Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
monstermoose78

Measure them gills

25 posts in this topic

Measuring bluegills before you toss em in the live well, fish basket, or bucket. Will help you make it easy judge on what sized gills you are keeping. This time of year the big bulls are starting to make their beds and can be caught easily, because they are protecting their eggs. I know the size depends on the lake, but most lakes any gill over 8.5 inches is big one that receives a fair amount of pressure.

Yesterday I seen a older fisherman fishing while fishing with my nephew and the older fisherman told us to only keep the big ones. He said he had 18 bluegills all over 9 inches. I tried to explain to this guy that those are important fish to leave in the lake, but he was not having that.  This older fisherman was pulling the big bulls off their beds and putting them in his bucket. My nephew asked why we were not fishing like this guy. I explained to my nephew what those big bull bluegills were doing and he agreed that we should let them make babies. I let my nephew fish for gills just outside of the bedding area and showed him what female gill looked like vs a male gill. My nephew kept 10 gills from 7 to 8 inches and none came off beds. We were in 2-4 feet of water and we could see the beds fairly easy.  

The set up was simple a slip bobber with a split shot and red hook, because my nephew thought it was cool. We used earth worms chunks. The bobber stop to the hook was almost 2 feet.  I was extremely happy that my nephew was willing to leave the bedded bull bluegills alone. He was all smiles and wants to learn more about fishing. That is a good thing, because I am willing to help him learn. He also was having a fish fry for his mom and girlfriend for dinner yesterday.

Good Luck !!!

Please protect the big bull bluegills, so we can always have a chance to catch that 10 incher or better.

Garett Svir, Rick, h8go4s and 6 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldn't agree more, great post.

I would also like to add, in the event bigger gills are being caught, change to a jig head or at least up the size of your hook to help avoid deep hooking the gills.  it makes a huge difference.  Even if you are fishing with catch and release in mind,  deep hooking fish will assuredly kill fish.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moose, you did the best thing possible. Trying to explain things to someone who has done it "their way" for decades can be a tough situation. Teaching the next generation the right way is much more important IMHO.  Your Nephew will be around catching gills far longer than the older gentelman you encountered;)

ANYFISH2 and monstermoose78 like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only way to spread the word is to try and talk to people. I enjoy Monster Bluegills way to much to not try and talk to people about protecting them. I am lucky enough to have lakes around me that have trophy quality Bluegills yet. I know some will not follow my lead, but together we can make a difference. 

ANYFISH2 and smallie_hawgin like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am all for catching big gills.  I came across this article and though why couldn't something like it be adopted in MN.  Especially the reduced limits during the spring.

Wisconsin Panfish Limits

​Our area manager and fisheries dept in Little Falls, are trying to implement regulation changes on some of our local waters.  I am sure it is difficult to garner wide support given the stock the freezer mentality many have in our Todd and Morrison county area.  However there did seem to be support for some kind of change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some Bluegills that would be good eaters. 7 to 8 inch Bluegills provide a good chunk of meat.

6-5-2015-1.5.jpg

6-5-2015-2.5.jpg

6-5-2015-3.5.jpg

6-5-2015-4.5.jpg

6-5-2015-5.5.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nicely done Moose! Just a simple bit of education can help in most cases. Here's a good example of male vs female bluegill to help others...  Male upper Right, Female lower left

There's also an explanation behind all the biology etc on the Little Falls Area Fisheries HSOforum Events

 

BLG.jpg

Rick G and eyeguy 54 like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nicely done Moose! Just a simple bit of education can help in most cases. Here's a good example of male vs female bluegill to help others...  Male upper Right, Female lower left

There's also an explanation behind all the biology etc on the Little Falls Area Fisheries HSOforum Events

 

BLG.jpg

​Did anything ever come from the meetings?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

​Did anything ever come from the meetings?

​They are actually scheduled for September 8th in Harding area- Club of the Pines 7-9 PM

 and 9th - Long Prairie City Hall, 6-8 PM. 

Details are up on the Area Fisheries HSOforum. Comments can be emailed, phoned, mailed...  

