Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big 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 fishermen here out west and in some southern states too, have to wait for the water to warm up to catch Bluegill?...

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Comment by Bill "Musky" Modica on December 8, 2009 at 10:09pm
Jeff, it's all about location.....last week fish were located close to shore in 4 ft when surface temps were in the low 40's.....a few days ago surface temp was 35 and most of the lake was ice were concentrated in the secondary lake basin in 9 ft....I believe that their always's just a matter of adjusting the presentation to trigger the strikes.
Comment by Chris Salmon on December 8, 2009 at 8:31pm
If you want to catch some large gills during the dead of winter let me know. I'm leaving town in a few days but i'll be back next month. I've been fishing 3 times in the past 2 weeks and caught no less than 30 gills each time. Keep in touch
Comment by Tom on March 3, 2009 at 3:30pm
Bluegills, big ones in particular, seem to slow down a lot the cooler the water gets. They tend to roam around in deeper water and sometimes it seems like you have to smack them right in the nose to get them to bite. When they get that way, I scale down my offerings quite a bit. I use ice-fishing tactics even in open water with tiny jigs (1/64 ounce and smaller) with size 8, 10, even 12 hooks tipped with bee moth, mealworm, or Power Nibbles.
Comment by robsabloke on March 2, 2009 at 1:08pm
I think the Bluegill are still catchable in the Winter months. We get a little spoiled here in Southern California during the summer and some of just 'take a break' during the Winter.

The Bull Gills are still there to be caught but I think very different tactics are required. Primarily you have to be more patient and experiment with various finesse styles of fishing... It might take a little work but I bet if you invest some time and effort into your fishing... These winter gills would be worth the effort... I'm gonna give it a try and I'll let you know what happens...


Tight lines
Comment by Jim Gronaw on March 1, 2009 at 1:31pm
Hey Jeff, I dont know how deep your lakes are, but I would have to guess that they tend to go deep and become very selective as to what the available forage or plankton may be available. In my Mason Dixon, central MD area, we get ice cover every 4 to5 yrs and I always fish right on through the winter with sensitive floats and tiny jigs tipped with bait...certainly nothing new. However, I often fish farm and millponds that are only 7 to 10 feet deep at the most. Colwater, openwater applications are not that tough on shallower lakes and ponds. Pioneering efforts may still be in need in those So-Cal lakes. Basically, I have adapted ice fishing techniques from the upper midwest crowd and applied to my waters at home, minus the ice. I have been 'open water ice-fishing' for about ten years and catch about 60% of my 10 inch plus gills in Dec, Jan and Feb. good luck... Jim
Comment by shooter on February 27, 2009 at 5:30pm
heyRrob i fish in a lake just a few minnuites from the camp where i live,CHICOT LAKE,it sits in a state park and wild life refuge .
the lake is about three miles long and has lots of timber in it,most of the timber is cypress and tupelo gum,with button wood bushes scattered through out the timber.
i live in BAYOU CHICOT Louisiana , south central Louisiana, the lake has some big gills and chinks,and lots of woods to fish in. i have fished this lake for over fifty yrs. and i never tire of it it is some pretty lake.
Comment by shooter on February 27, 2009 at 4:48am
John i do not know about the fish,but i have been in your part of the country in winter,and i have looked at the pictures and read some of the ice fishing post here.
man i don't thank there are to many of us cajuns that could handle fishing on ice,it looks like fun though,and i bet the beer stays cold.
i have never thought about the difference in the fish ,you make a good point .i wonder if anyone has done a study on this.

gators don't like ice
Comment by Bill "Musky" Modica on February 26, 2009 at 5:50pm
During the cold water period in Northern Illinois, just prior to ice up when water temps are in the upper 30's, we have had success using small ice jigs under slip bobbers that have been weighted to almost neutral bouyancy......takes are extremely suttle and in most cases rarely pull the float under....finesse presentation is key during extremely cold water conditions.
Comment by John Cachel on February 26, 2009 at 12:48pm
Southern fish born in warmwater and 40 degrees is too cold for them! Even in Florida, Bass fishing is slow in cold weather as 50 degrees in January!
I am not sure if your adult bluegills move to Wisconsin from southern Calfornia then your bluegill might die when the water become freeze but I am not sure. I know that Florida Bass can't live up north! Little different kind of largemouth bass....Northern LM Bass and Florida LM Bass.
Maybe samething to Bluegills. I noticed Florida Bluegills look little different than northern states because I fish for them up north, midwest and Florida!
Comment by robsabloke on February 26, 2009 at 11:00am
Hey Shooter... where do you fish... ?

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