Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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An interesting question was posed by one of the many great BBG visitors-

How do you measure success in YOUR fishing?


How many fish? What type of day, outing? (( be realistic )) don't post outrageous numbers here no need.  We are not the braggey type and this isn't the point of this.

This post is all about reality, good and bad.  This is such a difficult question - think of your fishing outings last year and help us all out - answer realistically - I would love to see what success is group-wide - not interested in inflated numbers. To help you out - you can give two different types of success or even find success in adversity - tougher fishing...

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I have several answers - but I will only show a few. I will answer this in video form come Spring time where mere letters on the inter web will not suffice. 

One of the ways I find success is in learning. One of my worst fishing outings last year was in competition where I made a horrible hook choice. I had a great practice finishing second in the practice heat - but I made changes to my rig and my hook was too big and wrong! My thinking the fish were biting so I could use a larger hook to catch more faster. WOW.

In the first 2 heats I was in great spots and fished horribly. My rig was to blame but I was MORE to blame.

I lost fish at the net - bunches of them because of the bigger, cheaper hooks I tied (changed to the night before). Another huge error- not climbing the small hill to get my sunglasses during setup from my bag. They were 50 feet away and I left them in there. 
I got heat stroke - there was no wind so the glass water reflected up into my eyes and burnt me- literally. Heat 2 and even Heat 3 the next day I was SICK. Bad fishing, bad choices, bad hooks and bad sun protection. I am most proud that in my worst spot in the competition, I was able to come from behind and slip up into 6th place- this qualified me for Italy.

One way I measure success- being prepared, being ready.

I can fish horribly but if I have put in my time, prepared my rigs and my gear is organized I am way ahead. I have fished the other way and in this case, being smart enough to have the glasses ON - was not being prepared. Having gear organized can win a contest and keep your line in the water. It  can help you when you are on your own just fishing.

Another way I measure success- never give up - fish harder when down. 
Things might go wrong, you might be in a bad spot, the weather might have thrown a wrench in your fishing - but never give up on the spot. A change in the gear, paying more attention, adjusting a float, changing baits - reducing your hook size can improve fishing. I see others give up but I pride myself in pushing, changing and trying to increase my catch- especially when the chips are down. 

Finally - I measure success when I don't get heat stroke. Stay hydrated, wear sunglasses and a hat and you can be successful.

 I'll give you two examples of success that I value a lot....1. I get to travel quite a bit with work and I find it very rewarding to employ my proven methods on water that I don't frequent or  brand new locations to me......Catching a stringer like that can be challenging and require you to tap all your knowledge, skills and abilities.......Often times there is little to go by on a new location as big bluegill are under appreciated. 2. From time to time I take people fishing that have little or no experience...Many have thanked me for showing them a great time and teaching them something about bluegill fishing that they can share and I really get self satisfaction on these trips..... In work and pleasure, nobody puts more pressure on me than I do myself......These are two things that I find very rewarding and hang my hat up on that day claiming success......

I measure my success in one way, did I enjoy myself regardless of weather I caught  a fish or not. I will tell you when I get that option to get out on the water I enjoy it's a rare commodity for me any more. If you don't think so have that opportunity taken from you and you know it's true cause that's about all you can think is that next time you may be able to get out. So when I get a chance to get out on the water with my fishing pole's in hand I'm in my own glory and that's not by measuring my numbers or sizes of fish, It that I have successfully filled a void. When I get out its not about how many or how big, its that I made it. Good luck to all and above all have a safe and prosperous year.

success for me is simple and can be put into one word "Fun". As long I have fun that's success in my book. I don't even have to catch fish, and I usually end up meeting a lot of interesting people while fishing. 

Success can be variable, and at different times of the year, and at different bodies of water, I may have different expectations of what I think success should be. If I am fishing for a meal, I target 6 to 10 nice gills in the 8 inch catagory. But that does not always happen, even in some of my better locations. If I am fishing open water in the middle of the winter, like this year, I feel that locating and catching any fish at all is a measure of success, and am pleased.

Some bodies of water have trophy potential, and I sometimes put my expectations too high. My favorite hybrid bluegill ponds are loaded with 10 to almost 12 inch giants, but there are some days when I just can't find a pattern and don't catch a single one! At other times, we catch high numbers of 9 to 10 inch fish at alarming rates during the prespawn period. Restraint is needed.

My favorite trips, and I believe the most successful, are when we can put a newcomer on to some willing bluegills, and they just have a ball with the action and the fight of the larger gills.

I tell everybody that my favorite fish is the next one I'm going to catch!

fishing is all about having fun and enjoying the great outdoors...

leaving all the worries from life behind for awhile

fishing with family and good friends

and if you catch fish thats even better

1. Catch a fish, or lots of fish, whether it's tiny, small, large, or monstrous..beat the skunk day.

2. Learn new tricks. When there's no longer new things to learn, fishing will be boring.

3. Hangout and make friends..whether be with your family, buddies, or strangers. Nothing beat company that you can incorporate with your fun hobby.

The biggest thing for me Leo is learning. I often tell people to challenge yourself while fishing. I have never fly fished, so I want to become good at it. I dont crank for panfish, so I want to become good at it. Most of all, I have met some really great people while fishing. Since this site really isnt cosidered fishing, we are here and you guys are great. The common purpose has us talking and sharing ideas and it feels like a day on the water to me. Doesn't matter who catches fish, I just like seeing them caught. Post more pics guys!

Can I define, numerically, what is a "successful" day of fishing? Yes.

Literal Success at fishing is bringing home ONE edible fish per person. In my case there is only myself and one other person who eats fish, so two fish is a finite measure of "success."

If I'm allowed other measures of success, then the field opens substantially.

1. Simply GOING fishing is a success, to me.

I've a busy schedule - time out to fish is a boon.

2. Coming back safely with all my gear is a win.

Nothing lost, broken, bitten or poisoned, well... that counts for a lot.

3. Catching a non-target fish is nice (especially non-game fish).

Can anyone say, "catfish?"

4. Going swimming during a fishing trip marks it as a good day.

Hot day, cool water - oh yeah!

5. Catching fish on DIY tackle is a major.

I make or refurbish a lot of my own terminal tackle, i.e., lures, floats and so on. When it works, I'm happy.

6. Having a companion, or meeting one, is a good thing.

I enjoy my own company, but also that of like-minded others.

7. Catching fish using non-standard methods always goes down in my book.

Bass caught on trout lures is a triumph.

8. Smoking a nice cigar without listening to cries of doom and danger is a success.

Enough said.

9 . Seeing wild creatures doing their "thing" is a success.

Snakes, gators, scorpions... all God's creatures are welcome.

10. Using functional equipment gear I've repaired of refurbished makes for success.

Seeing old rods and reels made new again goes hand-in-hand with using my own lures.

Fishing embodies both the Penultimate and the Journey. Mixed in is the esoteric and the cerebral. I try to enjoy all these facets. When I do, I call it, also, "Success."

There is no right answer - it is 100% personal. There are good answers and numbers don't always have to be the answer, or size. I see some great answers here.

When the person im fishing with has a good time.

FUN is the key word...I agree Derrick!

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