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Bluegills are an incredible species that require a great deal of flexibility to be both the eaters and the eaten in any food-web. A well-noted decline in the quality of bluegill sizes has been the worry of fisheries managers across North America, as legendary bluegill waters offer a small sampling of their former glory.

Much of this can be traced back to vulnerability during two key periods — both the winter months where gills heavily concentrate, and during the spawn where high numbers of males guard beds. Those males are typically the most fit, largest members, and most prolific protectorates of their species in any given water during the spawn, making them the most genetically valuable players in the process. Catching and keeping large spawning males no matter the water or abundance will upset the genetic applecart of the lake while making offspring more vulnerable to predation.

How to Catch Clean Cook Bluegill! Awesome bluegill bait and bluegill recipe

They can be found suspended just off of weed flats, or up in the shallows amidst spawning crappies, and anywhere in between. The shallows at this time of year are richly oxygenated, as are many of the moderate depth areas, making them respond more to immediate needs of the moment than general migrations or spawning urges.

That comes later, but for now, gills have to dodge predators and feed on what prey is most readily available.

Basic Information and Facts About Bluegills

Just like prespawn crappies, gills can be found somewhere along a depth continuum from their winter holes to their spawning grounds, just later and longer than crappies because sunfish species generally spawn in warmer water. Warm days create buggy opportunities in the shallows, whereas colder than average weather pushes them pelagic, with most gills staying more moderate depth than crappies.


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A good zone to focus in is that FOW depth range during this time of year. Most would call this the actual spawn because of the presence of so many gills in the shallows, but the true spawn is when you see individual males guarding single nests that are stacked right next to each other. During this time of year, I might find a few camera worthy males then leave them alone, as stressing a limited resource that I so readily enjoy during other parts of the year is flirting with disaster.


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First and foremost, the lake s you choose to target gills can have a great impact on your success. For that reason, you should choose wisely, with the goal being either solid action or pigs-only. Many options often exist for good numbers, while quality gills exist only in places where fishing pressure has passed them over, or is spread over a great number of acres. My best big-bluegill lakes are either large bodies of water with great predator populations and an incredible amount of room to roam, or tiny potholes with limited access.

A simple fix to a frustrating problem; a stroke of near brilliance that yielded a straight-up game-changing, fish-catching formula that I still use to this day. One warm summer morning, somewhere amid the daily Tom Sawyer-meets-Indiana Jones adventures of my youth, I spotted a bunch of bluegill darting in and out of the shadows of a floating dock. Ill-equipped, yet ever game for a challenge, I dashed home to fetch my trusty Zebco and the humble bag of loose hooks and split shots comprising my first tackle box.

Monthly allowance day was still a week out and with several neighbors saving for vacation; my lawn-mowing business was experiencing a downturn. No way around it — I had no bait money and this was a long time before those crankbaits and gold-plated jigs would enter the picture.

Undaunted, I recalled an option — bread balls. Pinching a dime-sized piece of white bread, rolling it into a sphere and dropping it in front of a bluegill is an easy sell. However, mom advised me that the few slices remaining in the bag were reserved for dinner, pending her weekend grocery run. With half a cup of flour, a little tap water and some diligent spoon action, I proudly whipped up a palm-sized portion of bluegill bait.

Eager to wet a line, I wrapped my fresh dough in a plastic sandwich bag, stuffed the bait into my Darth Vader t-shirt pocket, balanced my on the handlebars of a green and black Huffy dirt bike and raced back to the bluegill dock. Good news — the fish loved the soft, gooey dough.

Make Your Own Bluegill Fishing Baits at Home - omyhukocow.tk

Bad news — too often, the soft bait fell to their larcenous way and left me reeling up a bare hook. Disappointed, but not dissuaded, I returned to the kitchen and tinkered around until I came up with something that forever changed my panfish pursuits. Like store bought bread, raw dough loosens when submerged. Hence, undersized fish and cautious keepers can pick you clean. I pondered the premise and in a light bulb moment of inspiration, I tried cooking the dough in a microwave.

Worms and crickets are the preferred live bait. Crickets top the list as the best live bait for bluegill. Anglers can purchase worms and crickets from local Lake Okeechobee marinas. Okeechobee is one of the hottest fishing lakes in Florida for largemouth bass , crappie , and bluegill. Also the most famous lake in the state for catching quality and quantity of fish.

10 Tips for Catching Giant Bluegills This Summer

This makes the fishing on Okeechobee convenient and assessable for everyone. When fishing Okeechobee, it is done by everyone…but only a few do it right. Our Professional Staff , with nearly years of combined angling experience fishing Lake Okeechobee are second to none. Whether you fish with live bait which is one of the most popular ways for many, are prefer artificial lures which can range your next trip. No other guide service can provide you with the proven success record that we have accomplished.

Lake Okeechobee Bluegill Fishing. Okeechobee Bluegill Fishing — Lake Okeechobee Guide Service Lake Okeechobee bluegill has an attitude for their size and fights better than any other freshwater species of panfish.