Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Is there any kind of information gathered that will show what areas in the United States the true trophy-sized (2 lbs and up) Bluegill are caught? It would be interesting to see where the largest fish are caught, and what season and even what bait/lure was used. For serious fishermen like me that are out there trying to break the world record, this info would be highly regarded. We could possibly start something here like an "OVER 2lb. CLUB!", which would be for members to post their photos and information. What do you think? Comments?

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Jeff, If you click on groups and then click on “+add new group” you can start a new group. If your starting a club for those with pictures of bluegills over 2 lbs., I suspect it will be a very small group.

If you include shell crackers and copper nose bluegills, you’ll likely get a few more members. They exist in some of the lakes in Michigan, but they are seldom seen. In our state the Dept. Of Natural Resources considers a 10" bluegill a trophy and will issue you a “Master Angler” award if you catch and document one.

I probably fish two dozen lakes where it is not unusual to catch a 10" bluegill. About six of those have produced 11" bluegill and only 3 that I can think of ever produced 12" bluegills and most of those didn’t weigh 2 lbs.

The world record bluegill weighed 4lbs. 12 ounces if I recall and was caught somewhere near Birmingham, AL.

There seem to be many guys here who fish man made ponds where they feed the bluegills and I think they would tell you 11" bluegills are pretty rare. I’m just guessing about ponds, as I have had very little experience with them.

Now that I am thinking about it, I know 2 more lakes in WI that have produced 11" bluegills and the only one I can mention is Lake Mendota located in downtown Madison. I also didn’t count the ones I fish in Canada but thinking about a place to look for monster bluegills, I would suggest looking at lakes within 200 miles of Toronto.

Canadians don’t think highly about bluegills at least around the lakes I fish and if they catch one ice fishing, they stomp it into the ice. I used to fish a lake that has the most phenomenal bluegill fishing I have ever seen and people were always making comments like; “Did you really drive 500 miles just to catch those stinking panfish?” By the time I was ready to leave I got to know quite a few of them and they would always make some joke about me going out to catch those mighty panfish. It was amusing to them and amusing to me as well.

Find a lazy river that runs through good farm land, and dam it up to form a long narrow weedy lake and the panfish will flourish especially if no one fishes for them. The truth is, I can’t remember ever catching a bluegill in favorite Canadian lake that was under 8 ½ inches.

Since I didn’t take many pictures prior to 2001, I don’t think I could join your 2lb club, unless you would take my word that I ever caught one. lol
I would love to join OVER 2 lb. Club but I don't catch one yet! There's a few people caught 2 lbs plus bluegill!
I did lot of homework on 2 lbs plus bluegills. I noticed that to catch 2 lbs plus can be anywhere in USA, except far northeast state as Maine and Alaska! Wisconsin have 4 bluegills over 2 lbs. that I know of. Nelson Lake near Hayward in Wisconsin got 2 bluegills over 2 lbs but now this lake for big bluegills might be over because of heavy fishing pressure! Wisconsin state record bluegill from Green Bay! Puckaway Lake in Wisconsin have some bluegills over 12 inch!
Illinois State Record and former state record bluegills, both fish came from farm pond!
Pelican lake and maybe several smaller lakes in Valentine State Park in Nebraska. Lower Otay in southern Calfornia, Deep Creek Lake in Maryland, several clear and deepwater Lakes in Michigan, and private Farm ponds anywhere from Illinois down to Georgia and Nebraska to North Carolina!
One Lake in northern Florida that I wouldn't name it that have some bluegills over 12 inch!
Look for world record Bluegill is NOT easy! Private good size and old pond in southern states would be my first choice for world record bluegill! You can click on my picture and you can see a lake is famous Ketona Lake near Birmingham in Alabama.
4 lbs 12 oz, 4 lbs 10 oz , 3 lbs 8 oz and several over 2 lbs from Ketona Lake. Big bluegills might not there anymore!
Ketona lake threw out 2 world records in under 3 years and they were both caught from the same spot. The first at 4lbs 10 oz was said to have stood a chance at hitting the 5lb mark if Mr. McKenzie hadnt stuck it with a frog gig to get it up the steep bank he was on and let it sit in the fridge for almost 20 hours before having it weighed on an official scale. Theres several fish that have been captured from draining farm ponds in the southeast that have bluegill weighing in at 5lbs or more.