Rick G, ANYFISH2 and eyeguy 54 like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr. Altena, I would like to say thank you, to you and your staff for your efforts to improve the state of our panfish dynamics as well as the overall fisheries in your/our area.  You have done fine job picking up where Mr. Lillenthal left off.  The Little Falls area fisheries office is one state office us sportsmen can be confident is working for and with us.  thank you!

smallie_hawgin likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Were there meetings last year too?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Were there meetings last year too?  

​Hoppe,

We had a "panfish forum" of sorts in Long Prairie in January of 2014. We wanted to see what people thought about the potential for experimental panfish regs and potential lakes to consider. All this was in an effort to get "pre-data" before even suggesting the type of regulation specifics or the lakes. We had done a random postcard survey and an online survey of anglers before having the meeting as well. If we want experimental regulations to work, we need a reasonable level of buy in, otherwise the effectiveness can be undermined by a determined few. Not to say there is that intent out there, just that there are those out there that for some reason don't believe in trying something to preserve/improve what we have vs living with the status quo. Whether the potential regulations are effective or not on the suite of lakes chosen, is to be determined over a 10 year period. 

I would encourage all interested to check out the Little Falls Area Fisheries HSOforum and submit comments accordingly. If you can make the public meetings, that would be great, regardless of your opinion for or against. Either way, we would like to hear your thoughts on this approach of a reduced bag limit of 10 sunfish on Long Higgins, Moose and Maple Lakes (Todd County), Green-Prairie Fish and Sullivan lakes (Morrison County) and Platte Lake (Morrison/Crow Wing counties). And please spread the word. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My thoughts about a reduced bag is that people then are more selective on harvesting the biggest Bluegills they can then. I hate seeing 9 plus inch Bluegills in buckets. I would like see a rule like 10 Bluegills under 8 inches one can be over 10 for a trophy fish. I like eating Bluegills as much as the next person, but I really think those 7 to 8 inches provide a good chunk of meat. 

hoppe56307 and sunniewally like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Monstermoose, your thoughts have a great amount of merit IMO.  However, those that have the mindset to be selective to larger bluegill are doing it right now, but with a 20 fish limit.  If people get on transitioning bluegills right now or find the bulls on their beds in the coming weeks, they do not have to do a lot of sorting to get a limit of the largest fish in the system.  At 10 fish limit, at least 10 more of those fish have a chance.

 I cringe to think of what would happen to the lake I fished a few weeks ago, if it had more pressure, it wouldn't last long.

good thread by the way.

monstermoose78 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Monstermoose, your thoughts have a great amount of merit IMO.  However, those that have the mindset to be selective to larger bluegill are doing it right now, but with a 20 fish limit.  If people get on transitioning bluegills right now or find the bulls on their beds in the coming weeks, they do not have to do a lot of sorting to get a limit of the largest fish in the system.  At 10 fish limit, at least 10 more of those fish have a chance. 

 Agreed.  

That is why I think it might be helpful to have protected slot from 8-10 inches with only one over 10 inches as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To you Fish Biologists I caught some males that did not show signs of making beds, so my question is does this mean they were not big enough in this body of water get a bedding spot? I did not fish the area where the beds were. I fished the out from the bedding areas. The males I caught were in the 7-8 inch range  that did not show signs of fanning out their beds. I know this body of water has a solid population of 9 plus in Bluegill. However I yet to break the 10 inch mark from this body of water.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To you Fish Biologists I caught some males that did not show signs of making beds, so my question is does this mean they were not big enough in this body of water get a bedding spot? I did not fish the area where the beds were. I fished the out from the bedding areas. The males I caught were in the 7-8 inch range  that did not show signs of fanning out their beds. I know this body of water has a solid population of 9 plus in Bluegill. However I yet to break the 10 inch mark from this body of water.  

​Moose,

Take a look at the presentation on the Little Falls area site... There are numerous individuals in a given population that are "cuckholders" or otherwise known as sneaker males. They grow at a slower rate and mature at a smaller size. They literally will sneak in while the big males are away chasing others off  or have been "removed" and try and fertilize eggs already deposited there...  Pretty effective strategy really...And one of the main reasons we need to let the big bulls go.

