Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

AFTER YOU FIND THE GILLS, GO NAKED. JUST A SMALL HOOK WITH A PIECE OF CRAWLER. NO BOBBER OR SPLIT SHOT. I PREFER SIZE 10 LONG SHANK HOOKS, BECAUSE THEY ARE EASIER TO GET OUT. THE SMALLER HOOK I USE THE BETTER LUCK I HAVE & THE WORMS LAST LONGER. I FISH IN MICHIGAN. BUT I HAVE LANDED 14" TO 16" BASS WITH THESE HOOKS. IF YOU FIND BIGGER FISH, YOU CAN ALWAYS USE A BIGGER HOOK.  THIS TECHNIQUE IS BEST USED IN CLEAR WATER WHERE YOU CAN SEE YOUR WORM DISAPPEAR. BLUEGILLS SEEM TO LOVE HITTING THE BAIT ON THE FALL ON THIS WEIGHTLESS APPROACH IS VERY NATURAL.

   LAST JUNE, I CAUGHT ABOUT 50 BLUEGILLS, UNDER A MAT OF LOOSE VEGETATION THAT HAD BLOWN AGAINST A CEMENT WALL. ALSO, DO WELL IN THE HEAT FISHING WHERE THE WATER GOES UNDER THE ROAD, ABOVE A DAM. BLUEGILLS SEEM TO LOVE STRUCTURE & SHADE IN THE SUMMER. I ALSO FISH FROM DOCKS ON A WEEDY FLAT.

  MY FRIEND SAYS HE CATCHED BLUEGILLS ON RED OCTOPUS HOOKS WITH NO BAIT.

  I AM GOOD AT CATCHING OVER 25 IN A FEW HOURS, BUT WOULD LIKE TO CATCH SOME BIGGUNS.

  IF THERE ARE LARGE SCHOOLS OF 6" AND UNDER FISH ARE THERE BIG ONES NEARBY?

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Well, I have to agree. Every guy I know cant wait to haul in the biggest shellcracker or brim they can catch. "They was on the beds and we TORE 'em up...."  is a too-common expression heard this time of year. I cringe whenever I hear it.

There is a lot of ignorance about the fish, but it boils down to two false beliefs:

1. They are limitless in number

2. Trophies are the result of pure luck.

David, you nailed with, they are limitless in number. Yes they are strong breeders. But after over harvest, they do not last long enough to become trophies. Seems first question everyone asks me, they on beds, then they go into some story about how they caught 200+ fish while on beds. It makes me sick. DNR needs a little more respect for this little fish, we all love.

I stand corrected about ILdnr, seems they may be doing something

 

http://www.ifishillinois.org/science/research.html

While I'm not one to call in the government at every turn , it also sickens me to hear the word, "beds." The one time they they are the most vulnerable, that is the time they are most eagerly sought - merely because they are "easy." Again, it is the sam ething Johnny Wilkins talks about, i.e. the way we 'manage' the resource, as opposed to growing it.

I dont suppose the answer is easy, however.

We all love to fish. Some of us love to eat the fish we catch but what we need to do is be mindful of the number of fish we are going to take home. Leave some in the lake and not be a glutton.  If we over fish a lake, one day we will be sitting in the boat all day and get nothing.

This is what my father instilled in me. He was more colorful in his choice of words, but it is the same thing.

Moderation in all things.

First off you would not want me naked, would make lake turn over. I use a similar rig for fishing outside of beds and weedbeds. I use small shy bite or ice bobber, then swivel and about 8 inches below ice jig with wax worm. Throw  bobber about 8" from beds and let worm slowly sink. They most often hit on fall. I can somewhat control speed of fall by swivel size. The key  is shaking rod tip softly and giving reel a couple 1/4 cranks. If they don't hit in coulpe cranks, throw about 8" to left or right. This has been, working real well, on good size gills for me. Also key is loop knot from swivel to hook, seems to help slow fall.

If your secret appears on the World's largest bluegill forum in the first
Person- is it truly a secret? : ) 
This method is VERY similar to my public method using floats but the float gives you more control and a sense of timing... key to catching fish using the dropping bait.

