Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Hi everyone. We have a perment camper on a Northcentral Wisconsin lake. The lake is about 950 acres, 15' max depth with an average about 7' deep. It holds a few muskies, pike, walleyes, bass, crappies, and a ton of small bluegill. There is a lot of flooded timber also. You can catch crappies and bluegills all day, but crappies only run to 9" and bluegills about 5" to 7". I would pass on these smaller fish if you would catch a few bigger ones every once in a while, but you just don't here. Whats your guys opinion on this? Is there too many fish for what the lake can support? Not enough big fish keeping these numbers at bay or what? What can I do from a sportsman side to help our lake produce some bigger pan fish?

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Comment by LONGPOLE on April 6, 2009 at 5:02pm
Ya its nice having our camper in perment spot there, lots of lakes in the area that you can go if fishing is slow where your at. Plus the camper is only 45 min. from home. I haven't been on Musser or the Phillips chain there yet, but plan on fishing them this summer. 2lbgill you have a great website there, I found it a couple weeks ago before I found this one. When I seen your page on here I thought that cooler of fish looked fimiliar.
Comment by Jeremy R. Mayo on April 6, 2009 at 8:51am
I to see the same problem in the creek that I most often fish. There are a couple of bass tourneys a week held during the spring to fall season. Bass are very plentiful as are gar and bowfin. The crappie that we catch all average 11 to 13"s but saying this I have yet to find any monster gills. The water is crystal clear black water and is just loaded with bait fish. On a good day 15 nice gills are possible. Nice for this creek is hand size. I had a similar fishing hole about 2 nautical miles from the launch that I found loads of gills in that were at max 6"s. We fished it heavy all summer and fall and kept everything under 6"s releasing anything bigger. Towards the end of fall and begining of winter the gills were putting on size both in length and body. Now that we have more or less cleaned out that whole of several hundreds of the lil fish the bite isnt as steady but were catching a span of much more quality fish. Were going to slot our fish to 5" to
7 1/2" gills towards the end of the summer this year. The fish are deff. getting bigger and Ive made it a point to keep these few holes a very tightlipped seceret. The only people I take to fish in them are fam from out of town and my ole lady. People pass by and ask how were doin I just hold up my can and say fish aint biting but the cold beer is good and thank god im off today with a smile. We put in a few artificial reefs to start collecting some fish in the parts of the creek that are closer to the launch so that we can start trying to get those fish in there. Most of our materials are put in oxbows off of sloping banks in about 16 ft of water. Were mainly going to use these to try and catch those big gills in the dog days of summer when out water temps hit the 90degree range. So just make you a few spots and do some experimenting. Start sloting fish and the biggest thing is to keep your spots a seceret! You can make the fish grow. We also sink croker sacks filled with dog food to help put some size on them.
Comment by LONGPOLE on April 5, 2009 at 7:24pm
The fish look healthy, just haven't seen any bigones yet. Only fished it last summer too for the first time. It is some what a flowage has a dam and 5 small creeks that feed it. Like I said, there is alot of wood and cover for these fish. I have picked fish up in the deep 15' channel and in the shallow cover as well. The lake is Solberg. We are going to be there a long while so I just giver some more time to cough up a big one. Believe me a 7" gill tastes just fine!!!!!!!!!!
Comment by LONGPOLE on April 5, 2009 at 6:41pm
I could give you numbers but the most current ones are from 16yrs ago. Not much you can do with that, other than look way back and see there where alot of predator fish during that study. I don't know how the fishing was back then, but I do know that they have been stocking Musky and Walleyes for some time. Now does this have anything to do with it. If the Musky and Walleyes are not substaining themselves having somthing to due with the body of water. Because I know that there is enough bait fish for them there. I know I'm on consistently fished lake, and am not going to see alot of 10" gills and 13" crappies but you would think you would run across one everyonce in a while, is why I ask.
Comment by robsabloke on April 5, 2009 at 6:12pm
Ditto Mr. Gibbs...
Not enough predators to keep the numbers down... not really sure what the ratio should be... maybe Dr. Bruce would know something about that.

I wouldn't necessarily call a 7" fish stunted.... in some places that's a pretty good gill.... are they skinny.... are their heads much larger than their bodies.... do they look healthy... these are all questions you should try to answer.

Rob
Comment by Will Gibbs on April 4, 2009 at 12:42pm
It sounds like there aren't as many predators as you think or the lake maybe overgrown with weeds (given the depth of lake) thus giving the smaller fish excellent cover. My only suggestion is 1. whenever you catch the small fish do not return them to the lake and 2. Find another lake with a good population of large bass... lakes with large bass generally have fantastic bluegill potential! Good Luck!

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