Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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do you all have bluegill tournaments? i fish several though out the summer, i wasjust wondering if you all do it to.

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We are turning into England where every bit of real estate and water is cordoned off, made private and less access is available to the common man.


In my own area, I tried to work with a public park district to raise money for families and children with cancer - I was told no without ever being asked about this - I was just shut down and the answer I was given - this will conflict with their annual fishing derby.


So, if I get this right, a request to help kids, with just me fishing during another month will detract from their annual derby. I guess this public park district is only to use as they see fit and to be fished only 1 of 365 days the way that they want - WOW I could not believe it.


This is the same place that wants to kill off the #2 bluegill population in Chicagoland with poison. They want to make it better. In code, this means poison all the fish (urban / heavily-used small water) and wait for the lake to return to its current state of better than average fishing.


We hold the majority of our Chicagoland fishing tourneys on this water as it holds many species, many bluegills and bonus bigger fish such as channel cats and carp. They can do NO BETTER than its current state - unless they go catch-and-release only to manage the thing with cameras and patrols. Without enforcement- catch-and-release urban rules don't work.


A good tourney water is one where your worst anglers can catch a few fish and your best anglers can really bag up some impressive catches. I can't wait for the fences to come down from the shore construction so our tourney water opens back up. (unpoisoned this season)


Ive said it for years, myself - we are becoming England.

My British friends lament this, too... They love America; our brash independence gives them much to talk about and even admire, if they won't openly admit it. That we might submit to the official and courtroom foxes saddens me, too.

Fishing is just one sign of this. There is a disturbing trend, as you note, to keep people away from nature itself... unless it is sanctioned by the academics and their uniformed minions, the DNR folks.

I can just hear the eco-academics howling about how disastrous and uncouth towards "nature" a panfish tournament might be. A bunch of smelly fishermen, ripping all those poor fish from the water - so they can grin and pound their chests at ther sporting skill. We'll have to put a stop to it. Oh dear, no, we musn't allow that...


Seriously, I don't know if it would ever get to that. But I'm certain it can draw a step closer than we might think. It only takes enough of us to do nothing to stop it. Evil isn't in what men do, as much as what they do nothing about.


Fishing tournaments? Not enough of 'em, I say!


To critics of bluegill tournaments  - on lakes where we fish for bluegills, the average size has increased. This is on urban waters which have banks that are mowed and there is not enough food to go around (not as much as a natural bank would offer), our tournaments provide some nutrient boosts to the waters and fish.


The average size of the fish has increased since tournaments were fished there and a recent reduction in the number of clubs has the size back on the decline.... When clubs were fishing this water in full force, the venue would be fished at least once a month. Anglers use ground bait and a supply of grubs to attract the fish and so a good part of the lake's occupants get a nutritional boost - making up for the lack of shoreline habitat.


This catch-and-release fishing competition is more than sustainable it is a needed supplement for these stunted fish. I wish this lake had a tournament fished two times a week there - the fish would be massive! I will be trying to promote the club this year to boost the numbers but growth has been slow. I think I have to go do some publicity stunts to get a lot of people out fishing.


I have one in mind.

I like the way you think.
I fully respect your right to like bluegill tournaments but I am totally against them if they are anything like bass tournaments which to me are a joke and run totally against the idea of enjoying nature for it's quiet wonder and catching fish for the shear fun of it.  Don't get me wrong - I believe there is nothing at all wrong about friendly bets among friends about catching bluegills or other fish but smearing  boats with decals and metalflake, roaring up and down a lake or river ruining fishing for others and wearing silly looking jumpsuits while people applaud your catch from other boats is totally absurd in my opinion.  By the way, I have caught a lot of big fish(see My  Page) and get my satisfaction from the photographs I show my friends.  This is enough for me.

Copperhead -

You sound like a golden person. I don't like bass tournaments for all the reasons you listed. I will also add that they confuse new anglers and blur what fishing is all about. Fishing is NOT about owning 20 rods. Fishing is not about cranking a fish in on heavy line so fast that you don't appreciate the power of the fish. Fishing is NOT about racing around in boats and invading other anglers' boat spaces or cranking a wake over their sides. Fishing is NOT about taking the fish from all over the lake, placing them in a steel livewell and then parading them and stressing them in holding tanks.


Nope- our bluegill tourneys feature NONE of the above. You will be happy to know I teach, preach and practice sustainable fishing. Our tournaments are fished from shore. All fish are weighed immediately behind the EXACT location where they are caught (from shore).


I teach proper handling and removal of fish and if a fish is harmed - it does not count to our total so incentive for fish care is 100%. We provide both carbohydrate and protein supplements to the fish in front of us! All fish are fed - and many we do not catch. The fish are kept in the lake in large framed keep nets so they do not get stressed.


Weigh in takes about 2 minutes and all fish are returned to to the water. If there is a count to be taken, the fish are put back in the water prior to us counting them so that they can catch their breath.


We try very hard to protect our resource. Waters our tournaments fish consistently INCREASE the average size and health of the fish.


I thank you for writing your objection as I do like to hear when people have concerns, questions or want more information.


I would like to create a national circuit and I do work with the US Fishing Federation - a combination of Ice, Bank, Bass & Carp anglers to promote fishing and healthy fishing competitions. Anyone interested in joining- please contact me and I will help you begin your leagues. 

Thanks for the comments - I have always felt this way and now that I have recently been diagnosed with kidney cancer, possibly incurable, I am even more appreciative of the type of fishing you advocate.  I feel sorry for the so called fisherman who don't stop to smell the roses so to speak and just enjoy nature.

Well God's blessings and I hope your ailment does not stop you.

Keep going John - I try my best with what I have got. Thank you for kind words.

Everyone on these boards is very nice, indeed. Bluegill anglers!


I hope I keep seeing your posts and that we can lift you up, keep your spirits high. Enjoy Spring's damp scent and the water's reflection - I hope your doctor's can grant you many more years of enjoying that!



Well spoken, Johnny.

My prayers go out to you, Copperhead John. Thanks for keeping it real.

Thanks for the prayers, Johnny and David - didn't mean to bring the mood down but I just finished four months of chemo and will have radical surgery on my kidney and lymph nodes on May 26 and all of this makes me reflect on all of the fishing I have done in my life and, said another way, all of the great sunups and sunsets and beauty in nature I have been lucky enough to see while fishing.  I feel bad for those people who never get to appreciate this either through choice or circumstance.  You and Johnny sound like  great guys!


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