Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Bass, walleye, and even pike fisherman have their the 1 that got away story. Im sure we, us bluegill fisherman have at least 1 story about the 2 pound gill that got away, here's mine. I was fishing a shallow flat about 3 weeks ago using crickets under a float when my float disappeared jsut like any other time. I snatched and thought i had a little cat so reeled it in with thinking nothing of it, then it happened. A big coppernose splashed on top of the water making my heart pound and then quickly drop as the bobber came back toward my face. Hook pulled from its mouth making me bad mouth even 9 inch gills for the rest of the day. Love to here fishing stories, hope you post yours . Thanks.

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I don't have one specific story, but a pond I worked with for ten years, the last several years I worked with it, had bluegill that averaged fourteen ounces; I would catch at least one pounder every trip, usually more than one; caught a twenty-two ouncer once...But the pond had a lot of cover, and I foolishly persisted in using six-pound-test, and I had more than a couple bluegill take off on runs I couldn't slow and bear down into that cover and break me off like I was using two-pound rather than six-pound-test. There were almost no big bass in the pond because I purposely let the bass overpopulate to keep the bluegill thinned, so I try not to think about how big some of those bluegill that broke me off might have been. A guy who helped me with that pond caught about fifteen dark males one May while they were on beds, and photographed them with a 12" Rapala fillet knife lying beside them for scale, and most of them were longer than the knife, but of course he didn't weigh them, and now he can't find the photo though I offered him $50 if he could come up with it...
My story happened on the lake were we live in Edgewater, FL. I was fishing on a homemade pier on the lake with a 5 weight flyrod and a small popper. It was just last week and I cast toward a disturbance on the water. Something was chasing minnows. Just as soon as the popper hit the water a giant slurp sucked the popper off the surface. The fish took the line all over the place. I thought I had a large carp or a turtle. I fought the critter for about 10 minutes and finally netted about a 5 pound bluegill. The hook caught on the net and the fish flopped out, broke my line and he escaped through a hole in the pier. If don't believe my story, I can show you the hole in the pier.

By the way this is a take off of a story I read in Outdoor Life about 50 years ago, Got ya. Bob
Here's my "1 that got away story"!! It's a very true story and one that may have ended alot more tragically than it did. My wife and I were fishing out of our canoe about mid-November 2008 (just before Ice-in) and were catching lots of nice size Gills and P-Seeds when suddenly she hooked into a monster fish!!! The way it bent her rod, we were both sure it was a nice 5 lbs Bass or big kept making long runs and pulling drag something fierce!! Finally she got it close enough to the boat and I saw the biggest Northern Gill (that I've ever seen in real life) that conservatively was 12 and could have been 13 inches with a huge humphead and everything....I calmly told my wife to keep fighting it and bring it close to the boat so I could net it for her... She guided it close to the boat but like a true trophy it stayed just out of the reach of the net!!! As she leaned over to guide it into my net, I leaned out to grab her trophy, AND THAT WAS THE LAST THING I SAW AS OUR CANOE FLIPPED OVER INTO THE NEAR FREEZING WATER!!!!! We desperately came up spluttering and gasping for air in the icy water and grabbed onto the flipped canoe!!! We slowly swam the half submerged canoe into shore and with both of us suffering from mild Hypothermia put the canoe up on the Cherokee and left for home shivering uncontrollably....Lost most of our fishin gear that day but THANK THE LORD---made it home unharmed EXCEPT for our PRIDE that is!!!!! Just remember, no fish is worth dyin or riskin your life for!!!! TIGHT LINES everybody and GOOD FISHIN TO YA!!!!
Many years ago (late 1970's) when I was teenager and spent lot of time with my uncle and grandmother in the southern Illinois. I fished a private farm pond that my uncle know the owner. I love that farm pond because I caught and release lot of bass up to 3 lbs! One time 16 bass in the evening! Nice 2 acres pond with lot of weeds and plenty of open water! I don't even think about big bluegill because I was a teenager and dream to be like Roland Martin or Rick Clunn! In early spring I went that 2 acres pond and use large shiner to catch bass. Easy to catch bass because I bring lot of shiners all the way here from Chicago. When large shiners ran out and only a few small shiners left. Maybe 2 inch long so I change hook to be smaller to match 2 inch shiner. I throw out and float went under...... I set the hook. I felt its weird! Feel not like bass..... I think it might be a nice catfish. When the fish come to the surface. Oh my Lord! Biggest bluegill I ever saw! At least 12 inch by 12 inch then the hook came off! It swam away into the deep water!
Years later, I learn a lot about big bluegils and I wish the time machine that I can go back then I able to fish this 2 acre pond for trophy bluegills. Few years ago, I passed that pond that you can see it from the street. The pond become more shallow and lot of cows in the pond. The owner is gone!
I thought of one more, that happened more recently. I was fishing a pond that I used to work with for several years, didn't work with for ten years while living in L.A., and then began working with again this past April; it was late July and I was fishing with my cousin who was visiting from Iowa. So we were catching good-sized bluegill that averaged about 9", and a couple shellcracker that went 10.5"...And then I cast up under an overhanging pine tree next to a fallen willow. My float went under, I set the hook, and initially it felt like a bluegill, had the bouncy sort of pull to it they have...Then the fish freaked out and took off on a drag-screaming run of about fifty feet, and hung me deep (about fifteen feet) down in a submerged tree. I told my cousin it had to be one of the ten-pound channel cats of which there are several (caught one about an hour later across the pond) of in that pond, or perhaps a big grass carp, but he was adamant that it was a bluegill. We didn't see it so there's no way to know for sure, but I still have this sinking feeling it might have been a huge bluegill or shellcracker.
............................NONE……of ‘em get away from the boogieman............................