Our fish have warmer water wich keeps the food chain a cookin more during the year. Fat kids gotta eat ya know.
Look-up merritts mill pond in marianna florida, it's a 202 acre spring fed lake, with an excellant redear fishery. Unless the limits have changed lately, fisherman are allowed to keep 5 redears a day, with a minimum length of 14 inches. There are videos on youtube about this lake.
Florida record shellcracker from this lake was 4 lbs.13 oz. I believe and I heard that the lake was deep and clear.
As one who has fished a lifetime and studied big bluegill dynamics and written on the topic of trophy gills in many regional and national publications, I would have to say that a 2 lb bluegill is far more special than any 12 or 13 lb largemouth bass would be. Most states do have a record in the two pound catagory, and some have the very rare three pound specimen. Three states currently have 4 lbers as state records.

Nationwide, 2 lb gills would have to be considered freaks in all but a few of the most supreme and numbered public waters throughout the country. Most giants are private water residents. Most anglers I know consider 10 and 11 in fish to be honest trophies where ever they fish. In a lifetime of fishing gills, I have caught somewhere between 400 and 500 bluegills that have exceeded 10 inches and have yet to catch that coveted 12 incher that could have hit the 2 lb mark. The last 300 or so of those fish I released, because I just think they deserve it and I want others to catch them as well. My wife Linda caught a hybrid that likely weighed two, but we didn't get the official weight on it, prefering to release the fish. Our state record fish. A 3 lb 7 oz 13 incher from Deep Creek Lake , MD. was caught in 1998. I work at Piney Run Park in central MD, where I found a 'floater' in 2000 that measured 13 3/4 in long and weighed just under 3 lbs, partially eaten. Our lake record is 2.48 lbs at 12 1/2 in.

In my opiuon, any gill weighing 2 lbs would have to be considered a lifetime catch by 99% of us who pursue them. Good luck in your quest for the new record!
You got that right! :-)

I've caught hundreds of bluegill over 10 inches, including twenty-one on twenty-one casts last January in Texas, and I've caught about 15 eleven-inchers, but only one 12 incher, and that fish was 2 lbs, 1/4 ounce.

Very rare indeed when you consider that I've fished more good bluegill waters than most, for probably thousands of hours.

An 11 inch club would be cool....
I'll join the 11 inch club with only three barely over 11.
Like Bruce, 10 inchers are very common from our pond.
12 inches is my goal for this year.
minnesota record
Bluegill 2lb -13ounce Alice Lake.. Hubbard county...1948
Lake Perris in So Cal puts out alot of Big Bluegill. We get alot of 10" and 11" consistantly during the warm water fishing - still trying to figure out the cold water fishing.
What about 1 1/2 lbs or 24 oz Club?

I think 11 inch Club would be good idea that we let 11 inch blueills back to water while 1 1/2 lbs would be dead for weight scale!

Ask question..... I looking for a real good and accuarte fish scale? Is something like up to 5 lbs fish scale? what brand and where can I get it? I am sure that lot of big bluegill anglers want one! It would be good for catch, photo and release!
I have tried many different fish scales where you "hang the fish on the hook" to get the reading. Well, I have found outhe that none of them give a true accurate reading. I am the kind of fisherman that when somebody ask me how much my gill weighs, I want to give him the honest weight. I can't tell you how many people consider a 15 oz gill a pounder or a 15 1/2 oz gill a pounder. To me a pound gill is 16 ozs Nothing short of that !! So I took a kerr jar and took it to my local post office and started adding bits and pieces of lead weight until their scale said 16 ozs then I sealed the jar tight. Now I had my true pound weight. I have found that most digital postal scales where you set the object on the scale to get the weight are VERY accurate. Digital food scales also work very well. You can put a container on the scale to contain your fish and you can automatically hit a automatic recalibrate button to have it start at zero before you weigh you fish. The digital postal scales can be purchased at most office supply stores and the food scales at any department store. I got mine at a office depot store. My scale reads up to 11 lbs. Some scales may read up to 5 lbs which would work fine for bluegills. They usually cost around $40.00 - $50.00. Every so often, I put my test jar on it just to make sure everything is accurate and reads 1 .00 pounds. I hope this helps you.

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