Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Greetings...all,,,new member here, first time post.
Just read through the posts as to "Trophy Bluegills"
as to releasing back the big uns'... I agree a must do.... What is the membership thoughts about catching and keeping the gills off the beds before spawning is completed. I do not like to take them at that time...say leave them there for them to do their thing...more gills later for al of us to enjoy... Frogg2

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Comment by Dave Lipps on June 8, 2009 at 5:40am
and Bruce in the article The Secret mentioned in the previous post....the surname of
Condello was referenced...any relation...just curious....
Comment by Dave Lipps on June 8, 2009 at 5:35am
Thanks for the recent replies to my inquiry of "Taking Gills of the beds". Appreciate and value what other's views are on this topic. I did a search on How do
bluegill reproduce...came up with two very interesting writings on the topic...
Bluegill Nestings and The Secret, both offer insite about the
manner of nesting and "parental male gills". These be of interest to you if you wish to
take the time to view....
Comment by Bruce Condello on June 7, 2009 at 6:35pm
For what it's worth--and this is just my personal opinion--I think creating a challenge is overrated. Fishing is challenging enough as it is. I love catching fish and I don't have to be skunked or limit my catch periodically to enjoy what I do.
Comment by Bruce Condello on June 7, 2009 at 6:32pm
Catching bluegill off the beds has been something I do in moderation every year. I think the same general rules apply to fishing and catching bluegills year around---i.e. set yourself a goal for how many fish you NEED to keep, and possibly setting some type of personal max. allowable size and stick with it.

A typical day of bed fishing would go as follows:

I would like to keep ten bluegill for dinner, and I don't need fish any bigger than 8 inches. Then I go after my fish, and once I've achieved my goal, I go after some other species, or maybe fish a little more for the bedding males in some new unexplored spots. It's a good opportunity to expand my repetoir of spots for fish.

Another possible scenario goes as follows:

I don't intend on keeping any bluegill, so I kick my float tube around. Maybe I look for some redears, or maybe some female bluegill off the beds. Then I can't help myself, and I indulge in a little bed fishing. Typically I spook the fish way before I could ever catch all of the bedding males anyway.

A good general description of my approach is "nothing in excess". :-) I definitely fish for a little "gillage" off the beds, but I try not to abuse this sometimes vulnerable positioning of the fish.
Comment by Jim Gronaw on June 7, 2009 at 1:58pm
I think it depends on a body of water and the gill population and size structure of a given lake. I have been fishing off of beds for bluegills of varying sizes my entire life and enjoying it to the max. On some lakes, I'll keep some for the pan and release the majority. On some smaller ponds, we have noticed a dramatic size structure increase when we kept smaller 6-7 1/2 in gills off the beds the previous year. Some ponds we just catch and release and on others we decide to keep some if we are in the mood for fish. We do release any thing over 10 in off beds, as they , I believe, have genetic qualifications to create big, trophy gills in the future.

Since most of the watres I fish have a variety of different year class panfish in them, with small ones far outnumbering the hawgs, I have not found keeping some off the beds to ever harm a fishery, although I am sure it could happen if there were tons more bluegill fishermen bent on loading the freezer.

But truthfully, I have no ethical problem with bed fishing for panfish and have, at times, found some bedding panfish to be extremely skittish and difficult to catch.
Comment by bluegillboogieman on June 3, 2009 at 4:38pm
I rarely find "beds". I've heard of beds in nearby lakes that cover acres of water. I think it's some more of them lying fisherman gettin my hopes up. I hunt fish with live bait and a cane pole. I keep some of my catch. When I clean them, I sometimes find them full of eggs. If they had been on the bed, surely I would have been hauling them in rather than scatter catching them. So, they must have been getting ready to go to bed. I see little difference in that one and the one who finally went to bed. And the biggset bluegills sure ain't the ones who just came off the bed. Those have been busy expending mass and weight. Besides, I sometimes like to eat in bed and if you ever get on a bluegill bed, you'll figure out real quick they LOVE to eat in bed.
Comment by Anthony AkA THE BRIM REAPER on June 3, 2009 at 7:34am
i agree Mike it is cheating its taking the challenge from fishing
Comment by Mike Penrose on June 3, 2009 at 6:51am
I agree that it is better to leave them alone and let them do their thing. It's almost impossble if water clarity is an issue and the beds are sitting in deeper water and out of site. I know that some of the larger fish will bed in some water that is a little deeper like 6'-10'. Sight fishing them off of beds is cheating anyway.

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