Do you love big bluegill?
I fish mainly from shore and I know how to catch bluegill...(I catch scuds of the little guys) but im not even really sure where to start looking for the big ones. I fish in areas that are fished a lot so there is tons of pressure everywhere. I know private ponds are my best bet but not everyone is willing to let any old body fish in their own backyard honey holes. Some tackle recommendations or new techniques to try would be welcome. Would love to find some giant 'gills in southern ohio.
Pike aren't the problem, Jacob - my two very best bluegill ponds are less than an acre each, and both have two tiger muskie in them. One of those two ponds also has five blue catfish that were five to ten pounds each when they were stocked two years ago.
The pond that produced the two giant bluegill I posted photos of a couple weeks ago, has several large flathead and blue catfish in it, and it's only a one-acre pond. Flatheads have a bigger gape than any freshwater fish; conventional pond wisdom says that they will ruin a pond; conventional pond wisdom says the same thing about pike. One of the top pond consultants in Illinois makes extensive use of muskie and pike in managing private ponds and lakes for trophy bluegill; and he has what is probably the best bluegill lake in Illinois.
The lake that produced the state-record bluegill for Maryland, Deep Creek Lake, has northern pike in it.
No I completely agree pike are fine. I was just referring to one lake in my area that is overrun with 18-25" pike. They're everywhere.
The larger CNBG will explode once the dam is fully repair, and the water level rises once again to its old former glory. Don't give up on Perris' titans just yet. It's just the beginning. Most shoreliners will stick to the northern part of Perris. However, compared to shoreliners, there's very little fishing pressure from boaters that comb the eatern and southern areas of the lake. Once the lake rises, the tree structures exposed how will be new haven to the newer generation of gill's titans in the future. I can't wait.
Finding Big Bluegill, First dig a pond, or dam up a creek, stock with bluegill and bass, feed them like hogs,control access,dont let anyone catch bass, they eat the bluegill young of the year, fishing method should be catch and keep, only take what you need, keep everything that you catch, catch and release is the cause of 25-40% of fish death depending on temperture, especially if you play that fish to exhaustion ,sport fishing, playing the fish to exhaustion then releasing it to face a mortality rate of up to 40% I could consider Harrasement of Wildlife and is counter productive when wanting to catch big bluegill. Remember every pancake has two sides, I'm not wanting to stir things up up ,just offering a different point of view. I eat Bluegill,I eat Big Bluegill LOFR
You know I never looked at it that way(the catch and release part) kinda makes me feel bad about fishing. Because I don't ever keep anything but I always try my best to treat the fish as well as I can and get them back in the water ASAP. I can't get my girlfriend(who is also my fishing buddy) to eat fish so we don't keep them and no one I know really wants fillets. On another note Definitely the fastest, easiest way to find big bluegill for me would be to grow them but that's out of the picture right now. Someday though I will have a trophy fish pond.
Gosh LOFR........you make growing large BG sound so easy.......I must be doing something wrong!
Tony, just do what they do at Richmond Mills, feed them like hogs ,dont harvest any till their ripe, thats the way you do aquaculture.
Piece of cake, eh? There's a lot going on behind the scenes that most are not aware of.
We have lots of fish farms around here, and they raise fish for profit,one of the problems they have is low oxygen in the water before dawn and thats why they use paddlewheels . Also snakes , turtles and birds need to be controlled, Richmond Mill is 't the only place that can raise big fish or are they?
Lord, I'm going to respectfully disagree. There have been hundreds of studies done that show mouth hooked fish with little bleeding survive 96-99% of the time. I have caught the same bass three or four times in the same year. I have had a 50 gallon fish tank since I was 5 years old (now 15). It has held about 20 bluegill, seeds, etc (never more than three at a time). I'm sure some were mishandled, not to mention thrown in a live well or five gallon bucket. Some were even hooked deep. But they all lived for at least 6 months. The one that I have now has been there for about 2 years. Almost all of them were caught in the summer when water temps were above 80 degrees. I think if you handle the fish correctly, mortality is at most 4% not even close to 40. You may do whatever you want with your fish, eating bluegill is great. However, if you release the fish you catch properly, the odds are overwhelmingly favorable that it will survive. And while yes, every pancake has two sides, one side should not deliberately or accidentally misinform. Mortality rate is not 40%.
Tony, as far as the studies I have read, more than one of them specifically mentioned lakes where the average bluegill caught was 6" or less and anglers kept large numbers of them, yet it had no positive effect on the overall size structure. Something I've discovered in the course of managing ponds is that removing a lot of small to mid-sized bluegill does not necessarily translate to a jump in the size or number of the bigger fish; intermediate bluegill are one of the primary predators on bluegill fry, so when you remove several of those mouths at once you create a predator vacuum that typically allows for a big hatch of new little ones. I saw this firsthand four years ago on a half-acre pond that I help with; the pond was beginning to get a lot of 5-7" bluegill, so I reasoned that if I took a good number of that size out, the remaining ones would grow faster, as would the larger bluegill in the pond. So I removed about 70 intermediates through fishing. The following spring, the pond was overrun with 2-4" bluegill. Since then I've shifted my strategy for thinning density from taking out fish myself, to adding more predators, often multiple species of them such as northern pike or blue catfish in addition to largemouth.
As far as fishing pressure, I didn't mean to imply that any lake that is left alone for a time will develop big bluegill - you're absolutely right in that there are other factors that have to be in place, such as a high density of predators, clear to fertile (not turbid) water, minimal competing species, etc. But none of those other factors matter at all if too many of the big ones are being kept; and you're absolutely correct in that those are the ones anglers like to keep.
JB, a daily limit of 25 is pointless - that's about five times too many, especially without a slot limit. There's a 50-acre lake about twelve miles from me that's managed by TWRA, and has a 25-fish daily limit on bluegill. The lake was beginning to develop a population of big bluegill four years ago; I got in touch with the region's head of fisheries and proposed to lower the daily limit to five, and implement a slot limit of 8-9"; he said they would have to do an angler survey to see if anyone was fishing for bluegill, and two months later the burgeoning big 'gill fishery had been fished out. It went from the fishing report on the website for the bait shop commenting in April that they couldn't believe how many big bluegill were being caught, to the same fishing report stating in May that they didn't know what had happened to the bluegill that year because no one was catching any. Two months - that's how long it took once the meat fishermen descended on the lake.
I'm not making this up , just repeating other studies about fish played to exhaustion in the heat then released. LOFR