Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Walking on water has never been a specialty of mine. The ice fishing season seems to be getting shorter and shorter for my area every year. (I believe we had a whole 10 days of safe ice last year)

Living close by to a warm water discharge from an electric generation plant always gave us the option of fishing open water year 'round. With recent regulations, this little gem will be changing on us as well. But there's still hope....................

Looking forward a few months, I believe I'm going to step out of my comfort zone and pursue river system bluegills. I'm not talking about reservoir fish; I'll be after any 'gills that reside in the stretches of main river.
I'm tossed about how to start putting the pieces together. I thought about using live bait first; this would map out the ground work for where they congregate at.
Then my mind started to wonder onto small crankbaits; offering the ability to cover more water, faster, and more then likely weed out the smaller fish in the process.

Of course there's always the flyrod approach, with the myriad of options that offers.

One of the most prevelant questions I need to answer is: what kind of bluegill fishery does this waterway have to offer? All I know is I've caught incidental 'gills here many, many years ago; I know I have multiple structural elements to work with, and a few months of cold weather to do it in.

How would you approach this situation?
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Zig, I fly fish slow moving rivers almost the same way as I fish a lake. Look for eddies, submerged trees or anything that diverts the flow of water. Yes, throwing a spinner bait is most effective, but I love to fly fish to much. The slow retrieve in deep water is still most effective when cold weather sets in. Hope it doesn't get to cold in your areaso you can contiue to fish. Good luck and have fun.
Hi,
I like to fish around areas where small creeks and ditches come into the river. Not just in the mouth of creek/ditch but the area upstream/downstream from the creek/ditch. I use tiny "tuffy minnows" and jigs/waxworms. 12 ft pole with 10lb test line-1/4 ounce egg sinker 8 inches above hook/jig.
I'm not a very experienced angler in this regard, but I remember fishing the Blue River in Kansas, and we could find areas where little secondary creeks entered that would hold bluegill, especially if the confluence had some slack water. These areas often had nearby downed trees which further slowed and diverted the river flow.
Bruce "hit the nail on the head"! Secondary creeks and downed trees nearby.
In our area of the Mississippi River the bluegill seem to migrate to the deeper areas of the backwaters when the water cools. Where available, they come into the marinas and private dock areas dug into the shores, and the action can be hot at times. They seem to like the structure even if man made
Not so much on topic is the fact that our river gills are much thicker in proportion to length than the public lake or pond gills. They look like little footballs.lol ole Mike

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