Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Skill vs. Experience and how it applies to bluegill fishing.

Are they one and the same? I used to think so, but  these days I tend to divide the two. I do believe that with experience, skill SHOULD increase, but it's not guaranteed. If I travel to a BOW some states away in order to catch bluegills, one that I have never fished before, I might let experience tell me where to begin my efforts. And I'm reasonably confident that I will find a few. But, that's not necessarily skill is it? On the other hand, if I can zero in on the biggest size class of bluegills in that new BOW and  begin bringing them up fairly quickly and regularly, then perhaps that might entail some skill.

And what about our "home" waters? An estuary in the Carolinas, a deep reservoir in California, cold water Michigan or backyard ponds in Indiana? Waters we know very well. Skill?? Or experience? I submit that whenever I fish my home water, I am relying far more on experience than skill. To me, skill entails the ability to travel to waters never before fished, and successfully target the largest size class of bluegills located therein, without spending weeks searching, or enlisting the services of a local guide. I've mentioned before the need to fish where big bluegills live in order to catch big bluegills. Big bluegills don't live everywhere. Knowing where the bruisers inhabit takes experience in home waters, and skill in unfamiliar waters. Or at least that's how I see it.

Could we travel to each other's home waters, and successfully target the largest specimens in the absence of outside help?? Skill, or experience? Can you have one and not so much the other? How confident are you in your skill set being able to target those larger fish in unfamiliar waters?

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This year is going to be fun for me.  I've moved to a new state.  Water conditions are completely unlike anything I've ever fished before.  CLEAR.  Natural lakes, with some classic "bowl-shaped" lakes.

Of course, I've already gotten a leg up.  I've found a forum on the internet that has a group that is from my county!  There's a couple threads where they've discussed how they fish these lakes that goes back years.  I've already noticed a pattern for the folks that consistently catch.  I'll have to do what I can to match their technique.  This will mean changing up some of my usual tactics, and a change in average depth.  Good thing I have a sonar on my kayak.

Yeah, I have very clear waters as well. The fish are almost always deep. For me it means light lines, small hooks and natural baits. The side imaging is the only reason Im catching. Someone mentioned having so much water to fish. That's how it is for me.

My home waters aredamed up rivers. At times it's like a river.other times it's like a lake. Sometime it's casting; sometimes it's drifting; sometimes it's chumming; sometimes it's under a slip float.

The only consistent thing is the SI GPS sonar. It's the only thing that gives me real time data on what really going on. Everything else is just a guess. Over the long term you notice patterns. Thos epatterns lead to more refined methods, which lead to the various floats and products I make and sell.

Allen how much experience do you have in Michigan waters?

Slip, none at all.  I'm going to be relying on my experiences down in OK, which probably aren't really a big help here, and the info I've gleaned from the M-S website.

Allen, you're living the real-life equivalent of this discussion. Please keep us informed as to your experiences, and how you interpret past skill/experience and it's impact on your new location.

yep cant wait on hearing your fishing transition from OK to MI

Thanks, all.  I'll have to keep a running account of my fishing adventures up here!

excellent question Tony !   there is also another thing thats helps greatly;; the advancement of depth /fish finders.  but;; its luck  to actually run across a school of big blue gills; to see them on any electronic.  skill versus experience.... skill to cast to tight cover; experience to know what the lure is doing.  experience to know when your getting a shy bite.  experience;; to go to a area; that might have some nice blue gills???  excellent question !! looking forward to the replies on this one !!

Side Imaging technology doesn't  require either, lol. Find'em, catch'em, eat'em. Rinse and repeat no matter what waters I'm on.

any chance on you doing a short vid on the Helix 5  and how you apply it in the future?

i believe with time on the water (experience) one would be able to adjust and develop a skill set of fishing methods that will allow him to fish on any BOW and make a showing. Time on the water is very important. Want to shorten that learning curve? Obtain advanced sonar with side imaging capability. You will know the location of every fish and piece of structure in a 500 ft wide swath. Sure anybody can then with the accurate GPS marking waypoints and knowingly be on top of the fish… anybody even the beginner! Being on top of the fish will then allow you to develop a skillset of fish presentation methods that will then shortly rival the top level fishermen…. that in just a few short years ago before side imaging took larger lengths of time to develop.  If you are on the fish or in the zone …trial and error will develop the skill level dramatically.

For me …ive felt great pride in developing a skill set that allowed me to be productive on the water. This was with basic tools flashers and then LCD fish finders. I knew the advantages of lake mapping and used and studied paper charts.  I obtained a Lowrance Elite HDI that allowed me to develop my own accurate lake maps. I scanned every square yard of lake bottom. Armed along with Down Scan Imaging I found fish clinging to deep weed beds … their air bladders lit up like Christmas lights on a Christmas tree. I then used my over the years developed skill set to pick them off. My productivity took off dramatically... hopefully adding side imaging this year to my arsenal will note another possibly significant gain.

Knowledge needs to be tied in with the other two… experience and skill set.  Study your quarry and you will add significant advantage into your playfield. Just recently I was reading on a popular forum of a beginning - intermediate ice fisherman that had just pounded a school of 8-9 inch plus gills… in his posts he asked “how old are these fish? … one to two years?” What? I was astounded!!  No one came back with an accurate answer. Knowledge is a key element. Another example was a few companion ice fisherman showed a limit of 3 fisherman splayed neatly on the ice totaling 75 fish … these guys fished a regular spot and noticed declining action and sizes of fish … and they wondered whats going on? Was it time to move on to another lake?

Here is a quote of one of my favorite short articles of bluegill knowledge written by Mike Kruse biologist / angler

Also , many of the large bluegills can be harvested by a small number of skilled anglers, even a fairly large impoundment. Since it takes 4 to 7 years to grow an eight-inch bluegill in Missouri, a 50% harvest rate is not sustainable here. At this rate, a dramatic decline in the number of large bluegills result, with no effect on the small fish.

Complete article…  if you love B’Gill and B’Gill fishing you should read this article and please add it to your knowledge database

http://www.warmwaterflyfisher.com/wwjournal/wwjournaboutbluegill3.htm.

So Skill vs experience I like to work them hand in hand together with some knowledge working in the background

i think skill is using the knowledge you have due to experience,study,instinct and passion for what your doing.skill is using the right line knot jig fly bait.having the right gear for the job.swimming or rifting that bait in just the right way at the right depth.i remember struggling with a fly rod.now i throw with abandon.never watching my back cast,compensating for the wind or stuff behind me.the same way you guide a pool ball 

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