Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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Having a tough time catching gills after the spawn. Any suggestions would be appreciated. We have tried wax worms, tiny rapalas,and small jigs with curly tails. HELP. John

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Post spawn the fish go to their deeper hidey holes, to escape the climbing sun and warming water..

Look to 10-20 feet of water, with lots of structure and cover.
- Extended points with woody cover, brush or weed beds are likely spots.
- Outside edges of coves, where they come near channels or drop offs are also possibilities.
- Low docks, swim platfrms, etc. placed in deep water or adjacent to it are good bets.
- The edge of channels, where the near flats support good weed or wood cover.
- Artificial fish locators may be productive, if your fish and game department places them.

In the early morning, or late evening, you may find the nicer bluegill in shallow around weed, woods and rocks. But once the sun gets high, they abandon the shallows to the puddlers and dinks. They tend to move to these deeper sanctuaries where they find the temperature and oxygen levels they prefer.

- Along these lines, you may also find them where the water is shaded by large trees or overhanging brush and has depths from between 3-10 feet.
Thanks for the info. I'll try to put some of it into use in a couple of days. John

After spawning, they will want to serious feed. Your waters near where you live have serious resources for the BGs to forage. As David suggested, search the weed lines for insects and shrimp feeding, drop-off zones since they will migrate along this area, and structures because they are vulnerable during heavy foraging.

When hunting for the big boys, anything that create plenty of vibration in the water will attract them, including the larger predation species as well. Northland jigs have propeller spinners incorporated into the jig's designs. LedHed here utilize the same methodology for his boilie design. His Auto-jig is bar-none top designed for attracting and hunting gills. David utilized spinners, among many masters of artificial with vibrational devices, to land gills that are hard to get.

However, nothing beats the old fashion live wiggling juicy worm on a hook, under the bobber, with no weight. Of course, having a fishfinder will up your chance of landing gills as well.

Thanks Leo. John

By the way John, since you're in the MI areas, what's the water conditions up there? You're practically at the mouths of the greatest tributaries of brackish water for the inland areas.

Hi Leo . The water conditions have been pretty sorry this spring. Lots of rain and high water along with cooler temps haven't made the fishing the greatest. My wife and I went to one of our favorite lakes( Morrision in Ionia Cty)and it was a disaster. Thousands of dead fish. we were told that they over sprayed with weed killer. So that lake is off our list for a while.
I took a look in Cliff Hauptmann's book, "Finding Fish," and he summarizes post spawn bluegill:
a. Males hang tight to the nest to protect the young, while females head to deeper water to recuperate and feed up from the rigors of breeding.
b. After a week or two, the males join the females.
c. They begin forming the Sumner school patterns that mark their activities for the remainder of the warm season.
d. They will come shallow in the orbicular feed though the night, retreating to their deeper water shelter by midmorning.

He recommended live baits, slow presentations and 10-20 feet of water with some sort of shelter: weeds, wood, rocks and man-made cover.
I look for creek channels and fish their edges, when I'm kayaking. I also like to fish around shade with nearby deep water. One place I consistently pull out 8-10" gills is on the shaded side of a certain bridge abutment, near the deep water channel the bridge spans. The traffic is going by above, and I'm catching gills below.
Item "d." should read... "in the evening to feed..."

I tie "mini" crawler harnesses using two #6 hooks.  The color beads used is of course variable, but red and white have been good.  I use small blades, and a variety of methods of getting them down to the fish, including plain old spilt shot.  We often wind drift with a pontoon, and catch good gills between 6 and 20 feet this way.  Bonus catches are common, including walleye.  That has kept the mid to late summer productive for me!

Aaah ha, another "mini" man!
I make micro Carolina Rigs, and add a stinger
in the tall... a # 10 hook. I use purple 4" Airetail worms for this.

That oughta do it!

John,  When the water here in the south gets hot, I have good luck fishing banks with rock ledges that are totally vertical to the water.  I fly fish and  use a ten foot leader of 4lb florocarbon with a slow descending wet fly that I toss right up against the rock bluff.  Usually by the time my leader disappears I've connected. 

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