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I ran into a fella while getting my car fixed and the conversation turned to fishing. He told me that he and three buddies took 12,000 bluegill out of a local lake last year. He further stated that they kept and cleaned every fish. I told him that appeared to be a little excessive and that i didn't keep anything under seven inches and limited my catch to a maximun of 25 and released any thing over nine inches. He said they didn't catch many fish over seven inches. I wonder why? I'm looking for comments on both sides. I think 25 gills a day is plenty!

Tom Swank

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I've been a member about 15 months now and I check in several times daily. I even went fishing about 1pm yesterday, so not only do I like to talk about it but I actually do it too! I caught some nice coppernose yesterday and released them all. Prior to joning this site, I would not have let them go. My point is that reading about the experiences and thoughts of different people on the future of bluegilling has made me more aware of what I really fish for. It's the hunt! I keep all I want to clean for eating and freezing. We do have big fish frys from time to time and I am the supplier and fryer. But yesterday, I just wanted to relax and catch some bluegills. I purposefully left my camera at home, never measured or weighed one and didn't even think about cleaning any. Tomorrow, I may keep the limit, but yesterday I threw back about 12 nice 'uns. Sixteen months ago, I would never have considered that. Either I'm just getting lazier, or Big Bluegill.com and these discussions have changed my thinking!
Thanks for the excellent response. Indiana does not have a limit on gills. They had to put a limit on crappies some years ago because of overharvesting. I used to fish a lake that about every crappie was 14", 1 lb. You are now lucky to catch a crappie. I used to hear that crappies were the most prolific fish in the lake and would ruin fishing. Not anymore! 25 a day.
Thomas, as a fellow Hoosier, I would be curious as to what lake you were referring too! I agree with what's already been said, while mathematically possible, I find it highly improbable. I guess I look at this a little differently than most folks, as I don't fish public waters. I'm fortunate that my inlaws have six ponds on their property, which is right across the drive from my place. Two minutes in the kawasaki puts me at waters edge. So I don't freeze any fish, once they're filleted they stop growing! I am able to catch what we need fresh, which is around 12-15. That's for four of us. I will say as far as management, any female gill I catch under 8" doesn't go back in the water. All gills under 5" (male and female), are thrown over the dam. It sounds harsh, but it's worked well for 20 years.
Tony, I agree with everything you've said. I'll bet they don't over utilize chemicals in those ponds. I witnessed a huge decrease in big gills in a 3 acre pond when the owner took out any tree around the pond, killed every weed and then wondered why no 10 in anymore.
Greed drives alot of people to fish and it just hutrs fisheries. Everybody is not ethecial when it comes to fishing. When you been fishing as long as most of us have it's not about wanting to eat everything we catch. It's just about enjoying catching fish and being able to enjoy what GOD gave us!!!!!
Excellent comment, Kim! I agree. I had a ball the other day catching a dozen or so hybrid sunnies on a variety of baits, mixed in with some bass, incliding a 19 incher...my best ever on 2 lb test line. It was just total fun!
I think the Gent you talked to is probably blowing a little smoke. I'm with Bill the numbers just don't add up.
Now I love everything about the little fish but if I/we get twenty-twenty five a day that's a plenty.
thanks for your opinion. The 12,000 number is for 4 guys that live on the lake. He said they fish 5 days a week for six months. If they keep everything, it is concievable
thanks for your comment
12,000 is excessive no matter how you look at it. I'm hard pressed to believe that number is ligit.
12000 fish / 4 fisherman = 3000 fish per person.

5 days a week x 6 months = 30 days.

3000 fish / 30 days = 100 fish per day per person.

It is totally feasible to have a couple 100 fish days in a year. I doubt that anyone can have 30 in six months, especially when they are keeping everything that they catch. I would say that these guys are telling a "fish story". I have a co-worker that is on the road alot. Every couple of weeks he comes back with a story about how these tow guys went to such and such lake and caught 200 white bass from one spot, or they went to this other lake and got caught by the game warden for having too many wipers in their live well. They are just "fish stories" that someone makes up to make themselves look like a better fisherman than they really are, or they just want to get a rise out of you.

I hope this isn't taken the wrong way. I'm not trying to insult anyone. It's jusy my opinion.

Personally the only time I keep any fish is when I am ice fiahing, and when I do I practice selective harvest. Sure I think to myself "man the next guy that catches this fish is guna keep it" when I slide a nice 9" 'gill back down the hole, but then I think that maybe the next person that catches it might be a little kid that gets totally hooked on bluegill fishing for the rest of their life.

Andrew
Andrew, I love your sentiment about the next person catching the fish being a kid who gets hooked on the sport. What an awesome way to look at it.

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