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Do you love big bluegill?

New member checking in here. I’m with a senior fishing club in Colorado that takes a lot of kids fishing in groups. Because of the numbers and experience levels, we’ve kind of fallen into a routine of rigging up spincast gear with 8-pound mono, with small hooks, a bobber and pieces of night crawler. The results are predictable as they’d be with most inexperienced anglers:  usually good results with small bluegill, but with way too many caught only after the fish has swallowed the hook. We crimp the barbs, but what I want to push for is flies and jigs only, maybe scented.

 I’ve read available literature on reducing mortality and such. Does anyone else have experience with managing large numbers of kids and catch and release? We also run a fishing derby for residents of assisted living centers, with similar issues:  too many fish caught only after they’ve had the chance to swallow the bait.  Appreciate any suggestions. I’m under the belief that at minimum using small jigs will be better than bare hooks rigged up with split shot and such, and we can occasionally slip the bait past the immature Bluegill’s and attract a few bigger ones.

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Welcome aboard Bill!

What a great gesture getting kids and fishing together!

I take my G’Kids and Earl’s boy fishing a lot and I have been using a very simple solution to exactly that same problem. i rig the kids rods with circle hooks with nearly 100% success rate on live catch and release. When I personally fish multiple slip float rigs out there at one time to increase my catch ratio the extra rods incorporate the circle hook. I love them!

One of the toughest things to teach a kid when fishing is setting the hook… with the circle hook all you have to do is reel in and the hook automatically sets … awesome.

It is also a safer hook to fish with kids when relating to a self inflicting hook set.

When it comes to safety I also have the kids wear sunglasses at all times… good luck!

HEY BILL !!  WELCOME TO BBG SITE !!   CHECK OUT;; JEFFERY ABNEY;S BLOG ;;   JIG FISHING WITH FLOATS !!  JEFFERY IS  A KING;; WHEN IT COMES TO FISHING WITH JIGS !

Just the kind of advice I was hoping for fellows. I’ll give this a lot more thought. Bill;

i generally use Eagle Claw #8-#12

Image result for eagle claw circle hooks

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