Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

First post here, thanks for the great forum.

Ive been fishing all my life but I've decided this season to concentratre solely on big bluegills, with artificials as primary. There is a ton of good informtion here and Im busy reading what you folks have to say.

But I confess to remaining confused on color selection for bluegill lures. I live in South Carolina and most of the water here is either stained from tannic acid or turbid, like that seen in farm ponds or large impoundments. Less often do you find what might be called clear waters...

 

So my question drives to each of these conditions. What are the best lure color choices for each of these water types:

1. Stained

2. Turbid

3. Clear

 

And if you were to pick the FIVE top colors, the one you wouldn't be without - which would those be?

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David,

I live in SC also. 90% of the bream I've caught were on crickets. I fish for bream mainly in the Stumphole area of Santee. However the largest bream and the largest crappie I've caught were on Bettlespins. Mostly the 1/16 oz. The whitebody with red dot caught the crappie and the lime green with the black stripe caught the bream. I have attempted to attach a picture of the crappie, don't have one of the bream, but he weighed 17 oz, which is a huge bream. Most folks don't realize how big a 1 lb. bream really is.

SeaRay

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Thanks for the reply SeaRay.

I have always used crickets, too. I have no problems with these or the other standby's, i.e., worms and the small larvae grubs. I like live bait, just fine.

Heck, I remember once catching a nice catfish on a cricket :) 

But, I'm committed to my ask this season. I want to take advantage of the explosion in "micro artificials" seen in the last few years. Ive always been the kinfd of fisherman who grabs his "ready pack" and goes  - without a big production or a lot of planning. This trend to micro artificials lends itself perfectly to my style. 

You said... "However, the largest bream and the largest crappie I've caught were on Bettlespins. Mostly the 1/16 oz. The whitebody with red dot caught the crappie and the lime green with the black stripe caught the bream...."

I'll be sure to keep some of those on hand. I had planned to gear up with the smallest Beetlespins wireforms anyway, so you've just given me some colors to look out for. 

And you are right - a 17 oz. bluegill is a real bull. Ive caught some big blackies in the past, and there are few fish as impressive in a small package as those monster bluegills.

That is also a nice crappie - who is the good looking chap holding him? :)

 

Thanks for your response.

For me at my local southern California big Bluegill lakes, my best colors for the tiny hand-tyed maribou jigs, tube jigs and small crank baits that I use would be: black/pink (egg sucking leech), fluorescent green, shad/silver and white. A dark olive green color is pretty good too.

See, this is a trip right here! I'm originally from Oxnard, California. The first line I can recall dunking in freshwater was in the creeks around Ojai - Wheelers Gorge. trout was the quarry then. We never fished for brim back then.

Okay so I see these:

1. Tiny maribou jigs,

2. Tube jigs

3. Crank baits

Colors - black/pink, chartreuse, shad mimic, white and olive.

 

This lines up with much of what Ive read about bluegill. I note a tendency towards what I like to call "natural colors": black, white, green, brown, shad-like hues and yellow. The occasional fluoro colors, most notably chartreuse also appear. I dont quite know what to make of these latter ones.


Now David, when I say "fluorescent green", I don't mean "chartreuse".  The little sinking Bagley crankbait on the far right in the pic below is the color I am talking about, though the chartreuse on the left has worked at times, I've caught way larger fish on the bright green.

 

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Another California transplant here also. Oh, those days of catching big bluegill up at Clear Lake and the big ones in the Colorado River near Parker, Az. But having lived in South Carolina found that orange & black and green & black (1/16oz.) always catch big bluegill. Aiken, S.C. is great place to catch big 'gills. Edisto River is one of my favorite rivers to fish. Good luck and have fun there David. 

Orange/black and green/black, huh? I'll lay me in a big supply of those!

 

Its interesting to me that the whole time I grew up in CA we never fished for bluegill... at least no on purpose. My dad was a trout man and we fished the creeks and lakes above Ventura county and Santa Barbara for them. Either that, or salt water fishing. He liked crabbin', too. He died when I was 12 and so we never did get to fish for bluegill together.

Im trying to make up for that!

Okay Jeff fluoro green is not the same as chartreuse - I was thinking of soft baits.

Is there a particular kind of water that fluorescent green is best in?

Fluorescent colors work best in stained water. The more clear the water is,natural food source colors are best.
I know bright colors work well in stained water, but I have caught some big Bluegills on very bright colors from fairly clear water, but down 10 to 15 feet deep.  Not sure why these 'Gills love that bright green, but they do.  Maybe I just have faith in that color after seeing one guy catch a 3 pound Bluegill, then a 2-12 an hour later on that color/lure...  Would convince anyone to try it.  This fisherman actually gave me a couple of those lures because I was the taxidermist that mounted those Bluegill.  The 3 pounder was actually the lake record for a few years.
could it be, that the brighter colors show up better in the low light condition of 10 to 15 ft? Brighter colors, seem to work better for me in low light or stained water. But, there may be other factors.
BigBluegill fishing is the same as trout fishing David, except bluegill live in warm water as opposed to trout in cold water. Use the same tatics, flies and equipment on both. I was lucky in that my father took me fishing alot. Even way back when, even Puddingstone had good bluegill catches. The years and work have taken me all over the U.S. South Carolina has some of the best fishing in the country. Santee Cooper is a place that I fell in love with as soon as I saw it. Many found memories of fishing there. Along with the Edisto River (around Jacksonboro) are great fisheries. You will find many good places to fish there. Have fun and good luck to you.

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