Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Here's a little something I read tonight that lot a lightbulb over my head. See what you think:

"Either sunken or floating, your flies are most apt to be taken while sitting, between pulls. Start and stop retrieves are effective for both bluegills and bass.

Another thing to remember is, if you have a hit on a floating lure and miss, return it quickly to the same spot.

Big bluegills (and sometimes bass) can't stand to see something that seems alive, sitting motionless above them. It irritates them no end. Even if they aren't hungry, eventually they rise and slash at it with their back fins.

If it is returned to the same spot immediately they will do this again. Keep returning it and they become enraged enough to take fairly and hook themselves."

This explains a lot of the false takes that are common when fishing surface flies, don't you think?

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Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on December 14, 2014 at 9:33am
I find the persistent approach here the most fascinating part.
The fish literally swings at the bug with its fins. It might do this several times before it gets irritated enough to mouth strike the offering.
I see this a lot. The fish aren't feeding at the surface - no "pops", etc.
But they are swatting at the bug...I've seen their tail actually flip a bug.
I've also read they do this to stun what might be prey and cause it to drop down into the water where they can take it.

So a bug that keeps coming back, without succumbing to their jabs, well... it pisses them off. Enough of that and they hit it head on!

Supporting all this is the notion that they don't LIKE to feed at the surface. They do it, but as an expedient when there is no easier food to eat, or when there is simply a lot of surface forage available and they become frenzied. But it's against their better instinct.
Surface feeding exposes them to double danger, you see. They must leave their hiding spot, first, and second they are then open to attack from above as well as from below.
This is why they hit a bug and go straight back down, instead of hanging around at the surface to enjoy a leisurely meal.
Comment by John Sheehan on December 14, 2014 at 9:18am

While fishing for Gills and Red Breasted Sunfish when I get a lot of misses on the flyrod  ,I scale down in size and find my catch rate increases . With Bass that " miss " a large topwater bait a follow up smaller lure often gets them .

Comment by jim cosgrove on December 14, 2014 at 9:13am

my experience is the smaller gills swipe at it.the bigger ones will suck it in .when the big ones are feeding on the surface you can here that pop they make as they are eating bugs off the surface.i was fortunate enough to have access to an old strip pit with monster gills years ago.the reason i first picked up a flyrod was because i could not get these fish to hit anything as they were locked in on surface bugs,

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on December 13, 2014 at 11:24pm
Exactly my thinking Carl!
Comment by carl hendrix on December 13, 2014 at 11:11pm

use a popping bug;; you will see them slap the bug - many times ; then eventually take it!!  best evidence of what your saying david!!

Comment by Steve Wilson on December 13, 2014 at 11:00pm

    Sounds reasonable Scruff

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