Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

So a couple of you may remember when I posted a photo a couple months ago of a 11.5" northern-strain bull, and happened to mention that I went fishing that day because I had seen a much larger fish that I thought might have been a bluegill (didn't get a great look, just the side of its body as it rolled to get away from the boat) a few days prior to that...

I was refilling feeders yesterday on the main property I guide on, which is where my best pond is, the one that produced the 11.5" in June.  I usually set off each feeder right after I refill it, not only to make sure it's still working properly but also to see what fish come to the feed.  I have seen several bluegill this year at my best pond that looked to me to be in the two-pound range, but I haven't been able to see much of anything the last couple times I've been to it because it got a heavy plankton bloom two or three weeks ago and visibility was around a foot or less.  So I was interested as to whether I would be able to see anything this time.

The visibility had improved some, probably to around 18" or so, not a lot but I thought I might see something.  So I set the feeder off, and about fifteen seconds after the pellets hit the water I saw two bluegill about ten feet apart, easily over two pounds each, one northern-strain and one coppernose.  I went back to my truck to get my I-Phone to try to take some video, came back down to the pond...

I was videoing, and I saw a fish out of the corner of my eye and thought, that had to be a bass, too big to be a bluegill...So I looked that direction, and a few seconds later he came up again, just out of the frame of where I had my phone camera pointed of course, but I got a very good look at him. 

I fully understand if anyone thinks I'm exaggerating.  Hopefully I have some credibility from the photos I've posted of bluegill I have caught from these ponds...

That fish was three pounds if it weighed an ounce, and might have been more.  It was monstrous.  

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Comment by Walt Foreman on September 1, 2014 at 6:02pm

Congrats on how quickly you have gotten those northern-strain into high gear, Tony!  I know firsthand it's not always a straight line of progress, so it's clear you have done an exceptional job with those ponds.  And, I know how difficult it can be to take a new direction, even just a shift rather than a one-eighty, so I admire the boldness that entails.  

Comment by Tony Livingston on September 1, 2014 at 5:35pm

I'm with you Walt....one day, we'll get our photos.

Really impressed with our northern strain ponds this year. Fish are looking absolutely awesome, and, you heard it here first......I'm backing off on the HBG program in order to focus on the northerns.

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on September 1, 2014 at 4:55pm
The best reason to feed 'em - grow em big.
Comment by Walt Foreman on September 1, 2014 at 4:54pm

That's a heck of a northern-strain bluegill, Tony!  I don't doubt you a bit - I've seen the photos you have posted of other bluegill from that pond.  If she's as fat as the one you posted a photo of a few weeks ago, she'd probably peg 32 ounces.  

Here's to hoping we both get photos of them at some point.  I suppose they didn't get big by accident but maybe we'll luck up and catch them on a day they're not paying close attention to what they eat.  

Comment by Tony Livingston on September 1, 2014 at 4:24pm

I know the feeling Walt. All summer, I have watched for this one, particular fish in one of our native BG ponds. It's a female, and she is a sow! She doesn't come to feed every evening, but she's unmistakable when she does.

Like you, all I have to go on is my experience.....I've tried to catch her on numerous occasions, but no joy. I feel she is an honest 12".

Nice going Walt, I'm looking forward to the day when you, or a client, ties into him and you get that photo.

Comment by Walt Foreman on September 1, 2014 at 7:29am

Thanks, guys.  I too would love to see a photo of him, Carl.  Just give me a holler anytime you want to head down this way and we'll see if we can get him on the line!

Comment by dick tabbert on September 1, 2014 at 5:02am

Nice when a plan works and we can see the fruits of our labor. Congrats

Comment by Slip Sinker on August 31, 2014 at 9:59pm
Excellent Walt! Love hearing of positive results from hard work.
Comment by carl hendrix on August 31, 2014 at 9:51pm

way to go Walt!!  your pond management is doing good buddy!!  if you say it;; I believe it!!  would really love to see a pix of that big un!!  hhaha  I might even have to come fish with you one day!!

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