great during the spawn when they are in shallow water but usually they will be in deeper water where most folks use a slip cork, but still, I like to tight line.I hope this will help someone, especially someone who is new to this great past time.I'm sure you will hear from Cobey and me soon, till then be safe and remember to thank God for this wonderful creation we are a part of. Marc

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