Do you love big bluegill?
20170717- I’m considering adding another local lake to my hit list. On two separate trips the past couple days I’ve done some reconnaissance and contour mapping. 10 year history and Back ground check reveals a thin history of trophy B.Gills with one breaking the eleven inch mark… certainly raised my eyebrow a bit.
The initial perimeter scan of the lake revealed many spawning sites with very little weed cover. A firm hard sand bottom. Further sonar scans revealed two separate main lake basins one approaching the maximum depth of 29-0’ and the other at 23-0’.
The association keeps the lake scoured clean of any weed growth except for shallow pads and reeds. There is a DNR access site with a gravel lot and cement launch. Local Fishermen pound this lake hard. the lake is 100% developed along the whole perimeter.
Initial sonar findings during this calm hot stretch in July discovered a developing thermocline at 17-0’~18-0’. Schools of fish were located in large numbers in flats in the 12-0' to 16-0’ range just above the thermocline. The fish were revealed to be many B.Gills in the 4-6” range. They readily grabbed a tungsten ice jig tipped with a Pink Waxie. In two trips I have tagged over 150 fish in that range… frustrating.
Finally, in a last ditch effort for the day, I tried a 13-0 to 15-0’ stretch while waiting my turn pull out at the launch. I spotted schools of the 4-6” B.Gills… while drifting through an area I finally tagged a lunker at 9.4” on the Vertical-Jig/Ice-Jig/Pink-Waxie set-up.
With the new sonar data, I have developed a 90% complete contour map of the lake and will finish on my next trip.
The lake is going to be a challenge…
…nearly completed sonar map.
…school of 4 to 6" b.gills shown clearly in down scan imaging
…while vertically jigging these are the scans im looking for... b.gills moving in the water column
…finally a break thru... nice lunker class B.Gill
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2010731~had an incredible time exploring and fishing the new lake on my list.
Spent a lot of time fishing deep schools of fish in 16-18 FOW… many of these fish were B.Gills in the 5-7” range… about 40 fish worth. But it was worth fishing these schools because I came up with (5) 90% + Certificate fish… one Master Angler over 10” at the 10.25” mark. Very thick shouldered fish with a lot of fight.
Largest fish was tagged Long-Casting/.016 oz Jig/Chartreuse Waxie. Many more were tagged vertically jigging the schools.
I was pretty satisfied with today’s outing because several factors came into play that eventually allowed me to find and land these fish. First of all my very detailed contour map showing deep weed beds and bottom composition layers allowing me to see these areas of transition. Then fishing the thermocline break that essentially concentrates fish in these areas. Intersecting thermocline break with slow gradient contour transitions concentrated them even further.
Very satisfying when the plan comes together and results in a trophy specimen