Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?


it was a pretty chilly morning for us in So California on td April morning. 45° to be exact. Was with my manager and best friend Johnny Unn at one of our southern California favorite reservoirs, got there a little late (7:30am) due to me not setting my alarm, but woke up from Johnny yelling in my window, lol. So we had a ton of my signature Slab Jiggies, Buggie Jiggies in 1/80th oz in white, red, pink, chartreuse, orange and yellow. We headed out to oit usual big bluegill spots.

Didn't see any on Shallow beds but the beds were there, so we stepped back and headed to our pre spawn area's with lots of luck. Was so textbook it was funny. We anchored up off the reeds about 20 feet and the monster male gills were on the shallow side and the smaller but extremely fat females were on the deeper side. We stayed in one spot for an hour getting fish all over a pound with an average of 10 1/2" in length. We were off the lake by 10am with ear to ear smiles on both our faces. We had both phones taking video's and pics and our hi-def camera rolling. Was such an epic day of big bluegill fishing. Should be hitting the water once next week hopefully cause we should be pre-fishing for a big tournament next weekend at another lake.

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Comment by HughScott on October 18, 2014 at 7:08am

way to go. I wish we had such ponds in central florida.

Comment by Jim Gronaw on August 3, 2014 at 9:04pm

Indeed, the drop-shot tactic has great applications for many panfishing scenarios. I have used it for the past few season on deeper hybrid sunfish in a small clear lake I fish that has most of the big ones deep in the weedgrowth in 10 feet of water. A 30 inch drop, a # 6 thin wire Aberdeen hook and a third of a night crawler slowly moved through the weeds with a 'lift-drop' pattern seems to be the best so far. Still experimenting. Here are a few we got just recently doing just that...

Matts 12 inch plus sunfish put up a great fight.

The one above went 12.5 inches and weighed best so far this season, still looking for that coveted 2 pounder from home waters.

Comment by Michael P. Holoubek on July 30, 2014 at 9:26pm

Where i live in Northern California we don't have the luxury of catching Big Bluegills or for that matter any Bluegills. The Bluegills you do catch are on the small size and if you caught one 8ins thats a giant. The lake i caught my State record in is a private community and fish there are mostly LMB. Catching that Bluegill was a shock because the fish had to survive being eaten by Big Bass. Most lakes or sloughs that i used to fish when i was a small boy that was back in the 50-60s had plenty of Bluegills. But nolw those same lakes or sloughs no longer produce any size Bluegills. Even the lake that i caught my 10lb plus Bass in i got him dragging a Worm in 20ft of water and the majority of fish i catch is vertical Drop Shotting in 20 plus feet of water which most fisherman don't have a clue how to do.

Comment by Jim Gronaw on July 30, 2014 at 9:05pm

First off, congratulations, Michael, on a spectacular catch of a near 4 -pound bluegill. Few anglers, living or dead, can lay claim to such a phenomenal fish.

In regards to bed fishing, keep in mind that bed fishing for various sunfish species, especially red-ears, can be very tough and challenging when they are actually bedding and not feeding. Bed fishing for panfish is also traditional and looked forward to by most all panfish enthusiasts. It is a great time to enjoy the fun and harvest of our great bluegill and sunfish waters, nationwide. We have caught almost 2000 bluegills and sunfish so far this year and most of those fish have been in bedding areas or very close to them. The fish have remained shallow and have continued to spawn throughout the summer, peaking during full moon phases, similar to what Jeffrey Abney has observed in his North Carolina waters. Less than 100 of those fish have been harvested, and most have exceeded 9 inches in length. What may be sad about bed-fishing is that too many anglers tend to overharvest adult male and female bluegills when they are vulnerable during the spawn. Many panfishermen even today hold to the ancient concepts that bluegills, crappie and perch cannot be harmed by the removal of fish, and so they catch and keep all they can. Fisheries nationwide have suffered from the steady, day-in, day-out removal of adult fish and the result is almost always smaller top-end size structure for fish.

Additionally, I have had the great opportunity to introduce many young anglers and family members to the joys of bluegill fishing by targeting bedding fish and helping them have a productive, fishful day. I schedule my angling instructional classes to coincide with the spawn and have developed numerous children's fishing event likewise. And then, there are times when the weather throws us a curve and cold rain or exccessive heat can push back, or speed up, the spawning cycle.

I, for one, enjoy fishing during the spawn, not just for bedding bluegills, but for pre-spawn largemouths and smallmouths, crappies, white and yellow perch and American and hickory shad, just to mention a few. I see nothing wrong with fishing for bedding bluegills and would not belittle anyone who takes advantage of this natural phenomena to enjoy rod-bending action and tasty fillets to boot.

Again, congrats on an amazing catch with your state record bluegill.

Comment by Michael P. Holoubek on July 30, 2014 at 10:37am

Mine i think was caught by accident. We were drifting in 30ft of water dragging a 6in Yum Dinger Worm for LMB when i hooked my State Record Bluegill of 3lb 14oz. The week before that i hooked a Bluegill weighing approx 2lbs with the same method

Comment by Tony Livingston on July 30, 2014 at 10:26am

All of us here at BBG are real, true fishermen (and women).  Methodology aside, there are certainly periods and circumstances that lend themselves to higher success ratios, but it's that way with any fish. I would wager that the great majority of state record bluegill catches happen by accident.....not by directly targeting the record itself.

Comment by Michael P. Holoubek on July 30, 2014 at 10:20am

I think Fisherman who Bed Fish aren't true fisherman! Thats the easdy way to catch fish. Be a real fisherman and catch in deep water like i caught my State record Bluegill dragging a 6in Yum Dinger Worm in 30ft of water! Now thats a true test of fishing!

Comment by DAVID L EITUTIS on July 29, 2014 at 8:38am


Comment by Slip Sinker on July 29, 2014 at 6:18am

what great fish... fish of two lifetimes! after looking at these it feels pointless fishing for these northern gills

Comment by DAVID L EITUTIS on July 5, 2014 at 3:58pm

WHAT A BUNCH OF MONSTERS CHRIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONGRATS MAN most folk , INCLUDING ME, only dream of gills like these

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