Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

new blog up with an article on raising big bluegill

Hi all.  I've started a blog for my bluegill guiding service on which I will also be posting articles on pond management, especially big bluegill, from time to time.  I just posted an article on common mistakes made by pond owners who want big bluegill.  Here's the URL:

http://bluegilladventures.blogspot.com/

If you visit the blog, leave a comment so Google will know I exist! 

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Comment by Walt Foreman on August 18, 2012 at 10:01am

No problem, James!  Glad I could help.  

Comment by James E. Sampson on August 18, 2012 at 8:24am

Walt, I know your a man trying to get his buisness off to a great start, but i want you to know your free advice is heard and will be taken to heart. i have been bugging you for days and I just want to thank you and let you know that I appreciate your help. maybe i will get this thing going strong. i will be getting in touch with you about a feeder and that rod good buddy thanks again, James E. Sampson

Comment by Walt Foreman on August 17, 2012 at 8:56pm

No minimum size limit - just don't take 200 all at once.  Twenty to thirty at a time should be about right.  

Comment by James E. Sampson on August 17, 2012 at 5:38pm

Thanks you guys, I just want to get this pond whipped into shape. Walt how small should the smallest gills that i take out be. I appreciate the advice everyone. 

Comment by Walt Foreman on August 17, 2012 at 5:33pm

Thanks for the endorsement, Frank!  James, he's right about not keeping any bass, even the bigger ones - a lot of people do recommend keeping the larger bass, but in my experience, it's far better to have every possible bass in the pond eating bluegill.  Fish occasionally will eat, or try to eat, a larger fish that they can barely swallow, but more often they're going to eat smaller fish which tend to be more abundant anyway.  

Two of my three best bluegill ponds have tiger muskie in them, two per pond, and those ponds are an acre or less each.  One of the ponds also has five blue catfish that were five to ten pounds each when I stocked them last summer.  And the bluegill are drastically bigger in those ponds now than before the apex predators were stocked - three years ago those two ponds had bluegill that averaged 2-3" each.  

7" and under would be the right size if you're catching good numbers of bluegill 8" or larger.  If the biggest ones you catch right now are 7", keep the 5-6" ones.  

Comment by Frank Ribble on August 17, 2012 at 2:27pm

The last 20" bass i caught had 2 minnows & an old crayfish carcass in his belly. It is a lot more important to control the small bluegills, than worry about him eating a big bluegill. See Walt's earlier response to you. "NEVER KEEP A BASS IF BIG BLUEGILL ARE YOUR GOAL". BIG MONSTER GILLS THAT WOULD MAKE YOUR BUDDIES SNEAK INTO YOUR POND AT NIGHT. THE 20" BASS LIVED IN A POND A WHERE I CAUGHT THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF BIG GILLS BUY A HUGE MARGIN. SPRAINED MY BACK & DIDN'T GET OUT THIS WEEK. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR POND! JUST, LISTEN TO WALT NO LUCK NEEDED. TELL YOUR BUDDIES, ABOUT HIS GUIDE SERVICE.

Comment by James E. Sampson on August 17, 2012 at 1:55pm

i have read that you do not want bass over 15 inches in the pond for a big gill pond. is that true. i read that bass are lazy and large bass would eat big gills rather than chase down a bunch of little ones. i have seen your management ventures and the fish you are producing, so what about big bass yea or nay.

Comment by James E. Sampson on August 17, 2012 at 1:52pm

 NO, i have not kept any bass at all. keep bluegills 7" and under? i can tell males from females no problem there. when you say right size you talking 7 and under down to what? i need to get them under control, i want to show buddies what real men can catch lol.

Comment by Walt Foreman on August 17, 2012 at 8:20am

You can fix it.  Taking out 200 would be good if you take the right size; it would also be a good idea to take them out gradually over the course of a season, rather than all at once which could allow the remaining bluegill to pull off a big spawn.  Intermediate and large bluegill prey heavily on YOY bluegill, so when a bunch of those predators are removed it creates a void.  

Have you kept any bass?  Never keep a bass if big bluegill are your goal - it's even more important right now as you're thinning out the 'gills, but will always be the key to growing and maintaining big bluegill in the pond.  

Don't take any of the big bluegill.  Keep the small and medium-sized ones, and if you can tell females from males, keep mostly females.  Females are lighter-colored, more yellow and light green, and more elongated; males are the ones that have the hump on their foreheads when they get big; males also have much bigger opercular tabs than females; males have black tipping on their scales; males are the ones that get colorful, with orange or fuchsia or maroon on their breasts.  Don't keep any big males at all.  If the largest bluegill in the pond are around 8", I would keep any females that are not 8" or better.  You want to leave the females with the best genetics, and keep all the rest.

Comment by James E. Sampson on August 17, 2012 at 6:29am

so i wont hurt anything if i take out 200. man try to do some things in good faith and you get ripped off. this was supposed to be a reputable company in our area. what about size i mean i have little ones medium ones and pretty decent sized ones what do i take out walt. i have a pal that has a flathead pond and he would be glad to get anything any size. will i be able to fix this?

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