Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

 Not sure what all the contributing factors are but 2014 has been an amazing panfish season to date in Coastal North Carolina......Despite getting hit by a wave of tornadoes in late April and a brush by a CAT 2 hurricane on the 4th of July......this year has been productive since New Year's Day........I've already experienced quantity records for Black Crappie and the Summer bite continues to be incredible........I topped 3,000 Crappie earlier in July and sit at 3,151 as of 8/1/2014 with 617 of those fish at 13" or larger......Even July has been productive for Crappie with 417 crossing the decks........I'm also on a record pace for Bluegills but the remainder of 2014 will be very busy at work so the jury is still out........As of 8/1/2014, 3,619 gills have been caught this year on the Albemarle with 1,470 10" class fish or better......It has been a blast getting several new folks out with me to wet a line and of course our traditional Abney Family Vacation was special again this year......Here's a few pictures I put together to look back on this great season........Let's hope the rest of the year is just as good......

 All the rivers on the Albemarle have healthy populations of Black Crappie.....Anything of 13" or better is a River Slab in my opinion.....most fish are in the 10 to 12 inch class with fish up to 16" routinely caught in these waters,

99 percent of the speckled perch in these rivers are Black.......very few White Crappie in the rivers of the Albemarle......

A Solid Crappie Daily Double from Early May on the Albemarle......

Even in the heart of the Summer we find quality fish in the shallows on flooded cuypress....

May delivered as usual....

I love it when the Big Gills and Crappies are packed in together....usually occurs in early May...

Quality Coppernose dominate our brackish water rivers.....

A Classic Coppernose Daily Double....

Memorial Day weekend produced this nice pair.....

Caught in the same area a big bull shark was caught last summer....

Remember this region is only 10 miles from the Atlantic Ocean....

My nephew Dan caught his personal best gill back in June at 1 pound 12 ounces......a great fish that will probably go to Tim Overbaugh....

My Avatar picture comes from the most productive water I fish for large bluegills.......

I owe my success in this body of water to all the information I got from a man almost 90 years old....

This monarch gill comes from a location that I save every year for just 4 to 6 trips to minimize pressure and optimize the trophy gills that reside there......an amazing place to fish and I'm usually sleepless the night before......Going back there at least one more time this summer....

And finally earlier this week after work on Tuesday......I crossed paths with my best gill of 2014 and what a tribute to the waters I fish year round.....A great season and I still have five months......incredible fishing this year for sure........

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I never take it for granted Dink......most folks have no idea what we have in coastal North Carolina......I have put in the time to learn in great detail the rivers I fish and the conditions that impact them both bad and good......my log taking helps me to take advantage of forecatsed conditions and it continues to repeat......We may escape another season without a devastating tropical storm/hurricane and the associated fish kills so I'm excited for 2015 already!

one thing for sure!!  if I ever get half a chance to go to Elizabeth City to fish with you Jeff;;  I'll be there!!  proably have to (drag) tooty to;; LOL!!!    the quality of fish you have there;; is awesome!!

Fishing is more than catching......as I like to tell my guests on every fishing trip we take.......we'll have fun and enjoy some good times and testimony and if we get lucky, we'll catch a few fish and maybe a fish of a lifetime! Come on down Carl, my boat will probably be leaving the dock very soon! It is important to note that every body of water has to be treated differently to maintain trophy fishing......The pure volume of the water in my region seems to intimidate most but it serves to be self sustaining in many ways as I have now caught trophy gills in these waters for 15 years in a row. I clean and eat a lot of gills but I remain selective to the region and feel that I've experienced long term success as a result of things I have done individuallly. A personal goal for me is to educate as many people in my region as I can if they are interested in my thoughts......

amazing fishery and a great fisherman!

Thanks for the kind words Ken......without an audience that loves the Bluegil and fishing for theml.....this would all be useless trivia.... We must continue to thank Bruce for making this possible and the mediators for managing a site that insists on "mutual" respect for all fishermen ......that's why I spend all my free time here!

"SIR JEFFREY " CONGRATS BUDDY !!!!! A SEASON ANYONE WOULD BE PROUD OF and through all the bad weather, and other things like you clean up work there , you triumphed after all . A testament to your Tenacity in the face of adversity and that's exactly why , IN MY OPINION , you are one of the leaders on here ! No bluegills , or other species for that matter , are safe from you buddy.........I know this year isn't over for you yet , but can't wait to see the pics next year .

