Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

I mainly do shore angling. I have a small boat, but I don't take it out that much. Many anglers I run into and have short conversations with seem dumbfounded when they find out I'm after bluegill, rock bass, and other panfish and not chasing yellow perch, largemouth, catfish et al. I still catch just about everything out there doing what I'm doing. I enjoy perch fishing from a boat; from shore I think it's too much work for too few fish.

What do you think? Bluegills are for kids? Do you think panfishing is under-rated?

I know I'm preaching to the choir here...but still....

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I live in Florida and everybody fishing for snook, shark, redfish, grouper, etc. so when i tell people im going bluegill fishing they think im crazy or look down on me as an angler. Finding big bluegills in the hot summer months can be a task at hand, let alone finding big bluegills period now a days in most states. I do other types of fishing myself but I do think panfishing is definitely under-rated. Theres nothing like fighting a big bluegill on ultra-light tackle.
I was fishing yesterday on my ultra-light tackle at a very small local public lake near my house and another fisherman passing asked if I had caught anything. I told him two and his eyes bugged out and I realized he was thinking bass which are extremely hard to catch out of the lake. I then informed him it was two RES/bluegills and he laughed, then we had a conversation about how pound for pound they fight extremely hard and in a lake with 10 bass in it (other than fry) it makes more sense to target them. TV fish = bass, so people assume the only good fish = bass. I love catching bass, and I fish for them all the time, but their smaller cousins I hold in just as high regard.
On the contrary, I suppose truth be told that when informed by another fisherman that they are fishing for bass, not that there's anything wrong with that, I am guilty of giving THEM a blank stare or looking like I feel sorry for them! They most often are standing there waiting for me to gush over their fancy boat or ability to catch bass and I get the feeling I am letting them down somehow and I feel bad for doing that, you know? Yeah, Bluegills are not just for kids! By the way, I went through my big bass fishing phase and have caught many bass over 6 lbs. up to 12 lbs. and I still enjoy fishing for them on occassion and in fact caught a 6 lb. bass off a dock. I will post pics of them on my profile to show my credibility.
I meant to say above that "I RECENTLY" caught a 6lb. bass off a dock. Also, although this is a bluegill site, I posted pics of trout and bass previously caught by me to show just how much I love bluegill fishing over fishing for other species although I must say the rainbow trout was quite a thrill on the 5 wt. fly rod!
I enjoy catching bass. I catch them while fishing for bluegills. Some nice ones too.

Walleye fishing get's pushed really hard around here too. I guess because you gotta spend a fair amount of money to do it as well.
Panfishing is NOT under-rated. It is X-RATED. That's why only the big boys get to star in it. If you tell everybody that's got a pole how good it is, they'll try to get in our beds. And that's another good reason I like live bait. Them artificial things are kinky! That's what them bass and crappie uppercrust like to use. I tell you, the simple joys of life can sure get perverted can't they.



Boogieman
I never try to convince others that they should be fishing for bluegill. I don't really see the point of justifying what I like to do. Most of the fishermen I know are catfishermen here on the Mississippi and think nothing of paying $100 to enter a tournement. I would hate to see bluegill fishing come to that low level.
With that said, I don't want to see bluegill become too popular. There are plenty of us already.
Other than helping out a youngster when I can, I just enjoy what I do and never try to push it on others. Illinoisgiller
"I don't want to see bluegill become too popular. There are plenty of us already."

Yes, I agree.
The bluegill is everyman's fish.
Blue Gills are a great way to get kids started, Besides that trophy blue gill are harder to catch. That is why they don't have on mounted on there wall. Then send them to Bruces page. Those Trophys are awsome.
I look at it this way...If bluegill fishing is for kids, then I guess I just never grew up.

On more than one occasion, I have told people that I caught my first bluegill at the age of 5, and I haven't been the same since! I have spent a large % of my fishing life pursuing big bluegills and have yet to catch a 12 incher or a 2 pounder. Sure, I love fishing for all the species, but the ultimate bluecollar fish is the bluegill and it's close relatives.

Most of the 'private water' invites I get are spawned by my expressed interest in bluegills, not bass, as the target specie. This has led to some great fishing and memories.

It's OK with me if an angler would rather catch a 12 inch bass than a 12 inch gill. I know which one is more rare and precious. When it comes to bluegills, some kids never grow up!
Many good comments and insights here, thanks.

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