Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

I went exploring for good metro sunfish lakes. Living in the metro area, trophy sunfish is not something you will come across. I've never targeted sunfish specifically, especially bluegills. But there are a few lakes currently capable of producing a limit of 8" for those who wish to keep some. I didn't start my sunfish exploring until mid July. Was kinda preoccupied with other things(bass tournaments).

A few years ago on one of the tournament lakes I fished, I came across some deep beds, I mean near hundreds of them in 9'-12' of water. I didn't give it much thought at the time. Thinking back, I decided to check it out. Armed with an ultra lite set up I went sunfish hunting. Rigged with a small 1/16th oz jig tipped with a gulp worn, I positioned myself on the edge of this massive bed flat as seen on my 360 sonar, I casted it out to the middle of it. I let it sink and as soon as it hits bottom or I think it did. The line twitched, I set back and tell first bluegill was a nice 8.25". Through out the days, I landed 50+ bluegills ranging from 7" to almost 9" in just this one spot. This all in mid July. This was just one of many deepwater beds I found with my SI. More future bluegill fishing is in the work for spring next year.

2nd lake I went too I targeted shallow rocky flats with sparse weeds. Moving around with my trolling I finally came across some beds on a long shallow point as seen on my 360. These beds were in 3'-4' of water and dotted this point for 70' long. Rigged with the same set up I used in my previous lake. I cast to the center of the bed flat. And picked up a few here and there. Not any real hot action on the beds and sizes was 7" avg. I casted to the sharper drop off the side of the point. And picked up a nice 8.5". Didn't pick up any good pattern all day. But majority of the good bites was not from the beds but from the edges of the beds and edges of any scattered weeds. Overall, caught 40+ sunfishes that range 7"-8.5". Of course there's a lot of 6" range sunfishes caught as well on top of that 40+ 7"-8.5".

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Comment by Leo Nguyen on August 23, 2016 at 7:17am

In most waters, sunfishes are very lightly targeted, due to their sizes. Some waters are stunt, and most people don't care to harvest those smaller bites. However, they are quite fun to target, using ultra light and fly gears. Since you may be one of the few that do harvest them, you will do a great benefit in assisting the waters you're harvesting to retain larger ones. Come up with the harvest and release plan based on the sizes discovered there. Even if you don't want to eat them, hand them off for a fish fry party to those who do. Tight lines.

Comment by Ric on August 18, 2016 at 10:02am
Well, I can definitely catch for sunfish than bass. That's kind of a given since there are more sunfish fish than bass in any lake. Prior to getting into bass tournament fishing, I was a multi-species angler. I think I'm coming to an end soon for my bass tournament days. But I do like catching sunfish. I had so little time to target quality sunfish back then and now. Hoping to find a honey hole one day. Not very likely here in the heavily pressured metro area though but atleast 7"-8" is pretty good size.
Comment by carl hendrix on August 18, 2016 at 9:50am

HEY RIC;;; A GOOD QUESTION FOR YOU NOW IS;; AFTER YOU TARGETED THOSE BLUE GILLS;; WHICH DID YOU FIND TO BE MORE FUN ??    BASS OR BLUE GILL ??   AS FOR ME;; CATCHING BLUE GILL  ON U L; AND FLY RODS;; ARE A HECK OF A LOT MORE FUN !  AND ;; I CATCH A HECK OF A LOT MORE BLUE GILL THAN I DO BASS !!   NOT TO MENTION;; BLUE GILL ARE A HECK F A LOT BETTER EATING !!

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