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Featured Blog Posts (184)

Nice Magnum

I went out on the kayak the other day and found a bunch of agressive gills in deep water (25'-30') off a weed edge. Took several 8 inchers for a meal but also got this beauty that was just shy of 11". Released it to swim again.

Added by Stephen Ermak on August 20, 2016 at 7:16am — 7 Comments

The Short Life of Kyle VerMaas, and why I'll be forever better for knowing him.

Kyle VerMaas with a monster hybrid sunfish, and a pretty girl on each arm.


I was on the 25-minute ride home from Branched Oak Lake, and I was miserable beyond words. My battle with a big walleye had ended badly. An inexplicable unbuttoning that left me tearful and maybe even a…


Added by Bruce Condello on March 22, 2014 at 4:00pm — 15 Comments

Jim Gronaw....A brief profile.

Jim Gronaw must surely be accustomed to wearing many hats.....husband, father, grandfather, talented outdoor writer, angler extraordinaire, and last but certainly not least, one of our very own moderators, right here at !

Residing in Westminster, MD., You're liable to find Jim Gronaw either casting a line at one of several local hotspots, or busily putting the finishing touches on his latest outdoor themed article. Jim's…


Added by Tony Livingston on January 17, 2014 at 8:32am — 16 Comments

Christmas Bluegill Wishes

I would like to extend a sincere and heartfelt gratitude to all of the members of

I know I've been lacking in posts and pictures lately, but the demands of my family and my business render me an observer most of the time.  I read every post and enjoy every picture.  Every big bluegill caught feels like I landed it myself.

I hope that all of you have an amazing Christmas, and a great new year.  2016 will surely be full of great catches, great…


Added by Bruce Condello on December 24, 2015 at 1:51pm — 3 Comments

What do the "B's" in B&B Farms, Maple Syrup stand for?

 Bluegills and Botanicals if you read the fine print. It seemed appropriate, as those two subjects definitely hold a special place in my family's hearts.

I thought I would share a little bit of the maple syrup process, for those who might be curious as to how it's done. I may add additional photos as time permits.

Disclaimer: No Bluegills were harmed during the making of this maple syrup.

My wife and our oldest son, tapping some trees during an unseasonably warm spell…


Added by Tony Livingston on June 26, 2015 at 7:30am — 15 Comments

A few random thoughts about bluegill

I'd like to just reiterate a couple of my thoughts about bluegill.

Many of us started with bluegill.  When we caught bluegill as kids, we were proud and excited.  They were willing participants in the angling game, and were scrappy fighters for their size.  Bluegill were also beautiful by any standards, and were curiously varied and original.

Many of us drifted away from bluegill as we aged.  We became jaded, and influenced by those around us.  We were told that…


Added by Bruce Condello on April 7, 2015 at 9:33pm — 13 Comments

Methodology to catching panfish under the ice...

     I have been asked a few times on this site what tactics I use to catch crappie and blue gill through the ice. So I thought the best way to answer would be to put a post together with some…


Added by Nathanael Deloach on February 10, 2015 at 10:00am — 53 Comments

Mad River Canoe Adventure 14

September 20, 2014

Took the Mad River Adventure 14 'yakkanoe' out again. As I mentioned before, it takes 21 days to make a habit stick. That said, more trips are definitely needed!


My Secret Fishing Trousers - Try cotton sleep pants for fair…


Added by David, aka, "McScruff" on September 20, 2014 at 4:30pm — 14 Comments

Tail Gunner Tactics For Gills

Hey guys and gals... I know this tactic is nothing new, but I think it deserves review.The 'tailgunner' rig for shallow bedding or feeding gills is simply the use of a small, floating crankbait with a short dropper tied to it with a dry or wet fly attached.

We used this simple rig today for over 70 gills over a windy, shallow spawning area and could easily have caught more. We like the small floating Rapalas or the Yo Zuri Tad Fry and a six to 10 inch dropper of 6 lb test lo-vis mono… Continue

Added by Jim Gronaw on May 31, 2009 at 8:41pm — 11 Comments

Experimenting with slip floats.

Since I'm unable to fish,broken heart  I thought I would post a few photos showing what I'm up to with my floats. This first photo shows the materials I'm using: Cans of primer and topcoat, 3/16" rigid aquarium tubing, glass beads from the craft store, some 5/32" hardened drill rod used for a turning mandrel, 1" square balsa blocks, and some split, flat washers and O-rings, used for float weighting.…


Added by Tony Livingston on December 30, 2012 at 12:01pm — 1 Comment

Souped up slip bobbers... part 2..

Slide the tube back into the foam body and secure it with a drop of glue. I recommend  leaving about 3/4" of the tube sticking out of the top of the float body.

