Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

The Phenomenon of the color PINK in Brackish Waters for Sunfish......

As an active member of Bigbluegill.com the last several years, I have learned a lot and shared many ideas that have proven successful for Sunfish in the waters I fish. Prior to becoming a member I had several secrets that remained in my pocket and only my closest fishing buddies had ever even shared in this success. This isn't to say others weren't fishing the same baits in a similar style and catching fish or using baits of their choice and finding similar success.  I was a young kid with numerous anglers in my extended family and I learned early from my grandpa Foster Abney, who always told me to listen when I got around fishermen and think about things that might help me or work where I was fishing.  I was fortunate to be pretty close with an Uncle on my mother's side of the family that lived one town over in Southeastern Louisiana. He grew up and lived near the banks of the Tcefuncte River in the small town of Madisonville, Louisiana and only fished two bodies of water during his eighty plus year life.  A fact that many folks close to him never knew is he fished live grass shrimp for some 60 to 70 years and I couldn't begin to tell you how many Bluegill, Shellcracker, Warmouth and Crappie that he caught over the years.   One Thanksgiving day in the early 1970s as our 100 member family assembled in Folsom, Louisiana for the best dinners we ever ate, Uncle Kenny walked out to an acre pond that was dug on the family farm to stock with fish for the 20 plus grandkids in the Sharp family.  I was there casting a beetle spin when he asked if I had a scoop net with me. I did and we went over to some grass beds near the shore and made a quick scoop and filled a bucket up with little crustaceans called Grass Shrimp. He said put a cork and a bream hook on there and let me show you something. I eagerly followed his instructions and a few moments later we were pulling out big bluegill one after another.  This went on for quite some time and my Uncle explained if you ever run out of Grass Shrimp "Jeffie" and can't find more, take a pink soft plastic jig and fish that in the same areas. He explained that I wouldn't be disappointed and don't be afraid to tip the hook with a worm, grasshopper or a cricket if you have some.  I went home armed with the advice and went through seven or eight tackle boxes my dad and I had but no pink in any of them. I couldn't believe it but surely I'll find some the next time at the bait shop.  A few short days later my dad and I visited the local bait shop and I rushed the fishing tackle, both shelves and found two packs of little curly tails that had a mix of white and pink, they were mine and I was excited to let Uncle Kenny know I had found some and was eager to try them as soon as I could. His only clue was Pink was the best match for live grass shrimp in our brackish waters. He explained saltwater anglers have realized it for some time but freshwater fishermen have failed to make the correlation and they are truly missing out. In the weeks ahead I will go into detail how I fish these jigs and hopefull answer many of the questions I have received about the mystery of pink.

Views: 22371

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

THANKS JEFFREY and there is a lot of folk on here that can tie fly's and would be very easy for em to duplicate the pattern's I and you use. That's the beauty of tying, we are only limited by our imaginations ...........

I like that Tooty.........  "we are only limited by our imaginations".... I don't know enough yet to tie the classic patterns, so I just start out with a picture in my mind of something I think a big gill would eat, and try to tie something that resembles it.  

Vince sorry I didn't see this till now and am sure you are an accomplished tier already and I just try and keep things simple and durable and the rest takes care of itself generally.........

Here are a couple of my favorite 'Pink Things' from my RiverCritter lineup...

Both are 1/32nd oz with a # 8 hook. It does, as Jeffrey points out, seem to be noticeably more effective in darker, tannin-stained waters than in clear lakes or rivers. These are tied with marabou, craft hair and crystal flash for scale accent.

Really like the crystal flash on these baits...fish like it even more......

stay tuned for lots of testimony and technique information in the coming days/weeks as I will add a chapter for every month of the season from March through November......This will account for three of the four seasons that we have.....If you fish them all like I do you may find the content beneficial. Feel free to provide your feedback and lessons learned to enhance the discussion as several members have already. Thanks in advance and I hope all who read might learn something or take away an idea......

Jeff
Amazing info..I look forward to reading your testimony and techniques ...one cannot help but
Learn and enhance our fishing experience .. Thank you in advance for providing your secrets to successful Panfish fishing ....
Paul

This is an excellent topic to start and discuss upon Jeffrey. What I know about the "pink" effect, I'll add on top of the secrets being slowly revealed. I don't want to jump ahead and create a spoiler for everyone.


The reason why I add red, as Tony pointed out, as well pink and purple is because of the visual cues that the fish get. As you discuss further, I will push more info into the discussion as reinforcement data I've gathered throughout the decade. I hope there are biologists, aquaculturists, scientists, and bioengineers that will chime in to provide additional insightful knowledge and wisdom as you initiate the discussions Jeffrey.

Thanks Leo, I look forward to your input and feel many members can benefit and show us their results in 2013 or possibly earlier in some regions......

As I mentioned earlier, I'm going to start with the month of March and carry through November, which in Northeast North Carolina this is normally the life cycle of 55 degree water which has long been the low end of the Coppernose bite in my region. Many of my most productive rivers and creeks are dominated by the Coppernose Gills.......Often the beginning of March is ushered in with 50 degree water as we wait on the southerly winds to start warming us up. This year I caught my first Coppernose on the 4th of March and the water temperature was 56 degrees.  In this colder water it is best to start with smaller baits and slow presentations...sometimes presented on a drop shot to get near bottom in four to six feet of water or presented under a float fishing near bottom. Many times this is a period requiring the greatest patience as you wait for the few light strikes you may receive.  This is when I employ small dart jigs from the trout magnet set or possibly 1/64 ounce jigs and soft plastics cut down to smaller sizes........

