Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

I got 11 at my local ponds tonight. Could've done more, maybe, but I forgot to bring a light and the last fish swallowed the hook deep and I had to cut it off. It was too dark to see to tie on another and the moon wasn't high enough in the sky yet to use that :p

None bigger than 6 inches - these ponds that seemed just about devoid of fish 2 years ago are now jammed full of aggressive, small BG and there also seems to have been a bumper crop spawn of LMB this year ; 3-5 inch baby bass are everywhere and I've caught and released a bunch of them while fishing for bluegill.

Just guessing by the huge number of small and highly aggressive BG in there (actually, one of those 11 was a small female RES with eggs; didn't know they were even in there) that there aren't enough bass in there to keep the BG in check. These ponds are totally unmanaged, their main purpose is groundwater recharge ponds. Fishing is a side thing, and I don't know if the fish in there were even officially stocked or if people just put them there. I've seen one or two carp, lots of turtles, never seen a catfish, or heard of one being caught there.

So, since there seems to be kind of a dearth of bass, I stand in for them by keeping every BG I catch there, no matter how small. Since I'm moving away in two months I'll never reap any future large BG that develop as a result of my efforts, but I hope somebody does and puts them back in the reproduce. The biggest of these ponds is probably 5 acres, are less than one acre each, so they couldn't take much harvest of large BG.

Don't know how deep they are and tubing isn't allowed (OTOH, off-leash dogs and RC boats aren't allowed either, but people do that all the time and get away with it, so I probably could, too, esp. in the evening :-)  The ponds are currently weedier than I've ever seen them (can't set my float deeper than 2 feet even 20 or 30 feet from shore or I'll catch weeds), which is providing tons of cover for the little 'gills, too.

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Comment by Leo Nguyen on October 1, 2012 at 8:53am

Hm. You definitely carry a 6" blade like I do. I never leave home without it. Specially designed for survival hunting, recommended by the survival specialist that trained SEALS and Rangers. I always have this 6.5" blade holstered to my right thigh when I fish in remote area. I carry my 4" customized switch blade as a utility and defensive weapon in urbanized locations. I had pulled out these blades on various occasions in scenarios just like yours, with the full pit, mix pit, German shepherd, Japanese akita, and a dog-gone-wild golden retriever. Same deal in public parks, and local private water holes.

Just a thought for you: when confronting a pit of a sort, or any aggressive dog that the owner(s) has/have not properly train, stand your ground, stare at it as you increase your intimidation size with your stance, use your weakest hand in front, and ready your strongest hand in the back to literally poke the dog's eyes out, then grab the male's ball sack with every that  your have. If it's a female, be ready to punch just below the rib cage, the use your knuckles in a spearhead fashion to strike an uppercut right into the throat. I got my fair share of dogs attacking me because the owners don't know how to train the dogs properly, or at all.

Comment by JBplusThuy on September 30, 2012 at 11:32pm

As long as it's a folding blade with a bias - no matter how slight :-) - toward being closed, it's legal in California to carry concealed. If it's a fixed blade, the sky's the limit as long as it's open carry.  There are (short) limits on how long of a fixed blade you can conceal.

Too bad the PRC (People's Republic ofCalifornia) isn't a right-to-carry state, but you're right, I probably ought to carry a knife too, just in case. That incident makes me really nervous about taking my kids fishing, or even walking, there anymore.

And after the fool owners managed to get the dog under control - it snuck up to within 4 feet of me without a sound, crouched down, bared it's teeth and started growling and barking - they still didn't leash it. 100 yards further on, it tried to attack another dog. It was a female (Dalia would be a pretty weird name for a male) and looked like it was maye a pit mix.

Comment by Leo Nguyen on September 30, 2012 at 8:24pm

Oooo..talking about he fun of self regulating angling limits. Like that going to work for the remaining 95% rogue anglers out there.

Don't worry about the no swimming thing. Like that stops anyone from doing illegal things even though there are signs everywhere. They need to put leeches in that water. Plenty of statement to make, and perfect food source for the fish.

As for the dogs, I would say carry a 3 inch blade right at your side pocket. It's fully legalized as a utility knife, and perfect as defensive weapon against dogs. If they sue you, say that the knife is used to cut your fishing materials. Talked to lawyers and enforcement officers many times. You can carry up to 4" without any issue, as long as the knife is in the holster.

Comment by JBplusThuy on September 30, 2012 at 7:08pm

WRT limit, I enforce my own - not that I've ever caught that many in a day :p - but I've never seen a warden, police officer, or anything like that. No rules seem to be enforced. Off-leash dogs are not allowed, but I've never seen a dog on leash there. Dog owners all treat it like a dog park (I almost got attacked that night; gotta start carrying pepper spray) and don't pick up after their dogs. They also swim them, despite the "no going in the water" rule. Don't get me started on the R/C boat people (R/C boats aren't allowed except by permit, either).

Float tubing isn't allowed either, but I expect I could get away with it. On the off chance I would get caught, I'd get a lawyer and go to court and pursue an "unequal enforcement of the law" strategy and see how far I could get with it.  If there were half a dozen or more (typical) off-leash dogs and none of the owners were cited, I might have a shot.

Not that I mind off-leash dogs - dogs need to have fun, too - but if people can't pick up after their dogs, they ought to keep them home. And for crying out loud, if they have a dog that gets in fights with other dogs and sneaks up behind fishermen and tries to attack them, either keep it home or keep it on a $#!%*& short leash.

Comment by JBplusThuy on September 30, 2012 at 7:01pm

They belong to the Santa Clara Water District. There are a few perc ponds around the San Jose area; AFAIK they all belong to local water districts and are used to recharge the aquifer beneath the Santa Clara Valley.  These (Penitencia perc ponds) get their water from Penitencia Creek, with some extra from the delta.

Comment by Leo Nguyen on September 30, 2012 at 5:27pm

So, is the pond a private municipal water district or owned by the State water recharging program? Just wonder if the limits for sunfish being enforced.

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