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Thread: How to catch cautious Bluegills?

  1. #1
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    Default How to catch cautious Bluegills?

    I picked up on fishing week ago started with 7ft medium rod then 6ft light rod then 2 ft toy rod and i like it even better for fishing bluegill by the shore. I fish in Los Angeles artificial lakes right now.

    Sight fishing bluegill by the shore about 1-2ft from surface is easy just casting any bait on the hook into the school gets instant bites from small (dumb) species in seconds, however bigger species of bluegill behave differently.

    Issue 1, bigger bluegills would rush to eat bait i free drop into water, however when i follow up with hooked version they rush to it, come close almost at the bite distance and then instantly swim away, i even tried smallest hook i have and covered it completely with meat, still same reaction, it must be the line they see, thinking on using 0.5lb mono versus 4lb i am currently use.

    Problem here is that big blue gill species in artificial lakes by the tame they mature are "trained" to avoid hooks by people who constantly catch them and release throughout their lifetime (same problem for bass in that lake), so fish gets too cautious.


    Issue 2, bluegills usually jump up the regular #14 hook with tiny bit of hotdog and i get hooked within a second, however after i pull about 5-10 from school and throw them far away since water is clear others see whats going on and start to be cautious they don't bite hook anymore.

    Moving to new spot and the picture is exactly the same, at first they fighting for this sausage on the hook then after a witnessing me pooling their friend out of the water they loose all interest even free flowing pieces of sausage gets ignored and some lazy bluegill comes and eats it slowly, making sure its not a trap while others just stay away.

    I can raise interest in them if i keep throwing free pieces, but even if they start being active and i throw 5 free pieces my hook in between they never go for the hook, just eat free stuff and go away.


    Issue 3, when i use #10 circle-hook (gold plated or regular color) even tiny bluegills swallowing it most of the time, when i use #14 J-hooks they almost always hook by the mouth whats the thing here?

  2. #2
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    I like that you have tried to work around their defenses. Just shows that you’re paying attention. What you describe is normal in many species. Pull up to a brush pile for crappie and the first fish you catch will be the biggest, most aggressive fish on that pile. Successive fish, while they may also be big, weren’t as aggressive. At some point you will notice the fish getting smaller and if you stay long enough, longer between bites. Time to move to another pile. Changing bait may change this a little or get a few more fish, the process is about the same.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by N00B View Post
    Issue 3, when i use #10 circle-hook (gold plated or regular color) even tiny bluegills swallowing it most of the time, when i use #14 J-hooks they almost always hook by the mouth whats the thing here?
    Are you using a float (bobber)? Most people use very insensitive floats and can't see the bite, so the fish end up swallowing the hook. So, a better float will help a lot. If you're not using a float, try using a small jig head instead of a bare hook. They're almost impossible to swallow. The little 1/64 oz trout magnet heads are great for this.

    If the fish has swallowed the hook, learn to use a disgorger. I've been using them for about 25 years. They're much better than pliers or hemostats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N00B View Post
    Issue 2, bluegills usually jump up the regular #14 hook with tiny bit of hotdog and i get hooked within a second, however after i pull about 5-10 from school and throw them far away since water is clear others see whats going on and start to be cautious they don't bite hook anymore.

    Moving to new spot and the picture is exactly the same, at first they fighting for this sausage on the hook then after a witnessing me pooling their friend out of the water they loose all interest even free flowing pieces of sausage gets ignored and some lazy bluegill comes and eats it slowly, making sure its not a trap while others just stay away.
    In highly-pressured waters like you describe, it's almost impossible to avoid this. You just have to "rest" the area and come back to it later or just move spots.


    Quote Originally Posted by N00B View Post
    Issue 2
    I can raise interest in them if i keep throwing free pieces, but even if they start being active and i throw 5 free pieces my hook in between they never go for the hook, just eat free stuff and go away.
    That means you are feeding (chumming) too much. Try this instead: mix bread crumbs with yellow cornmeal in 50/50 proportions. Add a little water and mix till it's light and fluffy. Add some of your hook bait to the mix. Throw in a nugget-sized ball of chum periodically. The fish will be attracted to the crumb/cornmeal mix, but there's not enough food to feed them off. Here's a quick video on how to mix the chum. (Ignore the part about the egg. Just note how he mixes and the consistency of the chum when he's finished.)

    Last edited by deathb4disco; 07-06-2018 at 06:21 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by N00B View Post
    Issue 1, bigger bluegills would rush to eat bait i free drop into water, however when i follow up with hooked version they rush to it, come close almost at the bite distance and then instantly swim away, i even tried smallest hook i have and covered it completely with meat, still same reaction, it must be the line they see, thinking on using 0.5lb mono versus 4lb i am currently use.

    Problem here is that big blue gill species in artificial lakes by the tame they mature are "trained" to avoid hooks by people who constantly catch them and release throughout their lifetime (same problem for bass in that lake), so fish gets too cautious.
    Lighter line will help. I suggest fly tippet in sizes 4X to 6X.

    Also, wear muted colors and don't make a lot of noise on the bank. As you note, fish like this are heavily-pressured and very skittish.
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    Quote Originally Posted by N00B View Post
    I picked up on fishing week ago started with 7ft medium rod then 6ft light rod then 2 ft toy rod and i like it even better for fishing bluegill by the shore. I fish in Los Angeles artificial lakes right now.
    For where and how you're fishing, I suggest a light telescopic pole between 10' and 20'. I use these all the time in situations just like you describe, and they work great.
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    Another web site that might help is FNN (fishingnetwork.net) - there's a few guys that posted up that fish the LA & Orange county parks. You can try the LA river basin too, for carp.

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    Wacky rig a live worm on light line with no weight.
    Oh I could wrestle a monster fish

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    Sometimes on fish like the ones mentioned the trick is a larger pc. of worm instead of smaller from what I have seen in the exact same situation . They have a tendency to get bold and have been trained to take larger worms off the avaerage anglers hooks .
    And if you can see them they can see you as well ...keep that in mind .
    But to be sure .....sometimes I am not smarter than a Wiley bluegill either , donít let it bother you none , they can be pretty tricky when they want to be .
    sum kawl me tha outlaw ketchn whales
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