 

That and the fact the nesting season really is just starting... The length and temperature range for sunfish spawning is quite wide. Typically 68-80 ish for temps and that can drag on from May through July. Also certain portions of the population tend to spawn on the earlier side, while others will spawn on the later side of  that window. Also, not all individuals spawn every year. This is a similar theme in the sunfish family. That includes bass of course. 

 

Also appreciate the discussion on the length limit Vs bag limit... But, unfortunately, the minute you start talking length limits for sunfish.... I loose half of any crowd, regardless of venue. People don't view sunfish the same way they do Walleye, Northern Pike, Trout, Salmon or Musky. We floated the concept of maintaining a 20 fish bag with only 5 over 8" in the pre-survey we did... Not nearly as well regarded as the simple 10 fish bag... So while it would make some sense biologically, the social aspect also needs to be considered. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

​Moose,

Take a look at the presentation on the Little Falls area site... There are numerous individuals in a given population that are "cuckholders" or otherwise known as sneaker males. They grow at a slower rate and mature at a smaller size. They literally will sneak in while the big males are away chasing others off  or have been "removed" and try and fertilize eggs already deposited there...  Pretty effective strategy really...And one of the main reasons we need to let the big bulls go.

 

That and the fact the nesting season really is just starting... The length and temperature range for sunfish spawning is quite wide. Typically 68-80 ish for temps and that can drag on from May through July. Also certain portions of the population tend to spawn on the earlier side, while others will spawn on the later side of  that window. Also, not all individuals spawn every year. This is a similar theme in the sunfish family. That includes bass of course. 

 

Also appreciate the discussion on the length limit Vs bag limit... But, unfortunately, the minute you start talking length limits for sunfish.... I loose half of any crowd, regardless of venue. People don't view sunfish the same way they do Walleye, Northern Pike, Trout, Salmon or Musky. We floated the concept of maintaining a 20 fish bag with only 5 over 8" in the pre-survey we did... Not nearly as well regarded as the simple 10 fish bag... So while it would make some sense biologically, the social aspect also needs to be considered. 

That was a good read. I knew slot sizes are not going to win a PR contest, but it sure could help save them big gills. I also think if we had more DNR CO's they could crack down on people who fill their freezers. I make many calls every year and see the same people I called on doing it again. I normally try to talk to these people and educate them as much as I can. Most of the time they tell me they do not know why they can't find the big sunnies they use to get. That is when I explain that letting a bigger gills go will make bigger Bluegills in for the future. I knew about cuckholders and those would be good ones to remove from the lake. I will continue to preach about releasing Bluegills over 8 inches while I am out fishing. 

One thing I think every person should have is some kind of measuring device. You can mark your favorite fishing pole, the box that holds your vexilar, or one of the fancy measuring boards Eyeguy and I have. I like using my board but when I am searching for Monster Bluegills in the winter. I am bouncing from hole to hole so carry something extra does not always work and that is where marking your rod or vexilar box is awesome. The side of the Vexilar box is for seeing how big a big one is the front is 8 inches so if it is just less then that it is a keeper. This is an easy to do and can be done on Fishing Pole. I used my wife's finger nail polish to mark the lengths on the fishing poles.  I normally make my first mark at 7 inches and then mark every inch out to 13 inches.

Vex Box-1.jpg

Vex Box-2.jpg

Vex Box -3.jpg

hoppe56307 and smallie_hawgin like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great job! Large male bluegills pass on their genetics and are so important to the future of our lakes, well done.

monstermoose78 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a reminder - Public meetings regarding 10 sunfish bag limit proposal on six lakes in the Little Falls Management area. 

Lakes being proposed are Long (Higgins), Moose and Maple lakes in Todd County, Green-Prairie Fish and Sullivan lakes in Morrison County and Platte Lake in Morrison/Crow Wing counties. 

