Do you love big bluegill?
1-bluegills are schooled along medium to deep sparsely weeded sticky bottom flats
2 bluegills are schooled or located along large open pockets in weed beds
3-gravel or sand flats
1- light spinning tackle.
2- braid or 5– 15 lb test usually 1 to 4lb test mono equivalent diameter.
3- Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp Widebend or Octopus hook #6 - #14 or equivalent (I’m always experimenting with hooks) of course this is just my personal preference.
4- Light drop shotting sinker or reusable split shot double wrapped at the end of line tag.
5- Bait of your choice… I usually use ½ crawler segments or Gulp pink maggots.
Locate schools of bluegill on your sounder on deep sticky bottom flats, sparsely weeded flats gravel flats etc. let sink to the bottom slowly dragging to the boat provide slight twitching along the way with pauses or continuous drag. Find the pattern of movement they prefer. Fill up your cooler but please recognize a reasonable slot limit.
locate schools of fish with your sonar and present the rig to the fish. here is a screen dump of the rig being dropped and presented to the school of fish.
found a school of jumbos between 9 and 10 inches schooling close to the bottom off a main break in about 22 ft of water with my sounder. who says big gill are solitary fish? these fish were caught with a drop shot ... excluding the bass of course.. with crawler bits
fishing the summer peak period with the drop shot... caught hundreds of fish that day...not a huge fish day... sometimes quantity could make up for that!
here is a good article on drop shotting for panfish.
The basic rod and reel setup is light action 5.5 ft rod with a 100 series spinning reel up to a 7 ft light action with a 200 series reel. my personal preference is the 5.5ft lightning rod with a shimano 1000 series reel 6 to 8 lb braid and my favorite hook style is the eagle claw lazer sharp wide bend #6-#12 hooks. ive been leening toward split shot double wrapped at the end of the tag end in replacement of standard more expensive drop shot weights.
thanks Johnny Wilkins for the tip ... works great... the tool already saved two gill.
I have a couple of poles rigged a lot like that. Usually rigged with 2 hooks, my preference being #6 or #8 Tru Turns. I usually tie on a swivel clip so I can change sinker weights if necessary. Been pretty successfull in the fall when the water starts to cool with this setup. We always referred to it as a "tight-line" rig. We would either jig it straight down or cast and slowly drag it along the bottom the pausing, shake it a bit and then wait. Then reel a little more in and repeat. Doubles weren't uncommom. This is the setup I'm going to try braid on.
thanks Mike ... im always experimenting with hooks and it does make a difference on percentage of hookups.i fish in close to rubble and flooded timber , rocks etc the bell sinker would cost a pretty penny over time... i like the idea of quick change for weights that idea does carry over to that setup and that's the reason i liked the sinkers available exclusively for drop shot ... they quickly clip on or are removed from the tag end of the setup. they cut the line and release when caught up in a tough snag. when Walmart carries them they were the cheaper source.The thing is with braid anything you snag or catch you own even if its the lake bottom. Tough to pull free from stubborn snags. The split shot ... double wrapped around the tag end i found was the cheapest and breaks free easily from a snag with a steady pull. when i was drop shotting and taking guests out with me i was supplying all the tackle to everyone... it was taking a bit out of the old skinny wallet.
Ive never tried those hooks before but i am going to test them on your recommendation. i like the idea of the long shank. i will experiment with that.
i like that tandem hook idea too!
I see your point with the braid. I'll try split shot on that.
You've got to try these Circle Hooks! The fish actually hook themselves! Just have your bail closed as you drift along. Almost every time the fish are hooked in the corner of their mouths, not swallowed deep in their throats. It's the only hook I use for bait now..
that's the brand I love to use and sizes ...usually not drop shotting . but that has changed recently. I'm lucky to have a supplier that always has them on hand. I cant say enough good things about the Eagle Claw brand.
a few weeks ago I went fishing with a friend that insisted on multi-pole fishing... drop shot or bobber plus the jig... the bite was so fast he started gut hooking a few of them that we couldn't release... we swapped out hooks for him and solved the problem. he actually gut hooked a couple that pulled right out with no problems... amazing little hooks.
more people that CPR fish should use these.
Hope it works out for ya Mike
Can't wait to be able to use this rig again... come on spring!