My sons (6 yrs and 4 yrs old) use powerbait with a very small hook. We barely cover the hook, and they catch tons of small BG. Within 30 seconds of casting, either the bait is gone or there is a fish on the shoreline. This works right around sunset. An hour or so earlier, they'll bite on a live worm. They can't keep bait on the hooks they land fish so fast.

I'm very new to fishing so I don't know proper methods or terminology. I use a rooster tail with a single hook. We file the barb off the hook to reduce damage to the fish. Several manage to "unhook" themselves, but at least they're there to catch again later :) I cast the rooster tail into the vegitation and just kind of play with it a little bit. I'll reel in a few rotations, let it sink, etc. I've caught one BG over 10", but most are around 8 or so. This evening I caught 6 or 7 that were pretty much the same size as the one pictured below. I used a little 2" BG my son caught as bait and hooked a pretty good sized bass, but it broke the line. What can I say, I'm new. This pond is in our back yard, and we fish almost every evening.

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It's a sad state of affairs but all that has been mentioned about BG harvest, the state of mind of most folks who hunt them are all the same.  In S.Central Wisconsin the BG is now on or near the beds and most of the good (?) local gill hunters are raping the beds unmercifily.  I've fished the gill since I was 8 years old.  Am now in my mid 60's.  At 8 the limit was 100 panfish a day!  Hard to believe but true none the less.  Shortly after that, it dropped to 50 when the DNR realized things were going wrong with more and more folks hitting the waters.  In the last 20 years or so it again dropped to 25.  Still the fishery is getting pounded.  Reading a Wisconsin publication called Wisconsin Outdoor News every other week, a section called "Cuffs and Collars" constantly reports from all the state's zones of violations by wardens by  folks who over-harvesting, double tripping (taking a limit, taking it home, and then returning once again the same day, and limiting again), fishing without liciense (which is just a money maker for the State), and so many other violations you can't even imagine.  What does it all mean?  Simply, no matter how much we think man has elvolved, most are still all about themselves, caring little about his fellow man or the animals they choose to eliminate.  When they clean out one lake, heck, just move on to the next.  Screw everyone else.  The simple worm or crawler on a red octopus hook is one of the most effective ways to hunt gills early and deadly to a fault.  Later on, when the water warms, the fish (the ones that survived the "bed ravaging") move out to deep water to find the perfect temperature to wait out the lake's turn-over in the fall.  Drifting with slip sinkers to the proper depth and flies, leeches, red worms, spikes, or wax worms on the hooks over deep water suspended at around 20 feet will produce unbelieveable strikes.  It used to be the winter was a way to give them a break for the pounding they take all open water long but with the economy in the tank, even the winter is over run with folks with no jobs but still plenty of time to walk the ice.   For every person who preaches absenance or Catch and Release there will be 20 filling their coolers with little concern for the population of these beautiful creatures.  I agree with the one comment on the earlier post:  If you don't want a special place to be cleaned out, keep it to yourself.  Good luck with that! 

Very well put, Bob. I agree ith everything you state. All those people raping the beds, will be griping someday,about there are nomore gills

"Thanks, for the advice. I am trying to fish deeper. Also thinking about trying new spots. I am talking to a couple of guys who have boats. 1 has a cabin on Rice lake in Canada & hasn't been fishing in the U.S. in years. They must be doing something right. My friend at 1 time had 3 freezers of fillets, mostly 7" to 9" bluegills. Odd he never caught any over 10". It  hasn't seemed to hurt the population. I am probably the only 1 on this website, who wouldn't take him up on his offer to go fishing there, but I haven't taken my wife on vacation in a long time. I know catch & release isn't for everyone, but if you want to catch a trophy bluegill it wouldn't hurt to throw a couple of the biggest ones back or eat some predator fish.  I caught a 14" bullhead & a 9" rockbass. Wonder if  I threw them back last year and how big it will be next year when I catch it. Hope I catch some of the 7"+ bluegills & rockbass I threw back last year.

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