Do you love big bluegill?
Hello folks. I'm new here, and thought I'd start with a question about bluegills in the Goose Creek, just outside of Charleston, S.C.
Long ago and far away, ('72-ish)I was stationed at the sub base at Charleston. Often I would hang around the boat launch on Goose Creek watching the old men come in off the creek in the waning hours of daylight. I saw some big stringers of BIG fish. I could have sworn they were dinner plate sized. I was a long way from home, and really wanted one of those old fellas to invite me to go fishing with them, but it was the Viet Nam era, and there wasn't much more reviled in a Navy town than a sailor. In fact, were it not for my persistence, they wouldn't have even acknowledged my existence.
Here's the deal: I was recently fishing in a friend's farm pond in north central Missouri, and caught some bluegill that I thought were "nice", but nothing to 'write home about'. They were just over 9" long and weighed just at a pound. Nice fish no doubt, but not exactly 'braggers'. However, my friend and his neighbors practically wanted to notify the newspapers! "Biggest fish caught around here since anyone can remember"...
And here are the questions: Are those truly "big" bluegills? Am I remembering the ones from Goose Creak with the "eye of a fisherman"? Were they really likely only a pound or so? I would have sworn that they were at least two pounds, and maybe three! However, when I look on line for state records, I don't see any 3 lb bluegills.
I would appreciate a "reality check" from any of y'all that fish that creek, or are familiar with it and the fish (and gators!) that inhabit it.
Hey Paul you reference some great waters and you are probably talking about Bushy Park or Goose Creek Reservoir....Big fish caught in both......although overall numbers have declined over the years like many places that become over fished/harvested. Two to Three Pound class Redears are not uncommon from Bushy Park as well as two pound class Coppernose Bluegills......I personally caught several during the 80s when I first got stationed at the Naval Weapons Station. Santee Cooper still produces the largest Redears in the Carolinas with a Five pound plus fish caught back in 1998 and surpassed only by the recent giants caught in Lake Havasu, Arizona......But as a lifetime panfisherman, I have never witnessed a particular location with more Big Bluegill pressure than the waters you bring up......There can literally be a hundred boats at Bushy Park on a spring weekend and 80 are chasing the big panfish.....You won't find much here on the site because some folks want to keep their things a secret, but I'll assure anyone that it is far from a secret down in the Low Country......The word gets around fast and the crowds assemble......It's a little different fishing style because of the grass beds and tidal conditions, but the folks that have figured it out are still catching trophy panfish.......
Y'know Jeffrey, it never occurred to me that the ones I saw at Goose Creek were redears or red-breasteds, Now that you mention it, I'm fairly certain they were. I was just THINKING "bluegill" when I saw them, and that's how I remembered them.
Alaska is home, and there's good fishin' here for sure, but the truth be known, I'd travel and PAY for good panfish fishing. (Same as squirrel hunting.)
I really like to catch and eat crappie, but it's very difficult for me to turn away from just "plain ol' bluegill" fishin'. And nothing special about gear either. While I do fly-fish, and catching bluegills on fly gear is certainly fun, just a cane pole, a bobber and a worm is still just as fun to me. I don't want to "start" anything, but ALL things considered - especially how easy bluegills are for kids to catch - I happen to think bluegills are the "best" gamefish in North America. Of course, I wouldn't expect too much argument from those members of a forum called "Big Bluegill". :)
Thanks for the reply and getting my perspective adjusted,
Yep....I was raised in the deep South and everything in the sunfish family was called a "bream"......just how it was and it really didn't matter back then because I was happy to catch them all.....Pay pan fishing has been available for quite some time in some of America's more well known lakes.......I'm very satisfied to catch a Crappie twelve months out of the year as I can do in coastal North Carolina.......good times and it saves a few Bluegill from the frying pan in my house....LOL.......I don't hesitate to explain to folks that I cane pole fish often and own probably 40 of different lengths......I love it and it compliments the water I fish nicely and it just plain works.......I'm also bias to Bluegill myself.....not ashamed at all to say "I brake for Coppernose gills"......I'm wired like that!
hey Paul;; not to far outside of Charleston;; across the big bridge;; was a area called ;; the wando. ever hear of it?? I worked there back in the 70;s!!
It's still there and busier than ever Carl......one of the biggest shipping terminals on the East Coast now.....
In all honesty, Carl, I can't say that I do remember "the wando". I rode SSBNs, and was gone for 6 months of the year. When I was in port, I was usually chasing skirts or otherwise carousing. I did spend time fishing, but since I wasn't a local, I really didn't get to do that too seriously except on base.
Nathan Hale Gold crew for my first boat Paul!
Andrew Jackson - SSBN 619G - STS-2(SS)
Back in the early '70s there was a place out towards Summerville (of Summerville Light infamy), that was a dinner restaurant - can't remember the name at the moment - that served a HUMONGOUS "steak for two" on a PLATTER, and the steak hung over the outside edges of the platter. It wasn't an "all-you-can-eat" place, but that "steak for two" was all any ONE could eat! Great place! Wish I could remember the name. Seems it was owned by an ex-sailor.
We lived in Summerville and that's also where my wife and I got married.....Our favorite place in Summerville to eat and they offered steak for two was "The Fox and Hound".....
That doesn't 'ring a bell', but since I can't remember the name anyway, that could be it.
Maybe I'll get back there some day for some Big Bluegill fishin'.
there use to be a restaurant; in Charleston; called ;; The Fishermans Warp;; fantastic place to eat!! you could not eat all they serverd on one plate!! best sea food I ever had !!
I would guess they were a pound of less. Most folks have no idea how big a 1 Lb. bream/bluegill really is. Shellcrackers get a good bit bigger and I have actually caught some 2.5 Lb Shellcrackers but they were huge by panfish standards. They get bigger both bream and shellcrackers but I am talking about the day in day out average caught. Most bream are 1/2 lb or less.