Thank you for the comments Bruce. I'll try to add them tmw. if I can stop drooling long enough over the fine fish there.
As for the float tube, I also have a Fish Cat#4 I like just as well, but at 220 lbs, I'm right near the weight limit for it. The transducer rotates up out of the way when on shore to avoid damage. . ole Mike
Just found this forum or I'd've responded sooner! :-)
I have been flinging flies (fly fish) for 'gills for about thirty years, using - mainly - dry flies (Green Drake Paradrake, Baetis Spinner, Parachute Adams, various midges, etc.), nymphs (mainly the Pheasant Tail or Scud), and streamers (usually Wooly Buggers - black with red tail). I'll occasionally stoop to using a popper, as well. :-D
I have to admit that the midges - especially the #18 Griffith's - and the Paradrake are my favorites. I really love topwater.
I like 6 ft and 7 ft ultra light fast tip rod/ openface spinning and 4 lbs test line for small lures! 7 ft light or med-light rod for float (slim bobber like Thill) for live bait. I like to use a whole leaf worm (known as trout worm) tip on no. 6 or 4 hook. Leech is real good in summer! Fish deeper than normal most of the time for me. 8 to 10 feet deep out of the average size bluegill spawn area in late spring. Bigger 'gills like deeper water than average bluegills in deep and clear lake. I like my 7 ft 6" ultra light rod with 2 or 3 lbs test line and use a whole worm and throw out then watch the line for movement! It is more natural to fool big bluegills in summer evening. I like St. Croix and Bass Pro Mico lite rods.
Joshua, in the last 8 months I have had the pleasure of working with some great people on what we call the Beginner's Corner on the Nebraska Fish & Game Association forum (www.nefga.org). One of the other members turned me on to Berkley Gulp! for panfish. Specifically the Gulp fry. I then found out that small (1/8" x 3/8") cylinder-shaped pieces of used Gulp worms or lizards work just as well. I had great success using a piece of Gulp by itself on a no. 6 or 8 aberdeen hook under a small bobber. I also caught quite a few fish tipping a Little Nipper feather jig with Gulp. Color didn't seem to matter in the least bit. The Gulp pieces stay on the hook very well. (don't let it dry on the hook, it doesn't like to come off at all!)
Joshua, Slimdog is right on with the Berkley Gulp!. I used to heavily rely on some sort of live bait (nightcrawler,garden worms,spikes,waxworms) but since the introduction of Gulp! I can feel secure heading out to the lake without any live bait. Plus it stays on the hook longer than live bait. The only other advice I can give is to keep trying different presentations. Don't get stuck in a rut, and don't rely on one tactic for catching bluegills. That way if one way doesn't work you can have a backup plan.
I used a Light rod and reel, 4-6 pound test, 1/64, 1/32 oz jig and Panfish Assassin Tiny Shad Series 1.5 inch bodies (Opening Night and Electric Chicken). Use the 1/64 on windier days (let the wind blow it around if you can) and the 1/32 on calm days. Just glide it along the bottom slow retrieve from the bank or drift/jig the bottom from a boat. They destroyed the gills and crappie this Summer and Fall.
ROB! Where can I find that electic chicken lure!!!!! That thing has caught me so many speckled trout this year(but in a much bigger size of course). Theres a certian time of year that specks run way up in the fresh water of the delta and thats the bait to use. At the very end of the run when these fish start to move back towards the bay the bluegill turn on like crazy. Im just wonderin if this thing would get the same reaction. Id love to experiment with some baits other than a cricket and this looks like a perfect candidate! Most likely Im going to be jiggin it in tree tops..... Have you had experience fishing it thataway?