Ice Fishing 247

Species Specific Boards => Gills => Topic started by: fishin_musician on December 16, 2011, 08:53:02 PM

Title: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: fishin_musician on December 16, 2011, 08:53:02 PM
A recent How to catch Crappie post by Maverick97 was so successful I thought we should try to keep the concept alive. This thread is for anyone who wants, to post a tip or two for beginners looking to catch bluegills.

My tip is, and I'm not the bluegill kid by any means, is that...........

If you are catching an occasional gill during the afternoon but not really hammering them stay on the location. As the sun starts to sink around 3:30 be ready for a noticeable uptick in the activity. I have been in on some impressive last light bites on spots that were only coughing up dinks all day then it was likesomeone thru a switch.
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: Reaper on December 16, 2011, 09:58:25 PM
I love to catch and eat bluegills, I just wish we had more of them in NH. I have noticed however that the gills seem to be deeper in the water column every time I do find them. Usually when I am jigging up crappie I end up with a few here and there and they seem to always be tight to the bottom. I have also noticed that most of the time I have to work the jig more to get them to bite then I do perch or crappie. If I can get them to chase it then they usually bite, seems like they want the chase more then the bait I have on. We really don't have a huge population of them, or at least as far as I can tell anyhow, so it's hard to really narrow down what they like best when you are only catching a few here and there. I am very curious to hear what the guys have to say that catch good numbers of them.  8)
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: duckbuster on December 17, 2011, 09:22:43 AM
Bluegills like many other fish, require a bit of a search pettern till you find them. One thing I like to do esp early ice is start drilling in the weeds and working my out. I often find them in the areas where the weeds start to thin out a bit. As the season progresses they move out to deeper water. Jig selection is very much a personal preference, I like small  horizontal jigs (jammin jigs bobber fry) in pinks, greens, blues and oranges.
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: Ice Walker on December 17, 2011, 10:48:52 AM
My first task is always finding them first.  Start out in weed edges and jump around a bit.  I often get my best in the middle of the deepest weeds I can find though.  The trick there is having a flasher, and trying to pick your jig, and the fish out of the weeds.  As far as the jigs, I find that it works best to match the mood of the fish.  If they are aggressive, it often doesn't matter as much, and most can do.  When they start getting skidish, I often size down as much as I can and slow my jigging down.  I like the tungsten jigs for the sizing down, as they are very heavy for their size.   Also, when they are skidish, watch the line twist.  I have watched many come up to my jig, just to head straight back down when the jig starts to spin.  I never realized how much it effected them until I watched it on my buddy's camera. 
Also, I think  FM hit the nail on the head.  If you are getting a few, and it is getting close to "Magic Hour", stay put.  Some of the best fishing is the first/last hour of daylight.  I'm no expert, and some of it is generic to all icefishing, but hope it helps a little.
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: walkerd on December 20, 2011, 08:11:28 AM
Keep it simple I find on first ice shallow weed beds and move until you catch some stay in that hole you'd be surprised how many gills are there, Ive found go to the bottom and come up about 6" to a foot from bottom jig your bait a little then slowly raise while jigging a little come up about 3' then freefall keeping line taught until your jig is back down to your original spot be ready as they like to hit on the way down watch your line for it to go slack set the hook or jig bait and repeat process that works for me, as the season progresses move to a little deeper water I use the same techniques they work for me and are simple. As I don't have a flasher Ill drill a few holes where I want to fish, jig for awhile if no fish Ill move to another hole, I guess the trick is don't fish a hole for to long unless your catching some fish then Ill stay in that area for awhile. Ive also found while fishing with a camera gills will suck in the bait and unless they take off with it they'll just spit it back out its weird to watch them do that, that's why I like a spring bobber makes so much easier to see a light strike, set the hook quick at the slightest bump you may miss a few but you will catch a few more of the finicky fish. Just some things that work for me and are simple to do.
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: Van_Cleaver on December 21, 2013, 12:19:18 PM
Unless it is super cold I almost always use a dead stick my favorite being a simple Schooley rig. I also like Mister Jigger with a light drag setting on my spinning reel. Generally I fish horizontal jigs on both and they trend to be bigger than my hand held rig. Sometimes gills are really negative and despite your best jigging techniques you will be out fished by those rigs. Since I enjoy eating gills, I'm happy to swallow my pride in order to take a couple nice meals home, especially after a long drive.

Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: HenryDavid on December 21, 2013, 01:04:19 PM
Mr. Jigger out fished me  :o
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: Van_Cleaver on December 22, 2013, 11:04:39 AM
He often out fishes me as well.  When there is a good bite on it's a different story. Like all fishing you have to be willing to make adjustments for gills . If you stick with what usually works and don't get bites you could well be missing out. If you change jig sizes and colors and vary your presentation sometimes you will stumble onto the key that unlocks their jaws.
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: HenryDavid on December 22, 2013, 01:48:54 PM
I agree, same or more so with crappies.  I didn't have my game on Tuesday, 1st time with my flasher this year and a bad battery  :?  got my spare battery and it works fine, next time we will wager on who can ice the best pannies.  I know you had a long drive, I hit an ice patch that evening on the I-84 on ramp and ended up in a snow bank, got home alive, luckily.    :-*
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: maverick97 on December 23, 2013, 12:34:21 PM
First off, thank goodness you are ok, HD.

As far as tips for gills, go small and fish slow. Don't just drop your bait down the hole. Fish it down. A 3mm tungsten jig tipped with a waxie is about the deadliest combo you will ever find for gills. Also, watch your flasher closely. The ones hugging the bottom are usually the biggest ones. Sometimes you have to drop down through those aggressive little buggers to get the bigger ones.

Another thing I've noticed about gills is that they tend to form fairly tight schools under the ice. If you are only getting one here and there, then you are either getting roamers or fish on the edge of the school. Drill a hole 15-20ft away from you in all directions (one ahead, one behind, one to the right, and one to the left). Fish them to see which direction you need to go in order to find the school.
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: HenryDavid on December 24, 2013, 08:42:56 PM
thanks Mav, I was only going about 3 mph but it just kept sliding  &:

I found my old Mr Jigger, I'm going to resurrect it.  Van_Cleaver, what was it that you used for a wind paddle?
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: zziipp on December 24, 2013, 10:35:26 PM
big gills like the bottom.theres 50 different jigs thal will catch um when they r hittn. when there finicky i think the smaller size is the way to go.big gills like plastic fry shaped baits and cals will take em also.waxies are agreat bait for them.very lite line and ul pole. when they r hitting soft ,any resistance and they will drop it. any white, green/wht,pink/wht glows r my fav colors.last hr hour and half of daylight is the time to set up at hottest hole you were at all day. my hardest time with them has been mid season they can be hard to entice some days.
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: Van_Cleaver on December 24, 2013, 11:57:40 PM
H. D. Re the wind paddle for Mr Jigger. I cut a square piece of aluminum flashing (about 3X3'')and attach an alligator clip using a small self drilling screw. Then I gob some glue over the end of the screw so it isn't a cut hazard. Make a couple cause when you hook a good fish it is easy to mail them down the hole! ;)
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: Van_Cleaver on December 26, 2013, 04:58:00 PM
Even when you're shooting the breeze or eating lunch, M. J. is on the job. ;)
( (
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: Spider1 on December 26, 2013, 05:43:48 PM
HD, good thing you don't drive like FM or you woulda flipped 3 or 4 time, lol!

I don't have many tips for gills, it seems that when they are biting I can't keep them off the hook. It also seems that if they are biting, I don't catch much of anything else, but if I'm catching crappie I won't see a gill. Gills are really territorial so I figure if I'm on 'em they have harassed everything else out of the area. If I'm after slabs and catch a few gills, I move on and visa/versa... although I usually won't leave crappie to try and catch gills ;)
Title: Re: Bluegill Tips for Beginners
Post by: maverick97 on December 27, 2013, 03:36:26 PM
Here's a tip for ya: If you are missing fish and don't know why, try taking your pliers and bending the point of the hook to the left or right. You will want to twist everything from the bend of the hook to the tip. This is very effective if your jig has a big head and short shank. Many teardrop jigs are like that. This little tip has helped me to ice quite a few more big gills.