Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

It is quite sad that a man who would get in a time machine from the 1600s would DESTROY a US angler with most of our manufactured horrible tackle. US Tackle industries offer us perfect tackle to have a below-average and horrible fishing outing.

 

While world fishing tactics have not changed in 400 years, simple technology shifts between 1900 and present materials - and the tackle company's want for mass production have set fishing back. These technology shifts have buried our fishing skills because the generations of anglers who fished properly here are long gone.

 

The fact is, George Washington would also beat you if he stood next to you based on his methods. While a colonist, he had access to proper techniques and fishing tactics. George was not a fly angler - this was reserved for gentlemen and kings - of which he would take no part in. Others tried to say that he did in fact fly fish, but they were trying to spin his hobby in a positive light. The General preferred live bait.

 

Back to our time traveler man. He would bring with him his cane pole and with this method could NOT be out-fished by us in 90% of situations. These situations only include the need for distance casting - otherwise, get your rod, your jighead, your float and your lure and prepare to be humiliated by your new time traveler friend. 

 

Two things would slow our time traveler up- one is the thick cartilage lip a gill possesses. I have seen this slow down European competitive anglers when they first get here. I have even beaten a set of them in the US Open because their hooks were too narrow and to weak. The gills took a number of outings for them to get their setup right so the hook would get past that set of bony lips and/or not bend out. With their newer fine lines and thin hooks, they also were no match for the strength of the bluegills. The Achilles heal for the angler from the 1600's would be the braided cloth or horsehair line they used as these were thick. For the challenge to measure out- we would give him some mono to fish with.

 

He MIGHT be able to beat us straight up without the mono, but to get this right, we would upgrade his line a little to keep the experiment fair.

 

While we would give him some monofilament line, the rest of his equipment, knowledge and approach would baffle us. Our time traveler would only posses horsehair braid - a very thick line, but his techniques, bait, hook and float would be too much for you.

 

I know this too - the tougher the condition, pre-coldfront or in cold water fishing, the more the humiliation might grow - it might be 10 to 20-fold. The old school angler is used to tough fishing and subtle takes as the population has always been large where he fished. Many anglers and only a few pond opportunities which were pay lakes. Every bit of land was claimed by someone and most waters private, the rest of the commoners had to find heavily fished spots - this is all they had.

 

Over the past few years I have been studying tackle history and the history of US fishing. I also was taught by someone who ran with some of the great anglers in England when they were older and passing their knowledge on.

 

The way I used to fish and the methods I was taught vary so greatly. There are other methods available and more tackle available to us. I

 

If this interests you - look for a bright flash in the sky. More history yet to come.

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yes- be insulted, we fish what the manufacturers say is profitable.

 

Do you know that live bait fishing has been lower class since the advent of the artificial lure? The world calls live bait fishing course fishing. Course as in rough or not as pristine as the sport of kings - fly fishing or the use of lures to deceive the fish. The wealthy and white could afford the hand crafted lures, rods and reels while the poor and the rest were fishing for dinner - not trophies or bragging stories of travels and conquests.

 

The US tackle industry is based on manufacturing and profit - what catches fish for live bait fishing is lower class. People that can't afford boats, working class people and any minority - you are not the main client target for their mass-produced products.

Fishing has become the World Wrestling Federation. Boats, Bass & Trucks - the rest of us are just worm fishermen... All products lead to lures, throwing lures, lure storage and lure fishermen.

Live bait tackle is an afterthought. 

 

I stand up for the worm fishermen - that is the beauty of the bluegill and the fantastic thing about you reading this and the site members of Big Bluegill.com. That is why this is my favorite site and my mission is to catch bluegills - help you enjoy catching them more. I enjoy live bait and like George Washington - I thumb my nose at any other type of fishing (or at least the thought that live bait is for the lower class).

 

We certainly do live in a "do more and do it faster" world. Fishing has followed suit along with most other activities. It is a reflection, I suppose, of more than half a century of relative economic prosperity.

I said a similar thing about golf 20 years ago. Also once the province of the wealthy gentleman, it sprung onto the mind of John Q. Public with a bang. Every "regular" guy wanted to play and take part in the game.

Fishing is not much different in that regard. "Boats, Bass and Trucks," is an apt description. You can't really be good until you have all the right "stuff."

 

It also matter, I guess that the basics of fishing are very easy to grasp. Once that happens there is room for much change, innovation and development. In fact, I reckon that is inevitable. It's how we think - we advance, or we stagnate.

