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           Perhaps it is only in the heat of cabin fever here in the frozen desolation of northern Illinois that one can truly appreciate the little panfish we can so easily take for granted. I'm sure that most all the anglers on this site cut their teeth with bluegill. The are quite possibly the best fish for doing so. They are abundant, readily willing to oblige your requests to put a hook in their mouth (they're not renowned for being picky,) and pound for pound, fight much harder than a bass.  This is very  important, as having a fish that fights as hard as one a much larger species teaches that most important lesson in angling...how to perennially overestimate the size of your catch. They are quite entertaining too. Simply go see the fish tanks at your local Cabelas during feeding time...a school of bluegill attack and rip apart worms with the fervor of piranhas attacking an injured, bleeding catfish, in a manner often more entertaining than bass eating goldfish. The greatest attribute about this pint sized powerhouse with its indomitable spirit is its loyalty. When bass are busy staring at your lures and guesstimating how much it cost while your are dying of dehydration above water from pitching and flipping so constantly (to no avail), that you have forgotten to drink water, bluegill are always at your rod tip.

           Perhaps the only thing that matches their availability is the abundance of ways in which you can catch them...capture crickets, hook minnows, slip on a worm, ball up some Kraft cheese singles, drift a fly, or stop by a greasy fast food chain and thread on some pieces of french fries, there is simply no wrong way to catch them! They can even be quite sporting. Go after the big ones with little paddletail swim baits, or-my personal favorite-use a spinning rod like a fly rod. Yes, you read this correctly. I may occasionally use a water bobber, but tying on a a woolly bugger to the longest ultralight i can find, I'll cast it like a fly rod and strip it. Like I said, there is no wrong way...so have a little fun with it. My new method to catch the giants consists of taking a long rod, tying on a tiny tube, resting the bait on the surface and twitching it like a cricket. There is a certain strictness about bass fishing, a "do it this way and don't look like an idiot," attitude, but at the end of a long day, its nice to a act out your goofiest impulses and ideas and still catch fish. Especially on a fish that tastes better than the bass we devote so much energy to chasing, and that makes themselves so available that in the time it it would take to complete all 42 of your "last casts" before leaving, could provide you and a few friends with a decent meal!

           So here ye, hear ye, I say cheers to that loyal little soldier, that pint sized powerhouse, that tireless masochist, and delicious slice of flaky heaven. May you swim strong and freely through the water in life, and battered and tender through the oil in death! I'll be seeing you soon enough!

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That was excellent, Thank You.

 

A-Jay

 

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I think I recall on another thread that you cannot fathom ice-fishing however that, too, is an area where bluegill can be a real game saver. Last weekend I caught numerous 7 inch green sunfish and one 9.5 inch 'gil.

For liquid water, I especially enjoy fly fishing for bluegill-especially when they are bedding. During this time of year, a big old bull bluegill will practically leap out of the water to smack a popper or spider-fly. And, as you said, they are good fighters. They seem to know how to use that big flat side of theirs to resist being captured. A big bluegill on a 5-weight fly rod will give you a good show any day of the week.

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i love fishing for bluegill. my uncle has a pond with some nice sized bluegill in there, often i will fish for them instead of bass or if the bass arent cooperating. i love seeing them zip all over the place when i hook them. voracious feeders and fighters. if not using night crawlers(which also catch the bass) i will use my favorite all time bluegill lure. its called a rebel tad fry, they absolutely love it and often destroy it upon impact with the water....

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Im a bluegill fan..great eating and on a fly rod a blast to catch..have a cple of farm ponds with weeping willows that overhang the water..getting a fly back up in there is a challenge but 'OH' so worth it..

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A 2 or 3 wt fly rod, some small poppers, and a pond =  A great time!!

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Great post. It's nice every once in a while to just crack open a cold one and watch a bobber. I don't think I'll ever get tired of catching bluegill using that method.

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Great post. It's nice every once in a while to just crack open a cold one and watch a bobber. I don't think I'll ever get tired of catching bluegill using that method.

fishing at its finest, especially when it's too hot to do anything else!

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The best species for teaching kids how to fish.

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Where's the best place to look for these fish in 40 degree water? Deep I'm sure. What's the best cold water tactic?


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Where's the best place to look for these fish in 40 degree water? Deep I'm sure. What's the best cold water tactic?

 

I'm not to much of a coldwater person, but I would say to try jigging a small grub near steep ledges and drops, flats in deep water, and humps...in deep water. I've even used micro-jerkbaits for bluegill in the cold

 

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I once entered a tournament to help clear out a lake of fish (overpopulated how about that) The winners were for random categories. I target the bluegill and won the over all weight category. Its fun catching dozen upon dozen of these fish.

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The best species for teaching kids how to fish.

Second that, my daughter loves catching them.

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Bluegill are what changes a skunk day around

Yes sir......that's exactly what I do when I'm not getting my bass bite......pick up my bluegill crappie rod and start catching the little guys so I've caught something that day.

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Still my favorite species after 30 years...  As fun as they were when I was 5 years old.

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I'm going to take my little girl fishing for them soon. She is 18 months now so in a few months she should be ready!!!! I remember the 1st fish i caught was a bluegill in a golf pond but i was a few years older.

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I cannot take a light rod combo in boat with me when bass fishing. I'll see some big gills slurpin and just have to go and educate them. :)

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