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Hattrick7

Live Bluegill

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Hello a little background on me. I'm fairly new to bass fishing but learning quickly. I've caught about 4 bass. 3 on crankbaits and one on live bluegill. I fish a relatively small lake regularly. I've seen bass in there caught around the 5-6 pound range.

I throw lots of different stuff at em. I haven't been successful to get them to bite a spinner, buzzbait, jig or worm. The one thing though is they will go after live bluegill and when it gets really slow I'll catch some live blue gill and fly line it out there. I can see the bass circling the fish. Some times it'll come up and nip at it but won't really strike it too aggressively. I've noticed that the bluegill play dead very well and I've seen bass lose interest pretty fast when that happens.

Recently I've noticed that the bass won't go for the live bait like they used to and I'm confused as to why. I haven't really done anything differently to get them to bite it. I've hooked them in two different places. Tail and in the mouth.

I'm wondering if someone more experienced and knowledgeable would be able to give me a better understanding of why the bass aren't hitting the bluegill especially since it looks wounded.

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There could be a number of reasons why the bass aren't eating.

They see the hook (but probably not the reason)

The bass can see you

The bass aren't hungry enough

The bait isn't lively enough

Bait too big or too small

You said you fly line the bluegill out there. Does that mean you're using a flyrod? If so, then how long of a leader are you using?

I use live gills pretty often. Sometimes the bass are on'em like white on rice and sometimes they won't go near'em. Sometimes I have better luck on small gills while other times they want the big ones.

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To Bassn Blvd, saying about seeing you. My grandpa used to be bass angler back in the old times. He told me once your out angling, gotta wear black, green, dark colors like dark navy. It may be true..

Whats the vegetation look like at your destination?

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I'm using a 6'6" rod and spinning reel. I think my hook is a size 2. I'll use some cut hot dogs to catch the bluegill with no weights at all. Since the bluegill are about 5-6' from the shore it's not necessary for me to cast a ways.

I'm thinking that it's probably that they can see me. I understand they have very good vision. I stand nearby shore and wait to see a bass coming. What I'll do is once I've hooked the bluegill, I will start reeling it in which causes a lot of commotion and vibration hoping to attract a bass. Once they're too close to shore I'll pull my line out to let them swim out again or completely take the bait out of the water and pitch it out about 10-12', wait and slowly start to reel in again.

There was one particular time when I saw a bass take the bluegill tail first and the head was sticking out (happened to be where the hook was). I didn't want the bass to completely inhale the bluegill and get hooked in his gut so I tried to time the hook set. It didn't work because I pulled the fish out of his mouth and he didn't bother returning.

There are a lot of bluegills in there. I notice that whenever I hook one and start to reel it in, about 10-12 of them surround it. They may just be spoiled with so many bluegill that they're just not hungry. But that's another thing that's a little confusing because of all the stuff that I've read, bass typically eat whenever it can and they like to go for the easy meal.

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Whats the vegetation look like at your destination?

Well there really isn't any. Not any that you can see sticking out of the water. There may be some towards the middle of the lake but you couldn't see it from shore.

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I'm thinking that it's probably that they can see me. I understand they have very good vision. I stand nearby shore and wait to see a bass coming. What I'll do is once I've hooked the bluegill, I will start reeling it in which causes a lot of commotion and vibration hoping to attract a bass. Once they're too close to shore I'll pull my line out to let them swim out again or completely take the bait out of the water and pitch it out about 10-12', wait and slowly start to reel in again.

There are a lot of bluegills in there. I notice that whenever I hook one and start to reel it in, about 10-12 of them surround it. They may just be spoiled with so many bluegill that they're just not hungry. But that's another thing that's a little confusing because of all the stuff that I've read, bass typically eat whenever it can and they like to go for the easy meal.

Generally, if you see the bass then they see. But that doesn't mean they still won't bite.

You don't need to reel in your bait to cause commotion. The bait will naturally attract the bass.

I've been doing a little experimenting lately with live bait. Actually, it's more of an observation than experimenting. I've noticed Big bass will swim with small bass/bluegill and not bother them. Then I've used gills and bass as bait and they get whacked almost instantly as they hit the water. I first thought this might be due to the bait being more vulnerable with a hook in their ars and easier for the bigger fish to catch, but I'm not so certain. I'm beginning to think that the live bait sends out a distress signal or emits some sort of "chemical" that attracts it's prey,

I can toss an unhooked bass or gill in the water amongst several other bass and the one I tossed in won't get eaten. Then I will toss one in while hooked amongst the same school and it'll get hammered almost instantly.

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I saw this youtube video of a fishery guy saying that the way bass mouths' are designed they like to hit their prey from the bottom up vs. something like a flounder that eats stuff on the bottom. There will be kids just having fun catching blue gill and as soon as they reel it in and it starts to break the surface, bam a big bass will be all over it.

That's generally the reason why I start to reel it in. After the bluegill is hooked it goes nuts in trying to get away which I'll let it do but not so much where they're so tired they look dead. When they're still fighting I'll slowly start to bring them to the surface.

