Do you love big bluegill?
Hook points can make a world of difference, and a huge factor in success. Look at these two 1/80th oz jigs below...
The jig on the left has a #12 hook...ideal for coldwater gills. But check out that slightly down curved point. I used this jig yesterday and caught a few, but missed many, many fish on the hookset. When I got back home, I ran my finger over the top of the eye and hookpoint and it would not pierce my skin. The hook was never finding the flesh of the gills mouth...just 'popping' out!
So, I actually switched to a longer shanked, slightly larger #10 hook on the 1/80th oz. jig on the right. It was game on, as I started to immediately hook, and hold those bluegills and crappies in the frigid 36 degree water. I could possibly 'open up' the gap of the hook on the jig on the left to gain clearance past the hook eye, thus allowing penetration into the mouths of the fish. Often, fish were just 'trailing off' with the bobber and not submersing it.
This may be the first time I ever actually bumped up hook size to catch more bluegills than a smaller offering.
Moral learned...check your hooks and hook styles to see if you have an interference or dynamic that might prevent you from hooking fish, including the 'big one'!
I went to one of the ponds I fish and the ice had melted the day before. I noticed fish were dimpling the surface with feeding activity. Large midges were hatching. I started out with my go to fly a #12 olive wooly bugger and I had no success. I switched to a midge nymph pattern with a strike indicator and it was game on. I caught about 15 good bluegills before I called it a day. I don't know what the water temperature was but I'm sure it wasn't much more than mid 30's range. This same event happend year only it was in Feburary. Ice stayed on a little longer this year. It felt great to feel the first fish of the season.