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Fishing With Live Blue Gill

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I know a lot of you guys frown upon live bait, and I had as well up until the last two months. The last two months I've caught some of the biggest bass I've caught in my life on live bluegill on bobbers. I live in Florida so it's legal, so look into your state laws to see if it's ok, but bluegill have been the best bait I've ever used.

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Live bluegill are definately a great way to catch big bass, that's what the bass that tied the world record was caught on afterall! I've caught some really nice bass nightfishing for flatheads with live sunfish and some big ones out of ponds freelining live bluegills.

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When I was very young, living in South Florida at the time, my dad showed me how to use a little cane pole and a piece of worm or a little bread dough to catch a brim. The next phase of my angling education was one day when he told me "go catch a brim." I did and brought it to him. Then he picked up his casting rod with an Ambassadeur 5000 on it, rigged with a float and a good size hook. He stuck the hook through the back of the brim behind the dorsal fin, tossed it out in the water and said "now, I'm going to show you how to catch a bass" ...

That was over 50 years ago - the technique should still work today... :lol:

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I'm not big on live bait but I used to use it as a kid in Florida. I always did better on shiners. We had a couple lakes where they would school in the hundreds if you threw some bread in the water, then I would catch them on bare hooks once they were on a feeding frenzy. Now it's only artificials for me.

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Fishing is fishing rather using live bait or artificial. I got nothing against live bait. I use Live crayfish myself. Don't care what anybody else thinks about it either. I deep hooked one fish this year and it was on artificial.It was a smaller bass and under the limit...I had no choice to let him go dead in the water.I felt bad. I'm sure the birds or a turtle got it...so it didn't really go to waste in my eyes.

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I know a lot of you guys frown upon live bait, and I had as well up until the last two months. The last two months I've caught some of the biggest bass I've caught in my life on live bluegill on bobbers. I live in Florida so it's legal, so look into your state laws to see if it's ok, but bluegill have been the best bait I've ever used.

LM my first larger bass from some very small pondscame on Bluegills, then I discovered Florida Golden Shiners. That was a game changer for me. I stll fish mostly artificials, but when my back & wrist start to ache too much, it's shiner time for me. Or if I'm hunting the bigger bass.

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I love live bait fishing, but between my experiences using sunfish in LA and AR + the fact that they are a wider bodied, spiny, harder to eat meal, than other fish such as, in your area, shiners..... and finally, scientific studies done by In-Fishermen which showed that bass greatly prefer a longer, skinnier, more cylindrical bait fish when given a choice.....

Let me just put it this way; It doesn't bother me much that they are not legal in Cali.

Now, let me come fish a crawler (correctly) in that same water ;)

Peace,

Fish

LM my first larger bass from some very small pondscame on Bluegills, then I discovered Florida Golden Shiners. That was a game changer for me. I stll fish mostly artificials, but when my back & wrist start to ache too much, it's shiner time for me. Or if I'm hunting the bigger bass.

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I'm not against live bait fishing, and I have done it few times fishing for crappies. But, it really takes the fun out of fishing for me when I use live baits. Then again, if u r fishing with kids or wife then live bait is the way for them to enjoy fishing. If I'm out on th water by myself, then I much prefer to use lures.

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TRUE STORY.

I grew up in S. Florida and have caught hundred's and hundred's of bass on wild shiners in may of different lakes and ponds.

I currently fish a private, closed down rock pit that is about 75 acres. I bought 4 dozen wild, large shiners at a 1.50 a piece and caught 4 bass on'em. I was in total shock at how unproductive the shiners were and figured it had to be the weather or some strange phenomina(sp) that I tried the shinewrs again about 2 months later. This time the result were even worse than before.

I decided to use bream and couldn't keep'em in the water long enough to take a leak before they got crushed by 5-10 pound bass.

Now here's the funny part... I caught a couple small infant bass, 3/4 - 1 pound, and they got SLAMMED faster than the bream.

Now hold on to your horses before you slam me for using bass to catch bass. I had caught the smaller bass on Senkos/lures and they got sucked up reeling'em in. Even the 3-4 pound bass would try annd eat the 1 pound bass and at times tried eating bass up to two pounds.

Never in my fishing career have I been skunked on shiners until I fished them in the rock pit.

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My state laws don't say anything about it, but I've always used shiners for bass.

I haven't tried live bluegills yet other than for catfish, and I've never caught an accidental bass doing that. Shiners have always caught me at least a few bass during a trip.

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Hey Lee,

If I'm out on th water by myself, then I much prefer to use lures.

I much prefer to catch fish ! :) That's why I'll be throwing a big, heavy swimbait on 50 lb test.... then, on the next cast, pick up my micro-light and flyline out a tail hooked crawler ;) Whatever works baby !!!

FISH ON ! :)

Peace,

Fish

Can't wait for Mon-Tues :) I'll be using live mini-crawlers to catch my Split Tails, and using these 8" to 14" Split Tails to stick a bunch of nice Stripers :) Whoo Hoo !

And BTW, anybody who didn't like live bait fishing, probably should not even bother with artificials for Stripers in these spots..... right now anyway. I'm talking to a whole bunch of trollers, and they are doing lousy.

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Chris,

How do you rig your crawlers for bass fishing?

Thanks,

Robert

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Chris,

How do you rig your crawlers for bass fishing?

Thanks,

Robert

Yes, please tell.

