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My Master Angler quest for a 10 inch plus northern strain gill in Michigan continues in 2014... 

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Comment by Slip Sinker on December 23, 2014 at 9:41pm

2014 what can i say other than its been a great year … I learned a lot… and knocked on the door of that 10 inch bluegill Master Angler coming up short just by 3/32 of an inch. I caught many between 9 and 10 inches that kept my mind in the game that I believe tuned my presentations for next year. So I feel that the 10 inch barrier will fall next year for me not just once but multiple times hopefully ill be able to add side scan imaging to my arsenal for scanning pods  of gills in shallower than 8 ft of water. I believe I used my Elite 7 HDI sonar to the max last season. Finding the deeper schools or pods of fish combined with knowledge of the lakes and techniques to put them in the boat was accomplished successfully through out the season. So heres to next season.

Good fishing and tight lines~!

Ken ------<")))))><(

Comment by Slip Sinker on November 13, 2014 at 9:34am

Hey thanks Scruff... its been my best year ever... learned alot... wouldve been some great icing on the cake if i got that 10+ bluegill though.

maybe add a lake or two and do some camping nearer to some trophy lakes next year.

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on November 12, 2014 at 3:17pm
Hate to see it come to a close.
Your exploits have been epic.
Comment by Slip Sinker on November 12, 2014 at 1:01pm

20141111--Last open water outing from the boat... water temp was 42.8 and will fall quickly in the next week with lows iin the low 20s... ice cover 100% probability within that week.avg ice for the past 20 years was late dec and early january.

Comment by Slip Sinker on November 12, 2014 at 12:33pm

closure on my 2014 open water season... only got to fish for about a hhalf hour before a steady cold rain set in... but it was just nice to get out

Comment by Slip Sinker on November 7, 2014 at 4:30pm

hey thanks Jim for that research... awesome

most of the lakes on the list are over two hours of driving...

i havnt done it yet but i am going to try driving within an hour and see how it goes with the spine and how much fishing i could get in... Houghton Lake is a trophy lake so ill try that next.

so i took your suggestion on master angler bluegill within three years ... i then copied that data into a spreadsheet... now im able to filter by length date etc...

long lake looks the best might plan a family trip there next year ... that one is about a two hour drive and by the looks of things the best gill lake in michigan... but everybody knows it.

Comment by Jim Gronaw on November 6, 2014 at 5:54pm

Hey Ken...I visited the Michigan DNR Award Catches site and it is indeed a great wealth of info...wish all states had this kind of info. Anyhow, I noticed the lakes mentioned in the article on your other discussion, that article was published in 2011. I gave a quick glance at the Mich Award results for both kept and released bluegill entries for 2011,12, and '13. If these lakes are not too far from you, you might want to try to fish...

Loon, Long and Pine Lakes, with honorable mentions of Pickerel Lake, Sundog and Alcona Dam Pond. Hamlin also produced some recent giants.

When looking over stats like these, I tend to base my efforts on waters from the previous three years fishing results. If you go back too far, say 5 to 7 years, there is a chance that a particular specie may have 'peaked' or bottomed out over time. We all know that this can indeed happen to panfish populations, including large bluegills. A quick glance showed that, over time, the above mentioned waters produced 10 inch and up bluegills over the long haul, with occassinal giants. This tells me that the dynamics of the fishery are consistant and likely healthy and have not been down graded due to overharvest, predator imbalance or environmental factors we might not be seeing.

With all the natural lakes in your state, there is certainly a chance that you could stumble onto a great, 'under the radar' bluegill fishery near your home. I am blessed to have about 10 of them within 25 miles of the house, and five are public water. So, I keep it quiet, even as a local outdoor writer, as to where these fragile waters are.

Impressive were the number of 12 inch class fish...a handful each year...that come from Michigan waters...true northern giants.

Good Luck...maybe through the ice!

Comment by Tony Livingston on November 6, 2014 at 4:35pm

I hear you Jim, I've seen it myself.  One of the reasons I find it difficult to fish public waters anymore. To be sure there are still good fish out there in the public domain, but once word gets out it's often a slaughter. But hey, that's what we're about here at BBG...spreading the word, and helping folks to become good stewards of their local waters.

Comment by jim cosgrove on November 6, 2014 at 4:07pm

tony i walk past people filling buckets with gills of all sizes.this summer i walked past just such a group and them having no sunglasses were catching tons of small gills while 20 yds away there were 50 large beds full of males.i just said hello and kept walking..by  your posts i am pretty sure i know about where you are.there are 5 million people in my county.so irelease most fish even tho it probably doesn,t matter.lake perch are a different story.hope the wind dies down before i go back to work next week

Comment by Tony Livingston on November 6, 2014 at 2:56pm

Jim they will absolutely destroy a popper. The cork falls apart and you're left with a hook. My favorite rod for this type of fishing is a custom spinning job built by our own Walt Foreman. He built it on a 2 weight fly rod blank....loads of fun!

I don't release all spawning gills, but instead will keep a dozen females for the pan. The girls are usually just off from the beds in deeper water,  and it only takes a handful of females to populate a lake. The big males on the other hand, serve a much greater purpose....best to release them.

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