Bluegill fishermen or Women

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Keeper of San Juan Secrets
Just wandering if there are any of you guy's or gal's, that target Bluegill at Powell, or anywhere else for that matter, but especially Powell. I never have seen any thread's about Bluegill "could have missed them" but would like to hear from other Bluegill lover's on here.
I have fished them at Powell since 1997, but the problem I have seen on the North end, is about the time they spawn, the run off bring's the lake up, and the murky water make's it hard. Some year's in the fall, different canyon's will be full of them one year, and the next hardly any, not sure why that is. And Crappie can be the same, maybe the different water level's and different structure because of different level's every year might be a reason.

Utah was the home of one of the best Bluegill lake's in the U.S., I started fishing it in 1983, and the averaged a 1lb, and hardly any one was fishing it. A lot of people thought they were trash fish, but in my opinion, they are the best eating. Here is a picture of two I had mounted year's ago, 2.2 lb, and 1 3/4 lb.

Any input or thought's on Bluegill would be appreciated.
Have a good one.


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Those are great fish, look like Pelican Lake 'gills back in the day. Would be awesome to see them that size in LP in a few years. We've never really targeted them, but when dragging crawler harness's for 'eyes, if we start getting a bunch of rat-tat-tat hits, we'll post up and grab some lighter gear. We were snorkeling in Stanton last spring on a windy day and saw several large schools feeding on mussels off the large rocks. They were targeting the ones that were about a centimeter or less in size. Looking forward to this thread.
I love when fishing gets slow to grab my fly rod and catch blue gill. Usually when we are parked in an area I hve a lot of fun with it. Sometimes when we are targeting smallmouth I will catch quite a few of them as well. They really are a fun fish to catch and the lake has a good number of larger ones I have caught. I don't think we have ever gone out and specifically targeted them though. I usually do really well using a semi leach with a tungsten head.
This is called a glow body jig, chartreuse and glow, has a lot of glitter and the red eye. I use a mealworm with it most of the time for Bluegill, but catch a variety on it at Powell. And it is a great trout jig for ice fishing. Perch allso love it.


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We usually don't target them but when a school comes around, we definitely try to catch our fill.
We will usually fry them up for breakfast with eggs and hash browns. We call them our "little breakfast chips". :)
I have not targeted them at Lake Powell, but I fished a lot for them growing up in Missouri. Also, when the new dam went in and enlarged Lake Pleasant back in the early 90s I caught tons of big 'gills as well as some nice red ears there. The big mistake people make in bluegill fishing is that they fish too shallow. When the 'gills are on the beds and immediately thereafter it's easy to catch them shallow under a bobber, however when the water warms they go deep like many other fish. In lakes with thermal stratification it's quite common to catch them right on the thermocline. I caught a lot of them at Lake Pleasant at 30-40 feet. They would feel ice cold even when the surface temperature was in the high 80s which means they were down in the cooler water.

When going for them in deep water I usually fished straight down with live bait. In Missouri every bait shop sold live crickets. They were cheap, clean to handle and, in my opinion, a better bait than worms. In fact, back there they sell special buckets just for carrying crickets. My dad had several of them. Out here it's much harder to get crickets. They can normally only be found at pet shops and they are very expensive, so worms are the ticket. I prefer dilly worms which is a miniature night crawler. If I were rigging for them now for deep water I'd use a small circle hook on a drop shot setup with a 1/16 to 1/8 oz. weight depending on how deep they were holding.

When they are up in shallow water my favorite setup is a fly rod with a strike indicator (I used to make mine out of old medicine bottle corks). I used to use a small aberdeen hook attached to a Hildebrandt spinner again with a cricket or worm for bait. I'd flip it out over the beds and let it settle down. The spinner would turn as the bait dropped, and I think that really attracted them.

The same bluegill tactics work quite well for red ears, too. As I mentioned in an early post they don't tend to go quite as deep as bluegills. Fishing like this is a lot of fun, and you've got some good eating fish when you're done. I just never messed with it at Lake Powell because I can normally catch smallmouth almost as easily as I could catch bluegills. It would be worth trying, particularly when bass fishing is slow. Also, fishing straight down in deeper water with a live worm might yield one of those marble-eyed toothy critters with the sandpaper skin as a bonus! :)

Ed Gerdemann
They look like Redear's, nice Redear's at that. Which lake were they caught in? And do you call them Redear's? We call them Shellcracker's, how much did they weigh, they looked like good fish, but I have'nt caught enough Redear's, in such a long time, to quess what they weighed. Hope He know's.
Cricket's were THE best bluegill bait, and we ordered them a 1000 at a time, but a lot of them would get away, I order the meal worms by the 1000 allso. Cricket's are one deadly live bait though, lot of different fish will eat the cricket. All those leg's, are just to tempting.
Cricket's were THE best bluegill bait, and we ordered them a 1000 at a time, but a lot of them would get away, I order the meal worms by the 1000 allso. Cricket's are one deadly live bait though, lot of different fish will eat the cricket. All those leg's, are just to tempting.

You're right about that! I've caught a lot of bass and even a few catfish on crickets. To make them really tasty to the fish buy them the day before your fishing trip and feed them some cornmeal. Fish will really sock 'em! :p

Ed Gerdemann
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