Well…… even the Boogieman practices C&A/R. Catch and Accidently/Release.

Now the seeds for that were planted way back in high school gym class, PE as we called it back then. Sometimes, instead of watching us do the side straddle hop, the coach didn’t want to be around us so he’d drag out a sack of balls and tell us to go outside and play. It was either basketball or football depending on the sack. It was a shirts and skins game and I noticed real quick I got tired fast running up and down that little ole basketball court but never got tired of running up and down that big ole football field. I never had much use after that for basketball. Except the “hook shot”; if you ever got it in, it was almost as good as……you know! Now fast forward way ahead but still a long time ago.

When I fish, I hang a wire basket on the side of the boat to keep my keepers in. Now when I hook ‘em, I land ‘em. I don’t recall any of that almost had him stuff. Could have happened! Don’t remember! After I unhook ‘em, then they get their chance. I like to hook shot ‘em into the basket! A lot of ‘em miss completely, some bounce off the rim, some are too big to go in and just flop around and either flop off or get their head down and go on in. But some, enough usually for a mess; nuthin’ but net! Now that’s almost as good as……you know!

Anyway! There was that one time, fish slime or fumble fingers one, I got off a real bad shot. That gill landed right on my head! Now a gill ain’t got no cat in him. He don’t land on his feet! Lepomis macrohirtus has a dorsal fin that contains 9 to 11 spears, its anal fin 3 spears. He either bounced in the cannonball position 3 or 4 times, or he landed on his back! All I know is I had to use all my fingers to try to plug all the holes. I don’t know whether having such a big brain was a blessing or a curse. A blessing because I was still able to think clearly enough to apply direct pressure, steer the trolling motor with my elbow, and use my knees to drive myself out of the backwoods for 15 miles and then another 10 home. Or a curse because a brain that big has got to have a good food supply; blood, lots of blood. My socks were soaked. My fruit of the looms were crimson colored. They wuttin’ even my “BAMA” shorts!

I’ve got to hand it to my wife. When I came in from the garage and into the kitchen, stark naked except for my new color scheme and asked her where to put my bloody clothes, she just gave me the once over. She didn’t say ”who’s blood is it?” She didn’t get a twinkle in her eye and say “remember when we were young and went parking that time and a car came up behind us and you jumped over into the front seat and drove us a 100 miles an hour out of there, dressed just like you are now only paler?” Nope, she said “your truck has cloth seats. Please tell me someone else drove you home and you rode in the back?” Women!!!!!!

She won’t even go fishing with me now! She said somebody with a brain as big as mine who sits out in the middle of a pond with a football helmet on don’t need no help from her! Well I only put it on after I hook one and until I either make or miss my hook shot! Then I take it off. Unless I’m on a bed; no time to take it off then. Women!!!!!! They don’t know Jack S. At least not as good as I do. Ole buddy ole pal! He’ll still go fishin’ with me.
Hey Boogieman...I gotta hand it to you...that is one amazing story!!! Y'ever think about writing material for some of those red-necked comedians?
Ever hear of "Leary The Cable Tie"? Who do you think writes for him?


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