John's Journal...


Click to enlargeDifficult Bluegill Problems And Eight Keys To Taking Them

Editor's Note: You don't have to go to private ponds in the South to take monster-sized bluegills. You may find Goliath-sized 'gills right under your nose where thousands of anglers fish every year. Many of the best bluegill hotspots never see an angler because most of us have believed that bluegills bed only on the banks. However, I've learned if you want to catch this scrappy panfish that fights hard and tastes delicious, learn to fish offshore on deep-water structure. This week, I'll tell you the best summer tactics for finding and catching bluegills.

Click to enlargeYou'll find trying to catch bluegills in a clear lake difficult. Bluegills can see your line, your boat and even you in the clear water. You can solve this problem in several ways and catch bluegills.

* Use 2-pound-test clear line and a short shank, small hook you can bury inside a live worm. By utilizing the light line and wrapping the hook with worms, the bream will bite more readily.
* Crawl to the edge of the pond you want to fish. Wear camouflage clothing. Keep a low profile, and try to look like your surroundings. Then the bluegills won't see you as easily, become spooked and not bite.
* Use a clear-plastic slip cork to add enough weight to your line to make long casts. When the bluegills look up, they can't see the cork, and they won't spook.
* Drift fish with 2- to 4-pound-test line on a dark night to keep your boat Click to enlargefrom being silhouetted in the moonlight. You can catch some of the biggest bluegills of the summer with this tactic.

From studying the haunts and habits of bluegills, I've learned …

* you can catch big bluegills and shellcrackers, even in heavily-fished public lakes, if you move away from the bank and fish in deep water.
* big bluegills will hold in the middle of lakes when the temperature soars.
* bluegills and shellcrackers prefer to hold on humps, drop-offs, ledges and other bottom breaks.
* light line, little jigs and Beetle Spins fished on the bottom of a lake will Click to enlargeproduce the most and the biggest bluegills.
* you need to change to using live worms for bait when the bluegills won't take an artificial lure. Drag the worms slowly across the bottom in the same areas where you've caught the fish on artificial lures.
* you can use a portable depth finder to pinpoint bottom structure.
* a hand-held GPS receiver can help you locate and catch big bluegills all summer in deep-water areas.
* bottom-mapping tactics will produce big bluegills from the Deep South all the way to New York during hot-weather months.


Check back each day this week for more about BOTTOM-MOP FOR BIG BLUEGILLS ...

Day 1 - How To Find The Biggest Bluegills In Any Pond Or Lake
Day 2 - What Tactics Work For Bottom-Mopping
Day 3 - Catch Firecracker Bream With Outer-Space Technology
Day 4 - When I Sent The News North And Double-Dipping 'Gills
Day 5 - Difficult Bluegill Problems And Eight Keys To Taking Them

John's Journal





Entry 255, Day 5