Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Here’s a little set-up I want to share that has been causing some excitement for me with the shallow gill lately. It’s a set-up that is not new and was learned when I was just a young lad from two fishermen I loved very much… my Dad and Uncle Clare. They used to put flies tipped with worms behind everything… my favorite was under the float.

I was tossing the slip float into a bunch of fish the other day and I was flatly being rejected with a crawler bit or waxie. With my polarized glasses in the calm water I witnessed it right before my eyes. A few gills would approach and kiss the split shot… that was it!. Then I remembered the fly and bait trick.

Once installed and dropped into the water the split/shot drops first and quickly while the fly and waxie bit descends like a parachute… drives the gills crazy!. The fly and bait bit is in motion while the split shot is still and motionless is the best feature. Its been so successful ive left it setup on my slip/float rig for the past week.

with the waxie bit the fly is in more of suspension while the crawler bit sinks the combination more quickly... the suspended fly/gulp waxie was more enticing then the quickly settling crawler bit/fly in the long run but both baits caught fish. another argument for to carry that jar of waxies in your tackle box.

since it is mainly in suspension around the split shot pay careful attention to the bobber for the slightest movement to prevent swallowed hook. Pinch the barbs before hand for easy removal.

note: barb was not pinched in this photo

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Oh yeah that lake sounds perfect for the slip/float.

Usually while motoring to my favorite waypoints covering water I’ll notice the fishes position in the water column on the sonar. I am hooked on the 6-9’ flats.

If I notice concentrations of fish sticking close to the bottom 1 to 2’ off the bottom i set the float just above the bottom. Schools moving from the bottom to half way up they like the slip/float near halfway.

yeah if your lake is only 5' id position halfway to start for sure.

one of my personal rules though is to fish no more than the length of my rod... most of my slip/float rods are short. so i limit to about 5' deep when fishing a 5-6' rod... reason? ... i don't like the slip knot loaded on to my spool when i cast... so most of my slip floating is limited to shallower water

Ive noticed a relationship between solunar periods and depths for the float. Major.Period and Minor.Periods fish are taking up more of the water column… Lull.Periods… I fish close to the bottom. Just my running theory.

Most of the time my efforts of slip/floating are concentrated in the dirty shallow water.

picture below depicts one of may favorite scenarios

There is a lot to be said for what Slip says.  I also, tend to keep my slip-floats set to "about the length of my rod".  I've found that the slip-knot going through the eyes of my rod will tend to fray the knot, and maybe even loosen it, or adjust it shallower.  Those I can live with.  However, I really don't like fishing more than 10' down on a slip-float unless I'm dropping the lure/bait right at the side of my boat.  If I cast out 30' or more, and have the line hanging down 15' or more, that's an awful lot of slack to take up BEFORE I set the hook.

I target gills and crappie in the shallows of the lake I fish most often. This rig is a good producer for me. Sometimes I eliminate the float, move the split shot up the line about 2 ft. depending on the depth of the shallow water, and then cast the fly. This works best in water that's clear so you can watch the fly slowly sink and the fish slam the fly and waxie. Of course this last method is for shorter casts.

Ahh… havnt done that in awhile… without the float… my Dad used to rig that a lot … I remember him having a few gut hooks… but with the lines nowadays sure helps out…

yeah a plus is the pink or chartreuse waxie makes sight fishing a bit easier.

Current 2018 favorite slip/float/fly set-up... using this method i tagged my first trophy Master Angle B.Gill

20181124~As a note … During a trip on a hot bite I may go thru 3-4 dry flies in a trip… the B.Gills seem to chew up the feathers and threads during the battle… they remind me of little piranhas… lol… the yarn bodied ties seem to last several trips and have not scrapped one due to wear except a few were retied because of lost appendages… chenille looks a little better but is less durable than the yarn

20181124 12:51~I have also employed a new model and style of float for my presentation… it is the Carlisle Micro Slip Float CA-SL2 or SL3 very economical… I’m purchasing at my outlet 3/pk for 2.79 with knots. This model is replacing the Thill Pro models that I was paying close to $3.00 for one!

So you don’t need a bead under slip knot to stop the float going over your knot?

My slip float rod is a 7’ ultralight with the same line as yours, same color.

Yeah, you want the bead.  I buy the Rod-n-Bobb's bead and stop-knot package.  I have a few in various plano boxes.  I typically run a swivel to connect mainline to leader, and I find that sometimes, the swivels gets stuck in the float.  As a result, I typically have a bead above and below my float, to keep the knot from going through, and to keep the swivel from getting stuck.

Ken, where is your video of tying the mousse fly?

Well, yesterday I ordered some 60-degree jig hooks, sizes 12, 14, and 16.  Also ordered some gold-colored slotted tungsten beads, 4, 3.5, and 3mm.  Today I ordered a small quantity of unpainted 5mm tungsten ice fishing jigs.  Going to try and paint some up for myself.

...what are your sources?

im starting beginning of the new year... i do have a new supply of ice jigs ready to go... so im all set there.

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