Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

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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I have a bluegill tourney up near Chicago - I was in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago but didn't get to fish...

You can start your own league if you want - I can assist. I would like to put together a national bluegill & shore fishing league if you are game. We have one more person on the board interested. A league can be started with 2 anglers a small dues a few posters, flyers and bait & tackle store friends (place to get new anglers).

Do let me know if you are interested in a league. I know I am interested in fishing Louisiana in the future.

the ones i fish are put on by people i know. they are small and friendly. most are cookie jar type tourn. let me know more about this league.

Cookie jar is the way to have them- nothing wrong with that. We throw some numbers in a hat, pull the numbers go to the spots and compare.


Leagues should be social first, helpful second and ultra-competitive last! Always take care of the newer anglers, younger anglers and older anglers - don't forget them.

i think the league idea is cool.


Not interesting catch lot of bluegills! Catch and release 10 bluegills limited, min.10 inch and total for heaviest to win like BASS tournaments!

Sorry- we would have zero bluegills for most anglers in the Urban zones. We are forced to go by weight. Overfishing, lack of habitat, lack of food sources and poor water quality and most importantly the absolute lack of an aquatic Apex predator population (massively overfished) keep our fish supply stunted when it comes to bluegills.

Anywhere within 2 hour drive of the city where a lot of people live you will find this condition due in many cases to the B.A.S.S. crowd mixed in with the bass food crowd. 


BASS tournaments are harmful to the fish with all that handling too. I highly recommend not measuring any fish except by weight. It is very important to your fishery to weigh your catch AT the exact spot on the bank they are caught. Carrying them in containers and keeping the fish in troughs or transporting your catch will damage the fish and have lasting effects on the quality of your fishery.



With digital cameras and measuring boards it would be possible to measure on the spot and release immediately.

Ah - 

The easiest way is to keep all the fish you catch in a large bag called a "keep net".

This extends into the water in front of each angler and allows the fish to be in the same water you caught them.

Every fish caught goes in there until the whistle blows to end fishing.



The nets are 6 feet long and have a wire frame.



As you catch the fish - you do NOT have to get up- you just toss it in the opening in the net.


At the end, the fish are weighed and if you really care to- counted. This is a great way to manage your catch. I ALWAYS return everything I catch around Chicago unless it is inland trout season - those I eat. I recommend any anglers catching lots of fish that they return at least the top 2 or 3 fish so they leave the best of the best to breed. This will IMPROVE your water and will increase the size and health of your fish population.

Don't be tempted to remove the studs- take a picture and put them back to swim another day.


At the end of your contests the group walks down the row and one by one, each angler weighs what they caught in 4 hours. It is a lot of fun. 

The bag stays in place with a metal stick which you can push into the bank- on one end it has a spike, on the other the net is screwed on.


With this- you have no reason to stand up and disturb the fish in front of you so you have a lot of extra time to catch more.

I hope people weren't thinking the contest was supposed to be here on the board or national. What I am suggesting is that you start this bluegill / fishing league locally by you. Get groups of anglers together, meet on the bank at a designated lake (make a schedule for the year) and everyone fishes the same time.


This really is enjoyable and the stakes can be nothing/bragging rights, a small pool of cash or just some cheap medals. I highly suggest that the medals be for everyone instead of just the top angler.


If just the same few people keep winning, it might put a strain on your club and not encourage people to return. I suggest you award people for their accomplishments on an individual angler basis.


For those interested in starting and joining a national organization of club tournaments- let me know. These can start with just two anglers. 

WE used to have an annual "fishing rodeo" in a local canal. The canal fed a major textile mill in this area originally, and has been in place for 150+ years. It was both scenic and exciting; my kids always enjoyed it.


It was also stocked CATFISH being caught, not bluegill. They'd dump the cats in the week before, net off the end of the canal and hold the rodeo the following weekend. It was always free to locals, too. Long considered a 'community event,' it was sponsored by the mill and local businesses for decades. Every kid and dad in town turned out for it - if you've ever heard of old fashioned "country entertainment," the Graniteville Fishing Rodeo was it!


Sadly, it has gone by the wayside now that the mill has fallen on hard times. New and foreign ownership has seen fit not to hold the rodeo anymore. Worse, the canal and the vast Graniteville area millponds have been made off-limits to fishing. I'd fished there for years; then one day I was summarily thrown out by hired security hacks from the new company. I was told never to return and I would be  prosecuted if I did.


So, no, if there are bluegill-specific tourney's around here, I've never heard of them. The big, regional impoundments have B.A.S.S. and Crappie Shows, of course; and there's even a carp contest at Lake Greenwood. But no bluegill events. Here in the South, bluegill are taken for granted.


Even if I wanted to start one up, the best places to hold them are now forbidden waters. I've asked, in fact. Thanks to the exclusive ownership attitudes of the mills and local land developers, I'd have to leave my own town to do it - to no benefit of my friends and neighbors.



Our events are mostly bluegill with bonus carp so it is a combination. It is sad when the local waters are not better cared for by businesses and embraced. 


America needs to get back to community - get back to bluegill fishing! The world would be jealous of our bluegill resources - they love these bream (once they figure them out)!!

Worse than not cared for Johnny. These ponds are ignored, BUT held like carrots before area anglers. Those of us from here know them - we've fished them in the past.

But today, the people who control them will not allow anyone near them. They could - but won't.

They were originally built to serve the mills and, by default, the communities that lived beside them. Today those same neighbors and families are only allowed to look at them, and await for the developers blade.


That chaps my @ss.


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