Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

In the summer I had no trouble catching BG, although they were small ones. Now, though I get lots of nibbles, and they eat my bait off, I can't catch one. I know you old time fisherman think I must be stupid, but I need some clues on how to get a nibbling fish caught on the hook. Have tried reeling in slowly, pulling up gently when the fish takes the bait, and just sitting and waiting. It seems when I reel in, I pull the bait right out of their mouths. I use a #8 hook, have tried every kind of bait. Same action.
Thank you

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Try fishing with no float and no weight, with four-pound test, and a smaller (yes, smaller, #10 or #12) hook. The smaller hook goes into the mouth of a small bluegill more easily, and the lack of a float or weight means no resistance for the fish to feel so they'll take the bait more readily.
I think Walt nailed it: smaller hook. 8 is pretty big for bluegill. It's okay for poppers and streamers, but not for bait. Try some pink or yellow crappie nibbles on #12 or even #14 hooks.
In shallower water try a bubble float. You can still see the hit but the bubble has less resistance so the fish keep hold longer.
Number 8 hooks are fine unless you want to catch smaller fish, after a fish has taken your bait a couple of times ,and he hasn't tasted the steel of your hook yet just shorten the distance between hook and float, I prefer a porqupine quill, a couple of inches,they have been robbing you at their depth, now they have to swim up to it a couple of inches to grab the bait and take it back to their favorite depth at that time, Bam, they just hooked themselves, so be ready
Lord of the Fly , Rods, How do you attach the quills to your line with 1/2 hitches?
Porqupine quills usually come with a rubber band halfway up the shaft, I replace them with o-rings . Run your line through the o-ring then slide the o-ring back onto the quill, then run your line through the eyelet at the bottom of the quill , tie on your hook and attach as much weight as to balance the quill so 2-3 inches is sticking out of the water, it put your bait at the desired depth with a neutral bouyancy presentation with no resistance, so bluegill take it and run with it.
Ok you know the winds of the Osage, how does it work in rough waters, or is this a calm or light ripple presentation?
How long is a porcupine Quill?
it's perfect for calm water presentation , in light wind it's excellent, in rough water like boatwaves rolling across the water it just makes your bait rise and fall in the water column, but in your case where the wind blows all the time it's easer to cast with the wind. Quills can be found anywhere from 6-10 inches , I prefer the longer 8-9-10 inches because you can cast them farther and if I'm crappie fishing using a minnow they seem to control the minnow better.
Do you grow porqupine and harvest the quills LOFR?  How much do they cost? May start Porqupine Farms here in TX.

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