Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

I am still seeking some help from everyone out there.


Please check out the older post invite. All this month I will be wanting volunteers to describe their setups and share how they fish with live bait.


I will be donating some prizes to the cause and someone will win some cool shirts and prizes for sharing. There are no wrong answers, just want REGULAR fishing setups - how you fish with the standard gear.


Participants will be asked to log what they are catching and describe the setups. We will share information together and put it all together for everyone. I also have a tackle offer for those who participate to join in on. Also - I am adding a new package so those of us on a budget can join in too. I will be offering a mini-pack to participate where you get $20 in tackle and the total price for getting in will be $7 (the option for the $20 pack is still available as well).


Anyhow, check out the post and please volunteer your live bait fishing setups. Every setup is welcome and I want many states to participate - runs through the end of the month or as soon as we get enough volunteers. If you fish one of the following, and this is your primary method you will stick with through the challenge - reserve it.


I need:


Each one of the following fishing setups covered with an angler fishing it:

 1. Blackbird Balsa Slip Float

2. Thill Plastic Slip Float & Jig Combo




Thill Premium Balsa Spring Floats3.  Thill Premium Spring Bobber



Thill Premium Balsa Crappie Floats4.  Thill Balsa Crappie Float (&/or Jig)


Thill Foam and Plastic Floats5.  Thill Foam Float


Thill Fish'N Foam Pear/Oval Floats 6.  Thill Peal Foam Float



 7.  Raven Slip Float


Thill TG Waggler Float 8.  Thill Waggler


9.  Thill Mini Stealth

Thill Shy Bite Float 10.  Thill Shy Bite

Thill Super Shy Bite Float11. Thill Super Shy Bite


Thill Mini Super Shy Bite Float12.  Thill Mini Super Shy Bite


Thill Stealth Floats 13.  Thill Stealth 


More Floats 14.  Gapen Panfish Floats


15.  Blackbird Phantom - Plastic Float

 16.  Blackbird Spring Floats


I need these!! Anyone fishing the following??


17.  The Classic Red & White


large product photo 18.  The Trolling Bobber


 19.  Bobber With A Brain (please - anyone).


 20.  Thill Pencil Floats

 21.  Rocket Bobber

 22.  South Bend Panfish Floats



22 slots to fill - pick your favorite weapon and let me know to get in our revolution. 







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Comment by John Sheehan on December 6, 2012 at 8:45am

Johnny -Thanks again for the tips! I will look into some lighter shot! I am compiling my pics of floats (Fixed and Slip) and weights used .I need to make myself up a compilation chart of weights floats gear etc to commit to memory for future outings.

Comment by John Sheehan on December 6, 2012 at 8:16am

Floats and untipped Jigs aren't in your arsenal of Tecniques Mike? It's a great way to present to suspended fish! I find it particularly effective for Cold water Crappies ,Perch and Gills .

Comment by Johnny wilkins on December 5, 2012 at 6:16pm

Great post John - I feel like I have let everyone down regarding floats. Here is where you MUST begin:

John - 

I learned a lot this season - taught by trout, taught by bluegills in a few different conditions. One message I have not gotten across strongly enough and a massive key to all float setups - good line and great split shot enable us to balance up properly.

Most shot selections start at 1/32 of an ounce, but sizes and names of split shot are all over the place.


If you decide to really super-charge your fine setups, use ONLY Super Deux split shot OR Thill Split shot and you can start balancing floats to where even the worst fishing day- you will outfish ALL ANGLERS AROUND YOU. Not because I am a tackle snob but because the other brands just don't stay in place, they are too large and because the listed two brands have quality ingredients- no shortcuts. They stick to the line.


During the fall trout stocking, I experienced one of the toughest trout feeding days ever [where I still got my limit]. These days are the absolute BEST for learning and advancing skills. I also was blessed with a repeat rude boater who was casting right over my line.

When he saw me hooking up, he pulled his anchor up and then came in closer to me. I couldn't even finish my cast as his float cut me off.

Also there aren't enough sizes for you to balance your floats properly with other shot. The smallest shot (if you can find it is a B - .31 grams. The next is .56 grams. Yes, you could survive with these two but this limited selection limits your rigs. I have splitshot that is sized by .05 grams which means I can balance my float. With other "split shot" you put one more on and you sink your float - PERIOD.


