Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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Hello Everyone... just want to say thanks for all the welcomes and the great site. Someone went to a lot of trouble to get this up and going... I appreciate the effort very much.

The photo is of my boy Jon Jon. He's considerably bigger than that now. It was taken after a trip to our favorite body of water... Lake Perris.

I plan on trying to learn as much as I can from you guys and if I can... share a little knowledge of my own. Therefore I thought it might be a good idea to tell you about where I fish, that way you will know something about my style of fishing and the type of lake where I do most of it.

Lake Perris is a man-made reservoir about 45 minutes from my home in Palm Springs Ca.

It is surrounded by mountains and is truly one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. (imagine fishing in your float tube on a 70 degree day, surrounded by snow covered mountains... whew... takes your breath away). The lake is 3 miles long and 2 miles wide... and 100 feet deep near the dam.

The fish Jon Jon is holding was caught by me in a little cove called 'Rock climbers'. I caught the fish in about 5 feet of water. That particular day Jon Jon and I were fishing in our float tubes... we had spent the morning fishing Bernasconi Beach (one of our favorite locations) without much luck. We hit the beach around noon and had lunch and decided to try Rock Climbers Cove in the afternoon. (Please keep one thing in mind... my boy was much smaller then and for safety's sake I would tie a 20' rope from him to me and another one from his tube to my tube... the only downside to this was that I ended up 'Towing' him wherever we had to go...) I didn't appreciate it much at the time (very tiring) but looking back on it... we had some wonderful days.

I towed Jon Jon to Rock Climbers (took about 45 mins to get there) and we started fishing. Rock climbers is a shallow bay with lots of rocks and boulders. The Bluegills here are a different color than those at the East end of the lake. Beautiful purples and violet blues almost iridescent. We started casting our tiny jigs (we tie and paint these ourselves) and after a while we started catching some small fish. I floated under an overhanging tree and gave the branches a tap or two with my rod. This caused some of the caterpillars in the tree to fall onto the surface of the water. We backed off for a while and waited. It wasn't long before we heard a 'Slurp' as one of the caterpillars disappeared. I could tell by the boil on the water that these were bigger fish.

We started casting under the tree and hit fish straight away. They were nice about a pound to a pound and a half. The fish were hitting our jigs almost as soon as they hit the water so we backed off a bit in the hopes of getting our jigs down to the bigger fish.

Wham... Jon Jon got hit and I could tell by the arch in his rod that this was a nice one. He pulled in a monster just under 2 lbs. (It literally towed him around for a while... made a nice break for me). We use floating wire baskets when we fish in our tubes and the fish was so big it wouldn't fit inside the lid. We release these 'Big' gills anyway... hoping they will get even bigger.

We had several fish a little smaller than that one and then I got smacked. That's the fish you see in the picture. 2 lbs 12 ozs and 13" long. I use 2 lb test line so I had to be careful, it took about ten minutes to get him in without scraping my line on a rock and losing the fish of a lifetime. I have big hands but I couldn't get my hand around it to take the hook out. I literally had to lay it on it's side on my stripping apron and remove the hook. Very precarious situation. I was very worried that his dorsal spines might puncture my tube if I didn't handle him correctly.

We had several more nice fish before we had to get off the lake. Jon Jon and I have had many good days at lake Perris but that afternoon was incredible.
No one else on the lake (we fished mid-week)... beautiful weather and time spent with my boy.
As much as I love to catch fish myself, there is nothing like watching a childs face when their rod is bent double... that look of anticipation is priceless.

Sorry to be long winded but I wanted to share one of the the best fishing days I've ever had with you folks.

Bluegill fishing is an art (if you wish to catch the big ones) you have to be patient and experiment and not follow the crowd. Jon Jon and I have had many fishless days because we were trying something 'New'... We tied many various styles of jigs for years before we came up with the right receipe. He would write down what jigs we used, on what days... what color they were... what the weather was like... water temp etc... even as a little boy he took his Bluegill fishing very seriously... and he still does.

Jon Jon and I have never met a Bluegill we didn't like. (Or for that matter... a Bluegill Fisherman).

Regards to all

Rob

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Fabulous story!!! Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

But don't stop there! :-) We want you to hang around and swap stories and information with us.

Bruce
What a great story!!

I think I had a smile on my face the whole time I read it. :)

It made me think back to days when my daughter (Skylar) would get a ride on my shoulders to some of my honey holes. My back would ache and my neck would cramp, but it was all worth having her there with me to share the experience.
Wonderful story and its make sense to be patient and not follow the crowed! Most people beat shoreline or weedbeds to death!

2 lbs test line to land a 2 lbs 12 oz Bluegill..... WOW! I think that should be world record bluegill for 2 lbs test line!

Hope to hear from you again what you learn something in southern Calfornia! Someday I would love to fish there and Lower Otay. My wife's uncle live in Bakersfield.
I use 2 lb Maxima and have landed largemouth up to 10 lbs while fishing for my beloved Gills. It's incredible line. I placed an order last Spring for 1 lb test but I had to order it from Germany, I couldn't find it here in the US.

TIP: My eyesight isn't what it used to be... and those line Twitches are getting harder to see, so I use 4 lb Gold Fluorescent as the main line and then tie a leader of 2 lb Maxima 7 feet from the hook. The 4 lb also slows the drop a little and that can be very helpful at times. If you try this use a surgeons knot and lots of spit and not a blood knot. I find the Blood knot a lot harder to draw down properly and that my friend is the difference between a good day and a bad one.

Tight lines
Rob
Wonderful story, thank you for sharing...I can only pray that my fishing days with our little ones will be so memorable.!
"Sorry to be so long winded but I wanted to share one of the best fishing days I've ever had with you folks" Oh, but this is SO exactly what to share. THANK YOU. steve b

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