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Which does the large mouth bass prefer? Bluegill or shad. I've had more success with shad colored baits.

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Blue gill patterns will work, but where threadfin shad are prevalent, shad is generally preferred.

 

:easter-119: 

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The places I fish that the bass rely heavily on both, it depends on the time of year that they key in on the different forage types. Winter-early pre spawn shad, spawn-post spawn gills, post spawn-late summer both, late summer-winter shad

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The lakes around me have both shad and bluegill.  The bass tend to go after which ever they can catch.

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Bass eat bluegill if they are abundant and no other small scales slender body prey fish are available. Bluegill have wide flat shape and spines, not easy for bass to swallow.

Shad are ideal bass prey, slender with no spines and small scales.

Tom

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We don't have shad in any of our lakes. Our bass prefer perch, baby trout, crawfish, bluegill... Probably see bluegill in the throat the least. Lots of perch though..

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I imagine that eating a bluegill is about like trying to eat a cheeseburger with glass shards in it. I'm sure bass learn quickly that gills are more work to eat and digest than shad are. I doubt they'd swim past a struggling bluegill to chase down a healthy shad, but with all things being equal, I think they'd pick the shad. 

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Around me it’s bluegill, in fact I was fishing a shad swimbait and getting no action, switched to a bluegill swimbait and caught 2 in a row. I’m not going to say it wasn’t the action of the baits or something less than scientific. 

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Shad are a much easier meal than gills but bluegill pattern baits work well around here .

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Around here for largemouth, bluegills are the preferred prey. Followed by crawfish.

 

Yellow perch and alewives are also high on the list, but slanted more towards smallmouth. 

 

It's very comical to watch the largemouth/bluegill relationship. Often times they will all be mingling together under a dock, or next to a laydown, with the bluegills seemingly un-bothered by the largemouth...unlike when a pike shows up, and they high tail it right out the area. The largemouth have the bluegills fooled into thinking they are one of them, then all of a sudden there is a little flurry of activity, and the bluegills be like " hey, where did Pete go?" and the largemouth are like "hmmmm.....I don't know, maybe he wandered off into the weeds and a pike got him....yeah, that's what happened, nod nod wink wink". And they just go about being all social again.

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On 3/31/2018 at 12:18 AM, Bluebasser86 said:

I imagine that eating a bluegill is about like trying to eat a cheeseburger with glass shards in it. I'm sure bass learn quickly that gills are more work to eat and digest than shad are. I doubt they'd swim past a struggling bluegill to chase down a healthy shad, but with all things being equal, I think they'd pick the shad. 

So the shad are like nice little chicken nuggets swimming around just ready to get eaten...:D

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Never had much success with Gill swim baits here in FL myself. But for some reason bluegill patterns on cranks and swim jigs work great. Small, live gills also work good. Shad and golden shiner patterns are my go to though. 

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Is it appropriate to respond/answer with what I have READ?  Anyhow, I've read that in deeper water where shad are more prevalent, bass prefer them however in shallow water where SOME bass make their home (and where shad don't frequent), they will tend o eat more bluegill.

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2 minutes ago, Ratherbfishing said:

Is it appropriate to respond/answer with what I have READ?  Anyhow, I've read that ......

I do think it is appropriate.  I, for one, am appreciative that you spell that out.  There's been millions of words written about bass fishing. (Some of it good and even authoritative - :)

   There is value here at BR in repeating it much of the time.  But!  I think its important that replies specify whether the poster is relating their personal experience/opinion...or is referring to someone else's work/experience/opinion.  

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My home lake I have not done well with a bluegill patterns at all. We have a surging population of both threadfin and gizzard shad, along with a healthy crawfish population. Largemouth and smallmouth seem to prefer Shad patterns most of the year post spawn to late fall.

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On 3/30/2018 at 3:23 PM, All about da bass said:

Which does the large mouth bass prefer? Bluegill or shad. I've had more success with shad colored baits.

 

Depends on how they're cooked.  Seriously, I think size, presentation, and color based on water clarity are what really matters.

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Shad are fragile , easily stunned and a much easier meal than a healthy sun-fish . I still use use an awful lot of chartreuse patterns though . I like to watch my depth finder for the depth shad are congregated in open water , then move to the points and fish that depth .  A lot of times I catch a bass on the first cast . Some people think you cant catch big bass among the dinks but give it time , when fishing the "shad pattern" on points  its not unusual to hook a hawg after catching a bunch of  small bass .

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I do better with gill colored baits and small live ones in my area .But their favorite is Golden shiners. A strange thing I've noticed is that when I try shiner colored baits the fish seem to ignore it.

We have several varieties of bream here and I have fished with all of them.Their favorite is female gills. Least favorite is Redbreast.

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Bass just want an easy meal that they don’t have to work hard to get, whether its a shad, bluegill, craw, insect, or even another bass..

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On Friday, March 30, 2018 at 1:23 PM, All about da bass said:

Which does the large mouth bass prefer? Bluegill or shad. I've had more success with shad colored baits.

Ross Barnett is full of shad.  

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I did not have shad in the CT and WA waters I fished.  Now in TN I have bought a ton of shad baits and they work great.  Perch is also on the menu and that does no make any sense to me as there gill places are sharp along with the top spines.  I do well with both but here in TN I would take a shad pattern every time.

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