Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bluegills, bluegills, and more bluegills.

It would seem that everyone at one time or another has landed bluegills or sunfish. I truly believe these little creatures are entertaining to us all. Funny thing is that a lot of folks think these fish are fairly easy to catch. That is not always the case.

For example, a low pressure system can come in and all those little bluegills will seem to stay in about the same 2 -4 four foot zone. I've seen them very active right before a storm came through - a heavy storm that brought in low pressure and great humidity. It is frustrating to land bluegill after bluegill to only find that a few minutes later, they stare at your fly as if to say, "Hmmm, that does look hand tied - let's see how much we can frustrate this fisherman."Even with several folks hitting the same area all day long can cause bluegills and sunfish to simply lose interest in the activity of flies plopping on the surface or swimming by - cautious they will become - wary of the angler.I have fished nests and caught big bull bluegills. Only to have them snub me the very next day. It sure is funny to try and predict their behavior by weather, sunlight, water temperature, etc.

Let's just say that in my opinion, it's all based on their own choices. They definitely aren't stupid fish. I have seen them stare back at me, watch me throw a fly in the water and just stare at it - knowingly that it is barbed and dangerous.I do think that warm summer morning and evenings can be very productive due to water temperature and feeding habits. The most amazing thing I have seen is a Sulphur hatch on a lake at about sun down. Hundreds, if not thousands of bluegills blasting the surface as these nymphs hatched - all for only a few minutes - and then silence.Sure, they take just about any fly - sometimes, it depends on various factors.

I would like to list a few of my favorite patterns.
Pheasant Tail Nymph
Club Sandwich Hopper
California Coachman
Cajun Coachman
Jeremiah Nymph One
Montana Nymph
Various popping bugs

I love to walk streams and land fish after fish on a warm day - bluegills and sunfish will do - even the stray smallmouth. I will say that the most satisfying days aren't spent landing a few trout in many hours but landing many 'gills on a lazy afternoon.I have hundreds of flies - mostly from swaps. I still have many of those patterns in which to try and land bluegills.

What is fun and exciting is to discover new water and unlock it's secrets or find certain effective patterns.To me the local creeks and rivers provide much excitement - I never know if the next fish will be bass, crappie, bluegills, or carp. But to me, a hefty, fat bluegill or pumpkin seed makes me feel satisfied.
As most folks already know, panfish are a treat when deep fried. I do suggest Uncle Buck's Fish Seasoning from Bass Pro Shops and can be found in Wal-Mart. I do think 'gills are tastier than bass - probably not as good as crappie but close.I also like to pan fry my fish in a mixture of flour and seasoned salt - no egg wash. Just wet fish in that mixture and pan fried in vegetable oil.

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