I do keep alot of bluegill and actually prefer a 6 to 7 inch gill to filet. Our limit in North Carolina is 30 and I usually keep 30 but I'm considering a Catch and Release approach with the gills that are over a pound. That is a direct result of the recommendations received from this site. I already release hundreds of largemouth bass under 14 inches in length, which I prefer to eat over a larger fish, but I'm in compliance with all local fishing regulations. I hope to catch a big Seed someday so I choose to release nearly all of them in an effort to allow further growth, thats all. Sorry for the confusion Zach.
Thanks for your comments Zach. I fish a total of twelve river systems in North Carolina and two in Virginia. Although I have caught over a thousand nice Bream the last month I do not over fish any one area. I have caught big fish in each of these rivers for 14 years in a row. Coppernose is my favorite fish to target. I've also been going to the Santee Coopoer lakes in S.C since 1983 and 1990 the year after Hurricane Hugo was the only year I didn't have large catches of Shellcrackers...The only experience I have with Ponds were in Louisiana by Interstate 55 and the fishing there was hit and miss regardless. Good Luck to you this week.
Afternoon Zach, all of my fish have been in 1 to 5 feet of water using crickets. I fish brackish rivers in the flooded cypress banks. We caught some more nice gills this morning before the wind jumped above 20 mph. Thanks for the questions.
I release anything over 1.5 pounds in an effort to catch a record someday. Hand size or a bit bigger is what I keep. But in my opinion some of the smaller gills must be harvested for a good balance in a particular area.
Zach I filet 95% of the gills I catch and scale a few to fry whole for family that prefer them that way. As for the limit, North Carolina has a 30 Bream limit per person per day for a combination of all species. My dad and nephew are visiting this month so that accounts for 90. I can filet 30 fish an hour so I spend many evenings @ my fish cleaning station. Full moon is today, June 15th! I find the fishing to be better around the full moon but not all folks would agree. Thanks for your comments and good luck to you.