Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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If you could only use one bait for the rest of your life what would it be?

Wanted to get some responses back on this.... If you had to throw everything out but one what would it be.  Strictly for bluegills and also just assume that you could have unlimited number of that bait but only one bait/type/size/color forever. 

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If allowed to use only one bait, it surely would be crickets. That being said most of my gill fishing is done during the spawn. Here in Missouri that can be from late Apr to mid Aug (depending on everything). Usually will get 2000 sent to the house for about $40. Hold them in half 55 gal plastic barrel. Throw some raw cut potatoes in there and they'll stay fine.  

       I will bring along redworms and nightcrawlers to certain lakes.(ones that hold redear also) . Believe redear have a little more liking to worms. Amazon has lots of mealworms for sale also.

       Mealworms here are easy to buy , most bait stores and even Wal-mart carry them at times. Super easy to propogate- 4-5" of chicken scratch in bottom of 5 gal. bucket. Throw in some mealworms and some apple peelings or banana skins. I covered the top with fine mesh screening. They will turn into weevil like bugs and the whole cycle starts. Amazing how many there will be in a short time.

I like the sound of that! Great info and welcome, Don.

Don have you caught redears on the mealworms?

I have but I think pcs of nightcrawler seemed to work a little better

I have to agree. Around here (midlands of SC), the worm seems to be the go-to bait for red ear. Since redear are the biggest of the sunfishes, it seems prudent to target them.

This is one of the reasons I didn't use a single cricket all last season. I caught a mess of shellcracker and bluegill on worms*, though, so it's all good. Would crickets have done better? I honestly don't know.

* I did find that the bluegill liked two lures - -

First was a 1/32 Beetle Spin in chartreuse with soft plastic trailer. My best trailers were Slider grubs, cut back to about an inch, along with twist tails about the same size. The better colors for the plastics were white and translucent, sparkly finishes.

Second was a 1/12th ounce Johnson Silver Minnow, also with a twist tail trailer. I apply just the curly tail - I cut off most of the body. I cast this little spoon near wood and cover. It hits the water with a "smack" and starts a slow, sinking spiral... which is about when the bluegill would slam it!

David, never thought about it but I bet that Johnson minnow flutter would get some strikes.  Caught a bunch of crappie on them sliders at greenwood.  I will have to try out the white (what color sparkles?)  I know that Jeff Abney gave me the idea to throw some pink jigs last season and I absolutely wore the bluegill out with them.  

Just white; my stock of white grubs don't have any sparkles.

Curiously, I got lackluster results with pink. First of all, I dont have a huge selection of the color - 3 or 4 types is it. And I didnt get Jeff's wisdom in my head until late.

I ended up by trial and error with the white and chartreuse combination. I wont say I killed em. either. They caught fish  - Beetle Spins, inline spinners and the Johnson 'Silver Minnow all got 'em. But it wasn't these weren't only game in town that produced...

I hung one of my Silver Minnow yesterday and had to break it off. That got me riled. I dont have too many left in the smallest size.

 

 Easy, Chartreuse foam popper with white rubber legs a black hackle and chartreuse marabou tail tied on a #6 hook. Catch Big Bluegills and the occasional Bass ;)

Since I live in Central California, don't have ice issues and a long history of fishing for 'gills I would use curly tail jigs.  I can,  most times out fish my friends with a 1/32 head and 1" grub.  That said, live baits are hard to beat, but I like fooling them with the fake stuff.

Best bait I've used for the best part of the last two seasons is a plain old fashion hot dog. One dog will give me about 40 pieces or 320 per package. You can use rounds, chunks  or strips.  Give me a dollar store package and I'm set for about 8 sessions.

The best part is that you can get the bait anywhere and it's just $1.00

What are you catching with the 'dogs? Sunfish?

They are a traditional catfish bait and Ive seen all kinds of preparations for that use. And Ive heard they will catch 'gills but, I've never tried it. Are you treating them with anything or just using them straight from the package?

David

I use them for bluegills and straight out of the package. Picked it up last year from Leo at this site. Other than two fly types (#12 adams and black gnat), I've used nothing else. 

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