Do you love big bluegill?
An interesting question was posed by one of the many great BBG visitors-
How do you measure success in YOUR fishing?
How many fish? What type of day, outing? (( be realistic )) don't post outrageous numbers here no need. We are not the braggey type and this isn't the point of this.
This post is all about reality, good and bad. This is such a difficult question - think of your fishing outings last year and help us all out - answer realistically - I would love to see what success is group-wide - not interested in inflated numbers. To help you out - you can give two different types of success or even find success in adversity - tougher fishing...
Of course not. I believe a successful Bluegill angler will readily dip into his bag of tricks and use whatever method or bait (lure), that will produce fish at any given time. I know I do.
However, I will admit to a preference for articicial. I believe I can use it to selectively target the larger BG's, while live bait will take both large and small fish.
As far as BPS, well follow the money. Bass are where the money is, like it or not. I don't fish for them, but being a business owner I understand that a company will put their money into products that sell to the masses. Anything else is financial suicide.
I think it's somewhat the chicken versus the egg - these days no fishing mags or outdoor shows take bluegill seriously. I saw an episode of Roland Martin's show and he was catching big bluegill at Callaway Gardens in Georgia, and even though there were no kids in the boat and Roland looked pretty excited to be catching those bluegill (the biggest one, according to the host's estimation, was around 3/4 pound), Roland kept talking about what a great kids' fish they are. Anglers think they're not doing something unless they catch a bass, so they fish for bass.
Several states now have public waters they intensively manage for trophy bluegill. It has nothing to do with providing fishing for kids, because bigger bluegill are vastly harder to catch than small bluegill; but these states recognize that a lot of people do take bluegill seriously. I've read comments on DNR websites from biologists of more than one of these states (I should have written this down, see these statements and forget to) stating bluegill is their most popular fish. So I think some of it is driven by anglers, but some of it is lack of awareness, I think, by BPS and other companies.
Bass fishermen spend more money than bluegill fishermen, because there are more lures and more toys made to fish for that species. People who like excuses to buy a lot of toys go out and sink $20K into a boat, $3000 in lures, $5K on an outboard, etc. etc. But I really think these big companies such as BPS are missing out on a big market. Look how much attention has been given to carp fishing recently - and there's no way that there's even one-ten-thousandth as many carp anglers in this country as there are bluegill. We're the Rodney Dangerfields of angling.
You make valid points Walt....As I've said a couple times, I fish out of a 1987 "bass boat" so I can't tell you how many times people ask me about Bass fishing and take a step back when I tell them I fish Bluegill only.....I just chuckle and head out for another afternoon of great action while my bass fishing buddy gets excited about his two keepers and four dinks.....But first and foremost I'm all about people doing what they want to do!.....I often go alone because coworkers at a 9,000 person organization want to be taken bass fishing or salt water fishing in the mid-atlantic.....Few people show interest or state the last time I caught a bluegill, I was a child at a family reunion or on a boy scout trip in middle school.......Truth is for me...I'm never alone gill fishing because I can have an enjoyable time and catch a very inspiring species of fish and often more bass than the guy that targets them! North Carolina is stocking almost every species of sunfish now so we have come a long way in that regards!
Right on brother!
I know of about 3 carp shops nationally and some of their tournaments are getting into the $10,000+ range so the carp is building steam.
I think when you mass up all the anglers that catch bluegills, they will be similar to the marketshare for say Apple Computers vs. PC Computers. While they only have 7.5% of the market share - they are the largest company in the world short of the Catholic Church (which is not publicly traded "technically").
Rewind that episode if you have it. I am sure Roland was selling either some plastics, some micro spin reels and rods or both. Cash - not kids motivated him. If these fish were so great for kids - like you hinted, they should have been on the show. Roland can't go on his show and sell a cricket, a worm or a grub that doesn't come in a bag.
Look at the burst of scents in the market place. Anglers are trying to find any which way to make their artificial baits - less artificial. After you have paid $8.50 - $23+ for your crank bait, then multiplied it times 15 so that you have all the colors, times 3 so you have all the sizes and you purchased your 3 fish-attracant sprays to make them smell more like a minnow you could have purchased 182 dozen minnows.
I know - I have a tackle box full of Rapalas which rarely get out for a swim except once or twice a year now.
I see anglers just driving into walls trying to play the tv fishing game. Purchasing premium packages of scented plastics, $15 tubs of "live bait-smelling plastic grubs".
Bluegill anglers - we are REAL. We like the outdoors and catching fish. We don't like posing and being something we are not. I know I can make an exciting bluegill fishing show. They are better than bass though much of the country because they are:
1. More Available
2. Don't Require a Boat (see 7.)
3. Aren't Over Pressured Like Bass
4. Make the best Kids' Fish
5. Account for Larger Catch Weights Than Bass
6. They Feed - They Don't Get Impacted by Changes in Conditions as badly as other species
7. Cling to Shallows and Structure and can be Found Easier
8. In Larger Numbers - Far More Aggressive (competition bite) Compared to Larger Predators
9. Supply More Food to Anglers than Bass
10. Are Just Superior in Design, Color and Fun.
Apple transformed when it moved from a Computer Company to an Entertainment Company i- pad, i-phone, i-pod.
Now if you can just rebrand bluegill,........ the other sports fish
I hear you brother but in a way I think Johnny may be right. Innovation in anything is usually a function of demand and market pressures. Unless we demand better equipment, the market will never respond and we only have ourselves to blame. Unlike some of the creative people on this site, I don't have the IQ or time to self develop working systems for catching fish. I'm amazed that the cane pole is most people's first tool to catch but no US company other then B&M has extended the product line or technology for fixed line fishing. I also find it funny that fly fishing is also moving in some circles to a fixed line mentality with Tenkara fishing. Maybe the timing is good to move fishing back to it's roots.
Johnny, I like the built in bass bite in the logo.
Anyday fishing is a good one, whether I catch fish or not. Yes, catching a lot of fish is better than none. I dont mind, the Lord humbling me now and then, he always makes it a learning lesson. I agree with you Walt, bluegill fishing is looked down upon, by many. It is like you are playing softball, instead of baseball. Lots of guys I know only fish for gills during spawn, they want large numbers. They miss they whole concept of gill fishing, it is not a number game with me.
I guess I've never felt slighted by the big box stores, and their offerings where BG are concerned. I've never had any problems coming up with what I felt I needed, or wanted to try. I do intend to experiment with a completely different approach to BG fishing this year, thanks to some help from another member. I hope it will open another dimension of BG fishing by bridging the gap between a couple of recognized techniques. We'll see how it pans out.
I don't take BPS stance on supplying BG anglers personally. It is what it is, I feel that whatever I need is available with just a few keystrokes these days, from somewhere else if not BPS. The fact is, Bass fishing grabs the lion's share of the attention, and pays most of the bills.
The name on the cover is, after all, Bass Pro Shops....