The thing that I've noticed is once I've reeled it in and let them swim out again they resume acting like all the other bluegills. So my theory is to get them to start fighting me again to attract the bass to strike it. I've noticed that once the bluebill does break the surface and is fighting still, I've seen bass come out of nowhere then start following it around. It's just getting them to bite it. :Idontknow:

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when i throw a live bluegill out its the jerking of the line by said bluegill that causes bass to start coming in to check it out. bass too small to eat it just observe...

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Reeling in the bait and letting it swim out will cause the fish too tire quickly. I would recommend just casting it out towards some type of cover(stumps, weeds. lay downs) and let the bait do all the work for you. From experience when I let bait get tired the bait seems too lose its appeal to the fish. If you want to increase your chances and have a second pole and it is legal where you fish maybe fish 2. Where i fish I am aloud 3 freshwater poles at a time. As always know the rules and regulations though.

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Not to try and steer you away from live bait,but I had a friend who almost always fished bluegills and such.There where days here and there where he would do well and others when it was nothing.I on the otherhand fished senko's and only senkos and almost always cought more fish,so many that he switched and started doing the same.now this was when i had got back into fishing and I have since progressed and learned to catch em other ways,but it's well worth a try ;)

Oh and as far as topwater stuff like buzzbaits and frogs go........................the first time you see a nice fish break the surface and smash the living ..... out of one (whether or not you hook into it) you will be hooked I promise.

In short if gills arent working try something else................senko's and the like a proven and easy starting point.

Fish on :)

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Not to try and steer you away from live bait,but I had a friend who almost always fished bluegills and such.There where days here and there where he would do well and others when it was nothing.I on the otherhand fished senko's and only senkos and almost always cought more fish,so many that he switched and started doing the same.now this was when i had got back into fishing and I have since progressed and learned to catch em other ways,but it's well worth a try ;)

Oh and as far as topwater stuff like buzzbaits and frogs go........................the first time you see a nice fish break the surface and smash the living ..... out of one (whether or not you hook into it) you will be hooked I promise.

In short if gills arent working try something else................senko's and the like a proven and easy starting point.

Fish on :)

I appreciate the advice and I would consider myself a beginner. I'm so new that I really thought a plastic worm is a plastic worm. Then I wondered why they wouldn't bite the worm that smelled like a plastic factory. I've been hearing so many good things about the Senkos that I'm going to give that a try next. I'm at the point where I've got three entirely new packs of worms and I'm using some bass attractant in those bags. I did actually get hit on one occasion but that was it.

But from all the stuff I've read about the Senkos that once you start fishing them, it's pretty much all you wanna fish. So my plan at this point is to give the worms that I have a good chance and then move on to Senkos. Because, like you said, I have a strong feeling that once I start fishing Senkos I'll be throwing the other stuff out. :angel500:

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Senkos are a good bait but so are hundreds of other kinds of bait. Senkos are a bass catching machine, but they are catch ALOT of small ones too.

Typically, BIG bass will eat your bream alot faster than a Senko.

Live bait fishing and artificial bait fishing are two totally different animals. Both are enjoyable but neither are 100% effective.

My best advice is "just go fishing whenever you can." Use different baits and techniques. Let your imagination be your guide.

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Senkos are a good bait but so are hundreds of other kinds of bait. Senkos are a bass catching machine, but they are catch ALOT of small ones too.

Typically, BIG bass will eat your bream alot faster than a Senko.

Live bait fishing and artificial bait fishing are two totally different animals. Both are enjoyable but neither are 100% effective.

My best advice is "just go fishing whenever you can." Use different baits and techniques. Let your imagination be your guide.

I actually was at the store to return something and since I was there I said "What the hell, I'll pick up a bag of Senkos." And so I go out around 6, wacky rig the Senko and nothing. Not one bite. Then this guy fishing a little over from me catches this 8-10" bass on a hot dog. :eh: But that's fishing and it's all good. As long as you're having fun doing it is all that really matters. Although having a nice bass on the end of your line is a lot more fun than getting skunked. :angel500:

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Ive had waaaay better luck on rubber worms than senkos. Senkos are poor quality plastic and they tear up too d**n easily. I think the reason people catch so many (small ones) fish on them is because they have a sense of confidence in them, even before using them, because of all the hype they hear about them. You just need to be more patient with what your trying now...maybe slow down with your worms or try different colors.

Good luck!

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The biggest bass I’ve caught to date was on a blue gill, I fish a lot with my kids and they in turn catch a lot of small gills, perch, and sunfish. I like to use a 2-3 inch baitfish I will spin it and throw it out on a bobber towards a drop off or in front of a weed bed, or pads. I try to keep them out of the grass so they attract bass, my fishing buddy (77 yrs old) showed me when fishing for Pike & Walleye, he’d poke one of the eyes of the bait fish so it wouldn’t freak out when the big boys come for it, I don’t know if that really makes a difference but it’s always fun to hear olden day techniques….

He still uses a cane pole, I laughed until he caught way more, and much bigger fish than me…consistently….=:(

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