Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

     Does anyone go down below 2lb test line? If so, what kind and where are you buying it?

 

thanks

 

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I have .75 lb. line that I am preparing, but I don't use it for bluegills. The good line is imported and it comes from Italy or Japan. While it is thinner than USA lines - it is nearly 1/3 stronger than it's shelf competitor. I will be working on premium panfish line to make available 1  - 4 lb. premium line this Winter so that you have it for Spring because NO ONE carries anything but the boat rope.

I tried Ice Fishing "Premium" lines and they too are horrible, brittle and of poor quality. I would not trust these to baby bluegill-fishing with my kids. For live bait anglers, we get to use "lure lines" built to get your crank bait back from underneath a bolder wrapped around a pier. This stuff is great to pull your gear through heavy weeds- but not to catch fish. It's the pits.

YES- I use 1.5 lb. leaders frequently - but the good stuff and it is not from here, but it will be.

 

Once you get to the end of that line - well, hooks are a similar story but not near as bad as the line. I like Gamakatsu mosquito hooks in the size 14 - that is a pretty good hook if you can find it stocked. With a proper line and a light wire hook, you now have a slow-falling bait and the ultimate temptation to the bluegill - food falling front the surface like in nature! Light and tempting.

 

I like the thought process in asking about the line- but if you get an answer that "yes" I use 1 lb. ice fishing leader- that is not the solution in the majority of line manufacturers that you will hear back.

I'll get down to a true 1.5# leader/tippet if needed for picky 'gills in open water, but generally run 2#. On ice I run 2# flouro as a base line as well but sometimes need to get down to 8oz or 12oz and #16 - #20 jigs. Don't like too but if that's what they're eating one better match the size or go home empty. Use ASSO Micron 3 line (Italian) from  http://www.yourbobbersdown.com  Also use a lot of the Wolfram jigs year around with plastics from http://www.kjbplastics.com/joomla/

Here we go again.....

Darn those USA tackle manufacturers, they must surely be the epitome of corporate evil...it's no wonder we can't catch a nice mess of big Bluegill anymore, when we're handicapped by this atrocious equipment they're putting out....

But wait.

A quick look through the photo section of this site will reveal literally THOUSANDS of big bluegill, 99% of which I would wager have been caught on this sub-par American gear.

How can this be??

Maybe, it has something to do with the style of fishing practiced by the majority of anglers that I am familiar with. When I walk up to a spot on the water, I know it's not my only spot... I'm free to move if the fish are uncooperative, or just too small for my tastes.  Just because I haven't caught a fish in one spot, doesn't mean I won't catch one 50 yards further down the bank.  I won't spend much time and effort trying to fool the fish, or draw them in to me, when I can just go find them.

Kinda' reminds me of squirrel hunting. If you spook one up in a tree, he'll just hunker down and quit moving, and wait for you to leave. You can't see him, so you don't have a shot.  Now what? Do you stay put, knowing there's a squirrel in that tree that you might get a shot at sometime, or do you move on down the trail, aware that the next tree might have 5 in it? For me, it's a no brainer.... I'm moving. It's the same with bluegill fishing. Equipment is important,  but in these stained midwestern ponds with 18" visibility, it's not at the top of my list for success. The top spot is occupied by location... you can't catch big bluegill if there aren't any in the pond. Time to try someplace else.

Maybe I'm just lucky, but I don't find the bluegill I'm catching to be that particular on my choice of line size, (4lb), or brand, in the summer. Winter is another story. When the visibility increases to 8-10', I will use 1lb test, and size 16 tungsten jigs. The conditions dictate the equipment, there is no one "right" line or hooks. And therein lies what I think is the key. I believe that the conditions faced by many of the anglers on this forum may not require the level of finesse that has been discussed here. I know I don't have any problems with my off -the- shelf American gear.

 

 

 

Well -
I do love the tongue and cheek and love the squirrel hunting explanation. That said - yes there is one right hook I absolutely believe that - you just have the hooks you have seen and that is all you have to go on.
I will tell you when England sent pro anglers over to fish our U.S. Open it took them several years and they STILL didn't figure out the bluegills. I have an English friend that has a method that I will NOT tell him that what he is doing slows the fish down.
I know it sounds ridiculous about cranking into U.S. manufacturers because I am going to be one of them - but it isn't so much what they make, it is the materials they use that have changed the industry. The "innovative" materials such as celluloid (early plastic), then plastics and even foam that have never lived up to their counterparts. Balsa, reeds, quills & cork- those used to make us our bite indicators.
Early U.S. floats for example were really pretty cool and featured some excellent parts like those made by Heddon or Zimmer in the 40's - those were great. When war took their brass components (and our attention away) the "captured innovations" from winning that war brought us new materials which were better for the manufacturer - but not for joe bluegill angler.
I also have a theory that bluegills have always been caught to go after big fish - this was the primary purpose for the bluegill tackle- to catch some bait. Catfish anglers and bass anglers would catch a few, put them in their steel minnow bucket and then go fish. I know it is shocking to hear- but most of America wouldn't care for BigBluegill.com - but that is o.k. We know how cool gill fishing is and what an awesome fish this species is. I know I personally enjoy 50 of these more than I would enjoy the dink 12" bass available around me. 12" would be big for my area and I don't have the $$ or time to drive 2 hours out to get to better bass waters- keep it.
While I do rip on the manufacturers - it is more appropriate to rip on their components and materials because there are better components used everywhere else and better designs.
As I say- you might be lucky to have whopper gills near you and they might be easier to catch with 4 lb. than all the fish by me, but that doesn't mean other gear wouldn't consistently outperform ultra-heavy lines that we call ultra-light. I would almost be willing to say you could do 3x better based on the thickness but there is no science to that. Maybe a little side-by-side will settle the score and we can have some anglers test these out in a controlled setting where everything is equal and the fish can tell us which they prefer. Either some bait with a thick shaft protruding from the side of it that is inflexible and heavy - or a hair-thin delicate light line that allows the bait to fall slower through the water column, have a better shot at not being spotted and that flexes twice as easily, further and faster than the boat rope we appear to be defending.
But... This might be me talking or it might be all the gear I prepared this week or it might be me taking the top weight on the lake in my 1st US Open entirely on a bag of bluegills. I know- you will say "but you used the heavy leader to fish faster" and you would be right. I used a 1.5 lb. leader made in Japan and also a finesse hook made in Japan. (Check your hooks though- about 99.89% are made in Japan or come from there - even most of the Chinese hooks come from Japan)...
I have to close with - I am fishing for Team USA next week - so I am very Pro USA. I hope to work with manufacturers and get the good stuff here because many of the top USA companies to have an overseas brand where they sell in England and the rest of Europe, but they don't offer us the same tackle. We need Big, USA Fishing companies to help our team. We need it. Until then, I have to fill the gap and make do. We are very lucky to have a sponsor in the USA like TopMix who have helped us a great deal - now we just need some more corporate and fishing sponsors. GO USA!

To me - Bluegill is a primary fish. I don't belong to a single bass site.
SKUNKAPE- have you tried this Trilene 1 lb test?
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I have enough trouble seeing and tying 4lb test

Well stick with the 4 lb. - but if you can see it - they can see it.

 

I do most of my tying on the workbench with a bright light and for my leaders I am prepping for the World Championships, there is no way I could do without the bright light and work space. On the water I only deal with a loop - to - loop to connect a new leader.. Just my opinion Trilene might be the worst line on the planet, but I am spoiled, I have great line from our team. Also - If I am not mistaken - 12 oz. is very heavy for a jig.

thanks for all the info, this site is great!

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