Do you love big bluegill?
Here in Connecticut just about everyone would consider a 9" Bluegill to be pretty big and the DEP considers 10" and up a trophy for catch and release awards.
Is this pretty uniform around the country or do some of you have higher standards?
Thanks in advance.
Sharon, you'd be surprised at how many bluegill fishermen there are all over Texas. There are several lakes, especially Fairfield, where bream are the major attraction, especially the coppernose.
In the Dallas area, a 10" bream is a nice one, a 12" one is a real trophy. Another fish that people catch a lot of here on ultra-light tackle in North Texas are crappie, which I've caught up to 2.75# on light tackle.
Although I am too far away to fish it on a regular basis, I hope Fairfield recovers from the fish kill last year. I haven't heard any firsthand accounts from there yet but a couple of guys on the Texas Fishing Forum are going to try it out. I got my first two 10"+ gills last month on Calaveras lake down here in San Antonio. Texas does have a "big" fish program for bluegill and other sunfish which is 10". I have got a few redears over 12" but my biggest bluegill is 10.25".
I have the same opinion on Mn Gills Shawn, I consistantly keep 8-9"ers and catch alot of 9+"ers that get thrown back in hopes that they become a 10+" trophey. I have heard of, but not seen in the Northern Mn region of 11+"ers being caught......I am still looking for those :-)
When I lived in NC 11+"ers were considered trophies. I caught many 10.75" fish but could never seem to get over that 11" hump. My opionion on trophey Gills is that you need to find the right lake/pond. Just about every region in the country has a trophey Gill lake where 9+"ers are found. For those that have trouble getting into those Trophies keep exploring, with a little persistance and patience you will find them eventually! Heres a tip, find a lake with a healthy large mouth population and your chances of finding bigger Gills will go up. :-)
Here in Southern Indiana, an 8 inch bluegill is a keeper, a 9 inch bluegill is a big gill and the rare 10 inch plus gill is really a trophy IMO. I've recently found a small public lake that I've caught several 10 inch gills out of, again, it's a rarity to catch those hawg gills. A 9 inch bluegill is really a big gill in my neck of the woods.
Redear are a different story though, I typically target redear instead of bluegill and we routinely catch ears between 10-11.5 inches. These are terrific fighters and much thicker than bluegill on average.