Yellow Super Doux runs about $6 - $7 for a hundred or so split shot. This is too cheap to do without! .05gr, .10gr, .12gr, .15gr, .20gr and even a .06gr. These are 6 shot sizes that are all smaller than other manufacturers. This is KEY when balancing a float. This is KEY when trying to float fish and it is KEY to catching fish - float fishing and presenting baits.

The above paragraphs are the most important thing you have ever read regarding live bait fishing. Let me say that again, the above splitshot that you may never have used are the most important thing you have ever read or discovered about fishing.

That - is REVOLUTION. Go, now get some. Your world will change.

I continue with my proof story:

I embarrassed him after that. I landed 4 trout next to his float, got my son to hook up on 9 trout and then proceeded to fix my neighbor's rig. I then got my neighbor's line setup with one of my floats and balanced it out- he then caught 2 trout in front of the rude boater captain - who was an experienced, yet rude angler.

Score- 15:1. 15 times more effective - the fish had spoken.

I am all for sharing, but when there is a big lake and anglers can go anywhere, driving to my spot and casting over my rig is where I draw the line. Do so, however, and be warned that I shall (in a regular speaking voice-because you are that close to me) berate you on your setup when I am hooking fish from beneath your invading gear.

Ironically- this same guy was casting a spinner over my float rig this Spring. In the Fall he brought his float a Thill and he got crushed with a float that was lighter and which used - BETTER, smaller splitshot. My rig was 30% lighter with a much better shot pattern and out fished his 15 to 1 fish.

I could hear his Water Gremlin chunks of lead hitting the water when he cast in - AGAIN, way too close if I can speak to you in a regular voice and I can identify your float. BLOOP. BLOOP - this is what his shot sounded like as they dragged his bait down like an anchor. Bait anchors that is what they are! Thank John Sheehan for posting and breaking me into REVOLUTION mode- thank you John!


Comment by John Sheehan on December 5, 2012 at 2:17pm

Thill Mini Super Shy Bite Float12. Thill Mini Super Shy Bite
   I haven't been able to balance this float with my available shot and jig weights .Fishing from shore late in the year it's become impractical to use this float fishing the 8' Zebco Slab Seeker Rod with mealworm /Jig offerings .Will try agin with a light wire hook/bait and shot .  This float however, I can apply to my shore fishing needs in December .It casts far ,catches well using a 16th oz jig extra shot.


Comment by Johnny wilkins on April 3, 2011 at 7:15pm

1st Time Out Fished spikes live bait from shore new lake (29 fish) aprox. 3 hours.

2nd Time Out - I Fished Spikes again - live bait from shore new lake ( a lot more ) - fished 3 hours - Public Pond - Chicago Suburbs (18 minutes from Chicago).


Take a look at the picture and GUESS HOW MANY fish were caught (all fish released).  I will post the total next week - I should give out a set of floats to the closest guess...

Comment by James Micheal Landrum on March 26, 2011 at 5:29pm
Yep that's why I got 10 !!!!!!!!!!!!- I've got bout 2- Weeks before I hit the River, Just about got all the Spring Gardening done!!!!!!!
Comment by Johnny wilkins on March 26, 2011 at 9:28am

Well welcome aboard- I really look forward to catching some fish this Spring! 

I haven't heard from Mr. Thill in years - miss him a bit for sure. Is that your closest tackle store? Ouch.

Comment by James Micheal Landrum on March 26, 2011 at 6:52am
Yep, that's it---- I have to travel 40 minutes to Bass Pro to get them!!!!!!! Just stocked up on 10!!!!
Comment by Johnny wilkins on March 25, 2011 at 9:31pm

By popular demand - James is fishing one of these... it is one of the better choices on the US market for certain.


For everyone- keep some notes, records for yourself as we track our fishing. I won't be fishing tomorrow 26 degrees tomorrow - I do not think I am fishing... but working all day.

Comment by Johnny wilkins on March 25, 2011 at 6:13am

Sure- the size makes it a good float ( not a great float ). I know the float well. Thill was my teacher and I got the inside scoop.

It isn't the fish that usually break it - it's the angler that snaps them off and the joints getting wet on the balsa at those thin parts at the tips..

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