September 8th 7-9 PM at the Club of the Pines- 21900 370th Ave, Hillman, MN 56338

September 9th 6-8 PM at the Long Prairie City Hall - 615 Lake St S Long Prairie, MN 56347

 

Whether you are for, or against any proposal, we want to hear your opinions and take your comments. If you can't make the meeting, feel free to go to the page for more information on the biology and contact information.  http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/areas/fisheries/littlefalls/events.htm

monstermoose78 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love this thread! Great information sharing. I always hate to see gills over 8.5" on the table. There are plenty of gills in the 7-8" range which make good eaters, over 8" - especially close to the Metro - are more rare and should be respected!

monstermoose78 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Keep voting democrat, Minnesota.....
    • Human nature. Especially when one is emotionally invested in elections.   I haven't commented too much on this Russian stuff. Could be true. Could be all just many upset about the election results.    At the very least, Trump may be just getting a taste of his own medicine(the claim he had evidence BHO was not a citizen, the National Enquirer stories about Cruz)
    • Did "YOU" and the "WIFE" enjoy growing up in the cities?  Me personally I grew up in a farm town in southern MN and have lived in Shakopee for the past 25 years.  I absolutely cannot stand living in the cities.  Everything is amped up 500%.  Driving is nuts. Traffic is nuts.  Ever ride your bike down Minnehaha falls on the weekend?  Kids sports is outrageous.  In general if you want to fish, sled, atv, your driving up north...with everyone else on a Friday night.  Unless you get lucky as heck most neighbors are either phony as heck or you never see them.  Seems as though most folks never leave the house.  Unless you have lots of space/land you will have neighborhoods doing fireworks whenever, dogs barking, snowblowing at 10:00PM etc...  Kids rarely go out and play in the cities.  I've discovered that they are constantly being shuttled to event after event, so the notion that the kids on the street will play together is few and far between.  The schools, at least in Shakopee have been great from an educational standpoint!  However because they shift classes and actual schools every few years, my girls have never had the same classmates.  In the town I grew up in we only had 120 kids in the class, so you pretty much knew every kid.  Bussing can be quite limited when your kid wants to do afterschool activities and sports.  Talk about income inequality...in my hometown the farmer was generally the "rich guy" but you never really knew it.  In the cities you definitely know who the rich folks are and boy does it bring out the competition in folks.  And I'm not talking CEO's and big wigs, I'm talking 2 professionals pulling down 6 figures each.    That's the other thing most people skim over when talking about the greatness of the metro.  Sure if you can afford $125 tickets for the wild game, or $85 tickets for a play, or "shopping" as your activity it IS a great place.  But if your not willing to pony up the money for those events it can be a little boring.  That's why I enjoy Shakopee in that I can head down to the river and take a nice long walk in peace and quiet.  Especially in the winter!   Maybe because I'm getting older and older but this notion that life is all about money, money, money seems less and less important.  Granted I understand you have to make a living and provide for your family, which is why I deal with it, but ultimately you have decide what your family wants out of life.  That is why I am encouraging my kids to seek a life away from the big metro area.  Especially since they enjoy being outside so much.  Full disclose we bought a small cabin last year as our way to "deal with it".  Now I have a place to go to get away AND in 6 years when my youngest graduates high school I will be out of here...  Good luck!!!!
    • True, but we have liberal corporate run media and the fact you are seemingly blind to that fact shows your bias.     
    • my old house was a 6.5 x 12' (No V front) with an outside 2x4' in front for bathroom.   I really didn't notice any difference in towing it.  I know a guy who had his house built with about 2' wide V in front which opens the entire area up quite a bit and he wishes now he would have went 3' wide.  And this still gives you plenty of space on the V to put your LP tanks.     Wish I would have done that on my new 8x16'.   The little gas the V front may save you, to me is not worth the value of that extra space.    
    • I thought there was no point?
    • The US doesn't have state controlled media at all. Well, didn't have. Now we have Bannon and Breitbart in the White House, and of course at Trump's press conference there was only a single reserved seat: front and center for Breitbart.   As far as psychological manipulation: you are subjected to it daily, but usually for commercial purposes. You can easily go the whole day without seeing anything politics related, but good look avoiding advertising for a day.
    • Worst buy I ever bought. I sold it the next week. I like 13 products but not this line of products
  • Our Sponsors