Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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Will gills move into the shallows again in October and November? I don't have a boat and I'm hoping to get some fillets for my mother.

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I'm still learning gill seasonal patterns so can't wait to hear the answer from the experts.

  Great question.

Bruce, in my experiences crappies will move back shallow in the fall. I caught fish over the past week in 3-8' of water. A huge factor will be if your fishing a lake or river, IMO. The lakes will have different characteristics. I was fishing the Neuse River.

I will be fishing a lake. I know now is a good time to fish for pike in the shallows so they must be targeting small fish.

Bruce in my region in Northeast North Carolina we seek surface temps from 70 down to 60 as it falls with colder air..........this will pull all sunfish species back to the shallows to feed heavily before turnover when they will head for their wintering spots........Like Jack stated it matters where you're fishing.........I most often fish river systems that I have patterned for many years so I can normally predict within a few days to a week in most locations........The key is a nice steady drop that can start around Columbus Day and last to Veterans Day,  water temperature swings of more than five degrees overnight can hurt the bluegill bite in my opinion, not so much on the crappie.Good luck and hope you get into a nice mess of fish for your mother.  Wish you were closer, I could show you some of the healthiest waters in America.........

Me, too, Jeff, me, too!

Bruce, I have great luck fishing the weedy flats from 4-9’ all year round… weeds are key! Fish the weediest flats even during the winter. Gills look for the larva from insects all winter long from those areas. Good luck!

I hope to be on the water in the next few days. I'll give a report on my adventure. Thanks

Hey Slip, I searched the flats for weeds and reeds yesterday. I found some fish, but I couldn't get into a batch big enough to fillet. There were 2 men and a boy fishing the bottom at a point from shore and they were catching some nice gills and perch fishing bait off of the bottom. I had a fly rod and was mainly fishing the top with a dropper off of a dry fly. I guess I should have taken my UL spinning rod. The pink gulp really appealed to them yesterday.

Well, I got out today on my local lake and I caught plenty of gills, but nothing over 6 inches. I just never found a pod of 7-inchers or better, that's my cutoff size. I did well on a black foam spider with yellow legs. I caught a few with a bully spider dropped the bend of the spider. I did the best with a size 16 red copper john, tipped with a pink gulp, and tied to the bend of the bully spider.

good thread here.  keep it moving.  it's educational.  and thanks to all who post to this.

Yep, Rich, I've learned much here and the people are very generous.

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