Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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I decided to go up to Keystone Dam and throw out some of the cut Skipjack Herring I have, and see if any cats were feeling hungry.  I didn’t know how the bite was going to be, as there was no water moving, and we had a cold front come through the day before.

 

I rigged and baited one of my surf rods.  I tossed that bait up near the turbines, and set the clicker.  I then baited up a smaller rod that had a float rig on it.  I knew from previous experience that I can at least play with the smaller Blues.

 

After about 40 minutes, and two small Blues on the light rod, I decided to check the bait on my surf rod.  I picked it up, engaged the reel, started reeling, and the pole loaded up!  Then I felt a couple throbs.  Krikey, fish-on!  I brought this in:

 

[IMG]http://imageshack.us/a/img41/751/20120914flathead.jpg[/IMG]

 

22” long.  Big enough to keep, so on the stringer it went.  I baited back up, and tossed the big rod back out there.  Then I went back to playing with the smaller kitties.

 

After a few minutes, I had a screaming run on the big rod.  By the time I got to it, nothing was there.  I thought that maybe one of the Gar, Spoonbill, or Drum had managed to hang the line and pulled that.  When I got the rig in, there was no bait.  Who knows?????

 

Again, fresh bait, and toss back out.  After another 15 minutes, I was going to give it about 5 more minutes before replacing the bait.  Wouldn’t you know it, but the line started jumping and tugging.  Whatever it was had the bait, but wasn’t big enough to pull line out against the clicker.  I started reeling, and pulled in a small Blue.

 

Repeat bait procedure.  Throw back out.  Give it about 20 minutes while playing with the nibblers.  I get a good hit that really tugs on the big pole.  Picked it up and started reeling.  I felt weight, and it tried to fight for a few, then gave up.  Got it close to the bank when I realized I had a decent Blue.  I landed the fish, and realized it had the hook pretty deep down, in the gills.  That explains the weak fight.  I stringered this fish and got some more bait back out.

 

Another 20 minutes, and I get a series of hard tugs, then some line pulls out.  I engage the reel and start fighting the fish.  I’m feeling definite head shakes.  Whatever it was didn’t want to come up.  I wasn’t sure what I had until I got it almost completely to the bank:

 

[IMG]http://imageshack.us/a/img96/1489/20120914channelcat.jpg[/IMG]

 

A dag-gummed channel cat!  Decent one, too.  Weighed in at 4 ¾ lbs.

Shortly after that, my other half called, wanting lunch.  It was noon, so I called it a day.  Total tally was 6 – 7 Blues of which only one was big enough to keep, a Channel Cat, and a Flathead.

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Comment by Vince Fusco on September 15, 2012 at 8:55am

Sounds like a fun time! I like using cut bait for cats. 

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