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Well, almost always "tip hooked" only once. I'll hook them from the head / nose end "IF" I need them to be hooked on more solidly, for a longer cast. But If I can get by with it, I'll tail hook them. They break off 10 X's easier this way... sometimes even purposely breaking themselves off (sacrificing their rear end to get away) however, if you can lob a tail hooked crawler out to where you need it, on micro-light gear, it will litterally crawl across the bottom, dragging your hook and line behind it :)

Big bass totally can't resist this..... sometimes ;)

Peace,

Fish

PS, if you nose hook them, you can work them across the bottom with a slow drag, or short stitches.... but if tail hooked, it's WAAAY better to let the worm do its own traveling :)

X3, I'm very interested as well.

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I had no idea that crawler (I am guessing that means like nightcrawlers?) fishing creally mattered how you rig it...boy, I havent fished with them in a while, but if/when I do again, this information here will be killer...thanks!

Stripers here on lewis smith lake around docks at night loves those bluegill...I catch a bunch of them in the summer with an ultralight with a small 1/16 ouch jig head (black) and a piece of nightcrawler on it, and catch a bunch of nice bluegill and then fish those around the docks for the striper - mmmmm, I wish I was fishing right now!!

For bass fishing with these bluegills, how long do you wait to set the hook? Same question with shiners?

When I am shiner fishing, I get a notorious quick thud of the line many times, and that bait is gone...not sure what the heck that is about ? :angry:

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I had no idea that crawler (I am guessing that means like nightcrawlers?) fishing creally mattered how you rig it...boy, I havent fished with them in a while, but if/when I do again, this information here will be killer...thanks!

Stripers here on lewis smith lake around docks at night loves those bluegill...I catch a bunch of them in the summer with an ultralight with a small 1/16 ouch jig head (black) and a piece of nightcrawler on it, and catch a bunch of nice bluegill and then fish those around the docks for the striper - mmmmm, I wish I was fishing right now!!

For bass fishing with these bluegills, how long do you wait to set the hook? Same question with shiners?

When I am shiner fishing, I get a notorious quick thud of the line many times, and that bait is gone...not sure what the heck that is about ? :angry:

crawlers are pretty effective for bass, ive only met one bass that wouldnt eat a crawler, i swear its the same bass the last 3 years at smith mountain lake, hangs around my uncles dock and wont bite nothing. the bass is a little bigger every year. ive thrown everything at it, it has three holding spots along the bank there. i thought a crawler would work, been turning its nose up at the crawler for 3 years now, seems down right offended by it lol.

with shiners i set pretty quickly, as most fish are going to be able fit the entire shiner in its mouth, dont want to wait and gut hook it if you can help it.

for bluegills i prefer to wait a bit, but its tougher the larger the bluegill. the bass will often take a larger bluegill in its mouth and start to swim off with it before swallowing it

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Well, almost always "tip hooked" only once. I'll hook them from the head / nose end "IF" I need them to be hooked on more solidly, for a longer cast. But If I can get by with it, I'll tail hook them. They break off 10 X's easier this way... sometimes even purposely breaking themselves off (sacrificing their rear end to get away) however, if you can lob a tail hooked crawler out to where you need it, on micro-light gear, it will litterally crawl across the bottom, dragging your hook and line behind it :)

Big bass totally can't resist this..... sometimes ;)

Peace,

Fish

PS, if you nose hook them, you can work them across the bottom with a slow drag, or short stitches.... but if tail hooked, it's WAAAY better to let the worm do its own traveling :)

It was your older article that got me inspired to fish with live crayfish. I had a lot of fun with them this year including a couple channel cats on that rig.

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Live bluegill are definately a great way to catch big bass...

What size bluegill do you use? Certainly not the large 8" plus bluegill you hope for when panfishing?

But is a 6" still too large, or should you try to catch the smallest bluegill that you can hook?

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Inspired by this thread I decided to live bait Bluegill this morning/afternoon in my condo pond using dough to catch the BGs. I'm somewhat of a purist so I felt a little dirty doing so. Still, it always produces. Caught 10 fat bass in a 4 hr span with the biggest one at 6-1 and the smallest just over 2. Pulled 9 of them from the same spot, a walking bridge. Not bad for right outside my door.

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What size bluegill do you use? Certainly not the large 8" plus bluegill you hope for when panfishing?

But is a 6" still too large, or should you try to catch the smallest bluegill that you can hook?

Today I found that BGs 4-5 inches worked best. I did use a bigger one once but the bass just chased it around without eating it.

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What size bluegill do you use? Certainly not the large 8" plus bluegill you hope for when panfishing?

But is a 6" still too large, or should you try to catch the smallest bluegill that you can hook?

I've caught them on bluegills up to 8-9 inches while fishing for flatheads but generally 3-6 inches is going to produce better numbers and still catch plenty of big fish also.

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No interest in baiting and waiting.

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No interest in baiting and waiting.

sometimes you dont have to wait long with a live bluegill. something about them jerking on your line draws in the bass rather quickly, atleast in my past experiences using bluegills for bass.

the key for me is the size of the bluegill. 3-5 inches works good for me. ive seen a lot of bass ignore the bigger bluegills even though they looked rather interested in eating it, ive seen 4-5 bass just sitting around my bluegill watching it and wanting it but knowing it was too big for them...

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sometimes you dont have to wait long with a live bluegill.

I find leprosy more appealing than bait fishing for bass. I caught my first fish on a flatfish when i was about 6 or 7, a pike that seemed like it was 10 feet long, I'm sure it was more like 10 inches, lol...............I've been the one hooked on casting ever since.

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