Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Hook points can make a world of difference, and a huge factor in success. Look at these two 1/80th oz jigs below...

The jig on the left has a #12 hook...ideal for coldwater gills. But check out that slightly down curved point. I used this jig yesterday and caught a few, but missed many, many fish on the hookset. When I got back home, I ran my finger over the top of the eye and hookpoint and it would not pierce my skin. The hook was never finding the flesh of the gills mouth...just 'popping' out!

So, I actually switched to a longer shanked, slightly larger #10 hook on the 1/80th oz. jig on the right. It was game on, as I started to immediately hook, and hold those bluegills and crappies in the frigid 36 degree water. I could possibly 'open up' the gap of the hook on the jig on the left to gain clearance past the hook eye, thus allowing penetration into the mouths of the fish. Often, fish were just 'trailing off' with the bobber and not submersing it.

This may be the first time I ever actually bumped up hook size to catch more bluegills than a smaller offering.

Moral learned...check your hooks and hook styles to see if you have an interference or dynamic that might prevent you from hooking fish, including the 'big one'!

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good observation jim,if you look at your jigs there you will also notice the hook eye on most jigs blocks the point to some degree.that is why the sickle hooks and the jig hooks with a shorter profile eye are becoming more popular.i will be using the 60 degree wide gap hooks on flies and micro jigs this season.on standard jigs i always bend the hook to the side offsetting it a bit.just something i was shown as a boy.like a bait holder is offset slightly to one side

Makes good sense, Jim. I'll go over my micros and see what adjustments need to be made. I'll tell ya...I don't know how many fish I missed, had half-way in yesterday before I made the adjustment...like 30 or more. Small fish, none the less, I should have been able to catch more of them.

I've had lots of hooks popping out of crappies mouths due to the tiny gap issues on some jigs.

BTW...whats the smallest jig/sickle hook size you have found?

i believe chuck and deb had size 10 jigs with sickle hooks,dont recall the weight of the jigs.i have seen the shorter eye jigs in most sizes

just checked chuck and deb have 1/80 jigs with size 12 hooks.

these were sickle hooks jim,didn't know they made them that small

Excellent! I'll put in an order!

iI also belive  the wider gap hooks- or sickle hooks are better for any type of fish-- chuck and debs seem to be the place to go to get the right sizes to!

The jigs in the photo came from C&D's...minus the sickle hooks. Got a bunch of 1/64th from them with sickles.

I ordered a bunch of jigs from Chuck and Deb about a month ago.  1/80th, 1/64th, and a lot of 1/32nd, all on size 8 hooks.  I wish they had some size 10's.  I'll need to order some 1/80th in size 12 and see if they hook up any better than the size 12 Aberdeen jigs.

I got OCD when it comes to hooks. I test each one after I ty it an agin when I ty it on my line. I use #4 Lazer Sharps for my crappie bucktails an bend them like Cosgrove says. It works. I also open them slightly. I've hooked over 20 in a row many times, rite in the upper lip where they stay on. I sharpen a lot of the hooks on jigs I buy before I ty them or glue a plastic body on. Gold plating seems to dull a lot of hooks. So ya have to pay particular attention to them. And Jim, I would have never missed 30, after the first miss I'd check the point! OCD!

Yeah Keith...I blew it on this one. I actually checked the hook point, which was very sharp. But what I overlooked was the 'beak style' point and the dynamics that caused it to just pop out of the fishes mouth without pricking the lips and getting hooked up. When I got home, I looked carefully at the jigs. then it all made sense as to why I was missing so many. 

That won't happen again!

good read Jim ,thanks!

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