 

Johnny you are correct about fishing turning into the WWF. Every spring it's the same thing at one of the local reserviors that I fish.  The "Bass Masters" as I call them, dressed like walking billboards, throwing $15 lures stored in tackle boxes as big as my car, 20 rods all strung up with the latest gimmicks, looking down their noses at guys like me who are Crappie and Bluegill fishing from the bank.  They're legends in their own minds, a model of greatness to behold and beloved by everyone..well everyone but the fish. Rarely do these guys catch fish. Though, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. I was taught to fish with live bait and I doubt that I will ever give it up.

For hundreds of years - live bait anglers have been looked at funny, called names and been lower class. Since the advent of lures and those people that think fooling fish with artificial baits is more cerebral - [ well it isn't ] - bank anglers and live bait anglers have been second class. 

The terms "garbage fish" and "bottom feeder" are terms slung at the Negros, Micks and Chinamen as whites passed into the woods with their expensive split willow and bamboo fly gear, with their expensive creels.  Kings and wealthy had rule of lands where they could fish for their Salmon and Trout. The rest of us were the people fighting for a spot in between shifts, fishing live bait.

"What are you fish'n for there, he he - bottom fish'n eh?" - they would chuckle in their waders with the L.L. Bean gear.

This prejudice translated into the way all gear was made and while innovations on the lure side progressed, on the live bait side, we got the junk. Eventually the patch-wearing WWF anglers in their bright yellow shirts [ fish have to dig those predator billboards  - hey I'm a bright large shape coming your way ].

What is left on the shelves for us? Light line, small hooks good floats? Are there some quills, some finesse hand-made floats? A range of hooks just for maggots, mealworms and waxworms? NO. There isn't. The answer- the fishing industry has thumbed their noses at us as they walked on to their bass holes. Instead of trout- the "haves" drive $35,000 bass boats and wear 30 patches from the same fishing industry people that thinks we are second class!

Well, the Revolution is starting and I am unhooking my bass boat - 

What an excellent post David. You have me fired up.

 

My grubs are on the way and ordered (be here tomorrow)- because I am SMART enough to wish to catch the fish with food - it is much easier than fooling them with fake food. While the "kings and haves" tinker with their jelly-infused-purple-nurple-glitter-worm imported from Japan [ only half a joke- they really are buying $13 packs of plastic worms from Japan ], I am going to catch some bluegills - because there is only one flavor of maggot that I need to choose from. Who's smart?

 

: )

And only one flavor of bluegill that I like: rolled in meal and fried.

 

Add a beer and I think I've gone to heaven. The BassBusters can have their fun, as far as I care.

Maybe only one flavor, Johnny, but lots of colors!!!

(I'm kinda' partial to the red ones, except then I have to call them eurolarvae!!)

Nothing wrong with live bait, and it will certainly put fish on the bank. However, there are times, places, and conditions when artificial lures can be of great benefit to the angler. I think if you limit yourself to strictly live bait, or only artificial lures, then you're gonna' miss out on some prime action.

Myself, I fish both ways, depending on what my goals are, and what time of year it is. One thing I have noticed, I catch all sizes of bluegill on live bait, but on a 1" crankbait it's almost always going to be a bigger fish.... something to think about....

Sure... we just think the tackle industry is off its rocker... we'll fix it. Live bait is going to have its day in the sun - oooh that sounds bad. Keep them in the shade.

 

Sure... we just think the tackle industry is off its rocker... we'll fix it. Live bait is going to have its day in the sun - oooh that sounds bad. Keep them in the shade.

:-)

 Artificials have their place and I use them now and then just to change things up. It's just the attitude of some people that look down on panfishing that I have a problem with. I'm very respectful towards other fisherman that I meet when I'm out on the lake. I'll share bait and tackle with people that I have just met, especially if they have kids with them. I'll even put them on a good spot so their kids can catch fish. I just wish the same respect was given to panfisherman by the industry and by the walking billboards that think themselves better or more entitled to a stretch of lake just because they spent 40,000 on a boat, and bought into the hype of the tackle manufacturers. 

I'm preach'n to the choir! BlueGill people are the best people -


I dont run into this too much, as I don't fish the same sort of waters. I was checking out a new spot yesterday, a wide creek that passes under a highway bridge. It is close enough to my home to ride my bicycle there.

 

I can assure you, there wont be any patch wearing members of the BassBusters club there!

 

But as Johnny points out elitism has always been with us. Back when the good stuff was linen line and hand made bamboo rods, people were looking down their nose at others. I always kill em with kindness. I invite them to step off the lake and into my swamps and ponds. No need for their fancy  hats and giant tackle boxes there - better to have some tall rubber boots and a can of worms.

Of course, respect is earned and you get it by proving consistent results. Just keep doing your own thing, like you are, and proving what you got.

 

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