by Jim Uran
These bluegills have become sort of an obsession of mine, I sit at work and count down the time to when I can wet my line again. Scrolling through Google Maps wondering which out of the way pond may hold a few surprise sunfish. Looking through the good old Minnesota DNR Lakefinder website checking out the lake surveys, looking at the cycles of the population in a given lake, wondering which times of year are best to find a true trophy bluegill, trying to see if there is some sort of science to this new found madness of mine AKA bluegill fishing.
We all have heard tales from some of the elder fishermen in our familes, the hub cap sized bluegills that inhabited our lakes were plentiful back in the “good ol’ days”. Today it’s a different story, there are just as many tight lipped anglers, and fished out honey holes as there are stories about the “good ol’ days”. Like those stories are some sort of urban legend, or some mystical tale that makes us wish we could invent a time machine and go back and try it ourselves.
I say that the present time is as good as you are willing to make it, there are still lakes out there that put out “hub cap” sized bluegills, although they aren’t as plentiful as in the past, they are still out there waiting to be coaxed into biting.
I’m talking about bluegills, and other varieties of sunfish that measure up over 10 inches here in the north country. To me, these are true trophy fish, and deserve as much glory as some of the other trophy fish that cover the fronts of magazines and national tournaments get devoted to. But realistically, they don’t get much love at all, here in Minnesota, we don’t see any special regulations or size restrictions that would benefit the species as a whole. When people think of “sunny” fishing, they think of some kid sitting out at the end of a dock drowning worms under a red and white bobber. That leaves it up to us anglers to do our part. Selective Harvest has been a popular concept in recent years and should pull at any respective anglers heart strings a little. Let’s release those bigger fish so that they can pass on their amazing genes so that we can catch those big bluegills in the future.
Rick and I with a couple Trophy Minnesota Bluegills!
Watch for clues that can give you the edge chasing late summer trophy gills.