I have many colors but in an effort to mimic the most common prey item in these waters I lean towards pink......Depending on which of the recent surveys you study, grass shrimp make up 37 to 45 percent of some 35 crustaceans available in this brackish water environment. Population estimates are in the millions per acre in the most densely populated areas. Many also believe that pink resembles scale flash on the various minnows species available or possibly a bleeding match to injured prey items as schools of bait fish are attacked. I'm convinced the grass shrimp theory is right on because the best bluegill locations I fish in three different states all have abundant grass shrimp and some white shrimp populations. This high protein food source accounts for much of the rapid growth of gills in these public waters.....Every place I feature in this discussion will be available to the public as well which is an interesting variable to this technique.

The gills I catch during this period will rarely be the 10" plus fish......often the medium hens and the 7 to 9 inch males will begin to head towards staging areas and will be the first fish I make contact with...I don't fish deep in March and this might keep me away from some of the largest fish but once I know where they will come in those fish will move in the same areas as the water temperatures rise through the 50s heading towards 60......I mark all fish I catch in March for good starting points for future trips as other conditions come into play......When I tip these smaller jigs and micro baits I normally use a tiny piece of crawler or the flesh of a shrimp in tidbits....meaning one average sized shrimp would be plenty to fish all day.....Often the float will not even go under so I also employ a micro float (pictured above) that sometimes sits right below the surface already needing only ounces of pressure for submerging...Any wave action or wind ripple can hide these finicky strikes of early season. Sometimes I must wait several trips and fish for hours early in March with temperature changes of 1 to 2 degrees having an impact....yes this could mean the chilly morning will not produce the bites that the noon day sun will produce....Whatever catches the first one make sure you repeat.....gills are creatures of habit and often what looked appealing to one gill will entice another....I normally have multiple poles fishing during this period as the bite will not reach a frenzy at this point in the season. How many poles you can use legally depends on your state or local regulations. A man may not be able to feed a large family at this point in the season but more often than not I begin to catch quality 30 fish limits before the end of the March in North Carolina......This can be as early as Valentine's Day in warmer climates like Louisiana and the Low Country of South Carolina. The next post will feature April and the significance of Good Friday to great fishing. Of Note I caught six Crappie limits in March 2012 mainly on pink jigs tipped with minnows and the baby crawfish jigs tipped as well........

These are nice little baits I use in cold water that I first saw Ice Fishermen employ.......micro is best the colder the water is......

These are called Little Atom Nuggies for those that want to search for them on the web.....

RSS

Latest Activity

John Sheehan replied to Bruce Tomaselli's discussion Happy Thanksgiving
"You as well Bruce!"
13 hours ago
Bruce Tomaselli posted a discussion

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish you all a great Thanksgiving Day.See More
Thursday
Bruce Tomaselli replied to Bruce Tomaselli's discussion Jig Flies
"Thanks, John"
Wednesday
Bruce Tomaselli replied to Bruce Tomaselli's discussion Jig Flies
"Thanks, John."
Nov 21
John Sheehan replied to Bruce Tomaselli's discussion Jig Flies
"They look great Bruce!And nice slim profiles for Gill mouths !"
Nov 21
Bruce Tomaselli posted a discussion

Jig Flies

I don't know if I ever posted these, but a couple of them worked well for bluegills and crappie.See More
Nov 21
John Sheehan commented on John Sheehan's photo
Thumbnail

Fishing with pal John Grunberg

"Only one Pickerel Mikey .Small one hit a 2/5ths oz. Little Cleo spoon.Short outing . I enjoy…"
Nov 20
Mikey-D commented on John Sheehan's photo
Thumbnail

Fishing with pal John Grunberg

"wow that is a fine fall time crappie John congrats any pickerel?"
Nov 19
John Sheehan commented on John Sheehan's photo
Thumbnail

Fishing with pal John Grunberg

"Sure that'd be great ! "
Nov 19
Bruce Tomaselli commented on John Sheehan's photo
Thumbnail

Fishing with pal John Grunberg

"That's one heavy crappie. Too bad you couldn't land about 10 of those, John."
Nov 19
John Sheehan posted photos
Nov 18
John Sheehan commented on Mikey-D's photo
Thumbnail

opening day 2021 11ptr

"ah i see now ,11pointer !"
Nov 17
Mikey-D commented on Mikey-D's photo
Thumbnail

opening day 2021 11ptr

"Thanks guys we saw 3 nice bucks earlier while the family and myself were on our property camping my…"
Nov 17
Bruce Tomaselli commented on Mikey-D's photo
Thumbnail

opening day 2021 11ptr

"Great buck and great eating, congrats."
Nov 16
John Sheehan commented on Mikey-D's photo
Thumbnail

opening day 2021 11ptr

"10 pointer? You and friends and Family will be eating good this Winter .Good work ! "
Nov 15
Mikey-D posted a photo

opening day 2021 11ptr

Nice opening day buck good way to start the season.
Nov 15
Jeffrey D. Abney commented on Jeffrey D. Abney's photo
Thumbnail

Trophy Pumpkinseed Caught in North River Gamelands…….

"Appreciate it John……..I did a double take, couldn’t believe it was a…"
Nov 13
Jeffrey D. Abney commented on Jeffrey D. Abney's photo
Thumbnail

Trophy Pumpkinseed Caught in North River Gamelands…….

"Thanks Bruce….on average they are the smallest sunfish in the…"
Nov 13
John Sheehan commented on Jeffrey D. Abney's photo
Thumbnail

Trophy Pumpkinseed Caught in North River Gamelands…….

"Great pseed!They are aggressive but not plentiful compared to Gills in my Home Community Lake ."
Nov 13
Bruce Tomaselli commented on Jeffrey D. Abney's photo
Thumbnail

Trophy Pumpkinseed Caught in North River Gamelands…….

"Beautiful. I've never seen one close to that size."
Nov 13

© 2021   Created by Bluegill.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service