Now, take those metal flat washers, clamp em' in a vise, and use a hacksaw to cut through one side. Like thus:

Slide an appropriate amount of washers, ( I usually use 6-7), onto the plastic shaft, right…


Added by Tony Livingston on August 22, 2012 at 1:20pm — 12 Comments

Souped up slip bobbers...part 1

Okay, so maybe I usually call em' floats, not bobbers. Whichever you prefer, chances are there are a handful in your tackle box. Many of us cut our angling teeth drifting a worm below a float, and indeed that is surely a fine way to catch a Bluegill. I still reach for a float of some sort on many occasions, although these days I'm more more apt to suspend an artificial jig beneath it than I am a hapless garden worm.

But no matter the bait, the float still has to do it's part to put…


Added by Tony Livingston on August 22, 2012 at 12:30pm — 8 Comments

Coldwater/Warmwater Bluegill

Being a fisherman from southern California, where is rarely gets under 40 to 50 degrees in the dead of winter, why do the Blue gill in our lakes here stop biting when we have this cool weather? It is Very hard to even locate them! Most of the lakes and ponds in the northern states freeze over from freezing temperatures, yet you have great Bluegill fishing through the ice. Cold water is cold water, no matter where it is right? Well, Bluegill are Bluegill in any area too right? So how come us… Continue

Added by Jeff Soto on February 23, 2009 at 7:26pm — 12 Comments

Float Fishing for Panfish - The basics

In Indiana, as well as most of the country, panfish are the most sought after fish by the majority of anglers. Of this large family of fish, bluegills and crappie make up the majority of the anglers focus. Harvested numbers of these two fish typically exceeds 100,000 fish in any given year on a large reservoir or lake. And of these fish, a large percentage are caught on live bait.

There are many ways of fishing live bait, but for panfish some form of bobber fishing is the standard… Continue

Added by B. Waldman on January 1, 2009 at 10:03am — 31 Comments

Black soldier fly larvae - nutritious forage for fish and super fast composters

A little over a year ago I read a thread at the Pond Boss forum about using "rot baskets" as a source of additional forage for pond fish. Basically you suspend a dead animal over your pond in a wire basket and as the resulting maggots mature they drop into the pond and feed the fish. I liked the idea of free protein, but didn't want to deal with disease carrying pests and foul odors near the pond. I started looking for a cleaner type of insect that didn't have those drawbacks.

When I… Continue

Added by GW on July 26, 2008 at 7:30am — 5 Comments

Big Bluegill and Stewardship.

How does "Big Bluegill" feel about conservation?

Easy. We're all for it.

Big Bluegill members are a gang of anglers who know they're on to something special.

The bluegill is really the perfect fish when you think about it. Perfectly satisfying to fly fishermen and bobber slingers. Equally satisfying for ice fishermen and kayakers. Beloved by catch and releasers, as well as those who fish to dine. Targeted by the trophy fisherman, and the folks who just crave… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on September 14, 2008 at 7:00pm — 12 Comments

When it comes to bluegill, how old is "old"?

I posed the question to biologist Daryl Bauer what qualifies as an old bluegill, and asked if he had sampled some really ancient specimens in his years as a fisheries professional.

Here was my question.

"Actually, I'd like to know from Daryl if he's seen any truly ancient bluegill in his sampling days. You know, like 12 or 13 year old fish. I've probably aged, or assisted in aging somewhere around or over 200 bluegill, but haven't run across any real oldies like… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on August 30, 2008 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

Harvest strategies

In most ponds, if you want to support a population of trophy bluegill it will require some sort of harvest strategy. While it is true that vast populations of smaller, lower Wr largemouth bass can prop up a quality bluegill fishery, there are things that you as an angler can do to promote the possibility for the bluegill of a lifetime.

Most experienced bluegill anglers have seen high densities of agressive, nest defending males during the springtime. If you sneak up on these fish you… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on April 25, 2008 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment

Optimal Foraging Theory, and why you should know about it.

Some people believe that in order to grow a big fish, all you have to do is feed it a lot. But it is somewhat more comlex than that. Knowledge of "Optimal Foraging Theory" is important when attempting to grow any gigantic fish.

OFT, or optimal foraging theory. Simply stated, E is the amount of energy (calories) from a prey item. h is the handling time which includes capture, killing, eating and digesting. h starts once the prey has been spotted. E/h… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on March 24, 2008 at 10:30am — 10 Comments

Tandem Jig Rig for Pannies (Revised)

This year (2013) ,in June and then again in October and November  , I've tried tandem jig rigs a few times . With and without added spinners, they've  worked on Crappies ,Gills, Yellow and White Perch . With dropping temps in Fall,fish food is perhaps more scarce and yet the feeding activity level of the predators is still in high gear .This makes for a competitive feed and prime time for tandem rigs. Indeed, the only time I ever caught two fish at the same time on one lure was in October .…


Added by John Sheehan on October 31, 2013 at 12:00pm — 28 Comments

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22lb bowfin

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2.5lb crappie

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2.5lb crappie

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