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.
Nope. The issue isn't their size, the issue is the species. The fish I saw were bigger than dinner plates, and were no less than 2 lbs and could have easily been pushing 3. The "problem" was that they weren't bluegills, they were most likely red-breasted or redears. The fish I caught in MO were bluegills. Nice fish, but one-pounders, and "nothing to write home about" IN COMPARISON to the ones I saw come out of Goose Creek.
Guess I was using the term Bream to loosely . All the locals around here called the Bluegill a bream, The red ear sunfish they call the shellcracker and also the other popular panfish is the Redbreast which most folks associate with the Edisto and other black water rivers.
The Shellcracker is the king as far as size and 2 to 3 Lb, ones are not unusual unless you are talking about what I catch.LOL
I pronounce it "Brim" but I spell it " Bream " , the only reason I say " Bluegill " on here so it would be easier for our northern friends to understand, Scruff is right Bream are those big black one that have cabovers, those are the treasure we seek, other fish fall into this category but really they are not bream, they are punkinseeds , longears, green sunfish , and fliers .Others we treasure are Red Ears a.k.a. Shellcrackers and Orangebreasted , Warmouths, a.k.a. Goggle Eye, also fall under the umbrella of Bream but they have there own names and we treasure them too just like the true black bream. LOFR
And even further south, down Texas way, many sunfish are lumped together as "Perch".......or perhaps "Purch"
Tony...I caught a 9 3/8 inch p-seed many years ago that weighed 15 ounces...an absolute balloon. The seed I got today was right at 10 inches and .995 pounds...still a balloon. Only difference was the 15 oz fish was a gravid female and todays seed was a male.
Comparing redears to bluegills is like comparing apples to oranges. Both are fruits, but the similarity sorta' stops there. Same thing with ears' and gills'.
And technically speaking, a nine inch bluegill that weighs a pound is a monster. Standard weight for an average, healthy, nine inch fish is 9.9 ozs. An honest to goodness one pound bluegill that measured 9" would come in at 161% of average.....a beast!
Lotsa variation as one moves substantial distances geographically. However, I now find out they were "hybrid" bluegills. These hybrids were - I believe - crosses between bluegills and redbreasts, but I am not sure. A "for the record" picture is attached. Weights were 15.8 and 16.1 oz about 4 hours after capture, but they were in a stringer 'til about an hour before the weights were taken.
Those fish are extremely heavy for their length.
Those are some outstanding fish! I don't see anything that leads me to believe they are some type of hybrid however. They look like northern strain gills to me?
Yeah, Tony...northern strain males on steroids.