Thanks for the kind words Tooty........just a man with an addiction that happened on to some great bluegill waters.....many folks discounted the fishing here years ago when I arrived, calling it overwhelming.......not like it use to be........but  I started on the Albemarle with the same determination that I did when introduced to Toledo Bend's 188,000 acres and likewise the vast waters of Santee Cooper Lakes down in the Low Country of S.C.......But as an adult angler fishing solo often I just followed my instincts and it has been like Christmas morning on many occasions......some things don't pan out so I move on and others become a favorite location overnight.......It's clearly the most unique water I've ever fished producing multiple freshwater gamefish every month of the year, all that said I still have more than a dozen places I want to get to over the next couple years and that's o.k., a little unknown keeps you sharp and hungry.........I'm real happy to call the Albemarle my bluegill home field.......

The Carolina sun has set on September and the ninth month along with summer 2014 ...........Fall can be a great time on the Albemarle but the weather becomes more unpredictable this time of year especially the winds..........I fished 12 times during the month of September which is a good number for still being in the work force full time............Similar to the month of May, September finds the Gills and the Crappie crossing paths as speckles return to shallow cover to tie the feed bag on before the approach of winter..........Water temperatures remained in the 70s the entire month which is a fisherman's dream........Up and down temps is a show stopper on the Albemarle.......I landed 633 sunfish pushing my total catch to 4.727 for 2014 and 127 of these gills were 10" or greater............The crappie bite picked up late in the month as the cotton showed white, a sure sign that the Crappie have returned to shallow cover on the tidal rivers of North Carolina........I caught 176 Crappie pushing my 2014 total to 3,582 with three months to go............Looking forward to another great month as conditions begin to degrade as cold fronts become more numerous in this region.........Here's a few shots of September memories on the Albemarle of North Carolina.....

It got started right after Labor Day with a spectacular Pasquotank River Daily Double.........

The firefly jig from Bagley Lures was a hit early..............

Trophy Bluegills rock!

Who gets tired of fish like this........not me!

Middle of September and it appears that some fish were still spawning.........

Third week of the month and some fish from the Stables are still in their dress up clothes.......

The slabs roam the tidal river shallows early Fall.........fun to catch and very tasty.........

 The sun will rise tomorrow on Halloween marking the end of October 2014 and yet another month will come to a close. I will not fish on Friday as we will take our grandchildren "trick or treating" so the metrics are in for the month. I was able to fish on 11 days this month which is good considering the trend of one cold front after another.......Water temperatures were sitting at 75 degrees on the first of the month and have fallen to 62 today.........The gills began to pull back a couple weeks ago and the Crappie attached to shallow cover in numerous creeks and cuts. In most cases the Crappie bite was better than the sunfish bite and I caught a mix of both crappie and gills on all eleven trips which is very rewarding......I wound up boating 202 sunfish pushing my 2014 total to 4,929 and 343 Black Crappie were landed continuing to increase my best season ever to a mark of 3,925. Of the 202 sunfish this month, 48 were 10" class fish while 106 of the Crappie in October met or exceeded the 13" mark.....The most rewarding condition this month was fishing the falling wind tides......I was fortunate enough to time this on several occasions in which the bite was a true frenzy.......Here are a few shots that I will remember October from.

I will never complain if I can locate and catch fish like these, a staple on the Albemarle......

Still a few coppers before they become a bit weary next month.

A game warden inspected my catch so I got her to take this picture.....lol

These gills were landed back in the second week of the month.....

A Big Beast of a Black Crappie........tidal water magic.....

An approaching cold front on this morning has us pushing through three to four foot wave heights on the Pasquotank River near the five legged buoy!

Always catch some nice fliers when the waters begin to cool.....

Bluegill Daily Double......

And finally a classic Black Crappie daily double to send out the month.....

Now all I have to do is catch those 71 gills to reach 5,000 for 2014 and just 75 of those tidal crappie to reach the milestone of 4,000...........Been a fun and productive year including quality fish in all species......We have escaped yet another year of no significant hurricane activity thus no major fish kills which is very exciting for the prospect of catching numbers and trophy fish.......

congrats on a great year Jeff!

Appreciate it Ken........hoping for a run of trophy class gills over the next couple seasons......we have been very lucky without having a major hurricane and the fishing gets a little better every year we avoid the storms......

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Mind if I floss with your crab line!

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Mind if I floss with your crab line!

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Mind if I floss with your crab line!

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Fourth of July Jimmies-2008

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Mind if I floss with your crab line!

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