Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

So here in the south where I live there are not a lot of people that attempt to locate schools of bluegills and shellcrackers in the middle of winter.  I am going to try this winter.  I have had a lot of success in ponds locally in the winter but never attempted on the larger lakes that I fish throughout summer.  So I need some help and advice from some of the experts here.  We are talking 1500+ acre lakes and what I am trying to find out is some likely hangouts for these schools.  I have good electronics that I trust so marking the fish once I am on them will not be an issue..... the issue is there is so much water to cover I just don't know where to begin.  Any ideas?  I will update everyone with my results as  we go through winter.....

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I believe weeds are the common denominator... bluegill feed on walls of weeds... as winter progresses weeds may be only available in the shallower areas. On early clear ice ive seen weeds approaching the bottom of the ice. I dont like fishing bluegill without the weeds. OncE they kill off the weeds in summer on one of my favorite gill lakes I stop fishing it.

Standing weeds are where I go first in the cold water....If there's ice, and snow on top of that, the weeds may die back and be less of an attractant, but still worth checking out.

My local lake is a massive power reservoir. Its a typical Southern impoundment, i.e., wide open expanses without much weed. Sporadic patches occur, of course, but I suspect the gills aren't finding much in the way of salad.
Indeed, this lake is known more for its shellcrackers than its bluegill. I'm somewhat certain its because there's a dearth of vegetation. Only in the furthest backwaters do you find anything even approaching weed beds.

what is your success in the backwaters and what seasons?

Looking back through my Fall /Winter bluegill catches since 2009,here are some areas I've caught them :Mid lake humps near channels or ditches, on rock or wood  structure off steep banks, outside weed edges near deep water drop-offs, anchoring and fishing near a wall where the wind is blowing to, fishing from shore off a steep wall the wind is blowing to. (Perhaps Bluffs on steep banks if they're available ) Top bait has been a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler or mealworm fished under a float . Good luck Shawn!

here is a must read article doing actual tracking studies

 

http://www.in-fisherman.com/2011/09/08/tracking-bluegill-research/

 

very interesting...

 

if you scroll the pictures at the bottom of that article you will see Jim and Bruce and a reference to Jeff being a local expert...NICE!!!

Very interesting Ken. And john, that list should be carved in stone, somewhere. I know I'm gonna...

if you scroll the pictures at the bottom of that article you will see Jim and Bruce and a reference to Jeff being a local expert...NICE!!!

David ,I am very fortunate to be able to make albums of photos and reports of my weekly fishing ,here at BBG. My fishing success has improved greatly due to this site! Thanks again to Bruce Condellos flock of dedicated and fun loving fisherman for the lessons!

Well john, maybe if I went fishing more, I'd have something to log!
I moved near one of the best lakes around...and I've always got something else to do but go there!
Part 2 - all your logging and record keeping is done here @BBG?
And I thought it was just for fun!
You're right... Its one heckuva resource.

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