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Trophy bluegill
Post 01 Jul 2020, 14:45 • #1 
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Joined: 11/11/13
Posts: 346
Location: US-CA
I have been searching my favorite warm lake for several months for some trophy bluegill. Today I finally found some. I was indicator fishing in 14’ of water with size 14 damsel fly nymphs. These fish gave the Epic 580 all it could handle. These fish sure pull hard.



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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 01 Jul 2020, 15:38 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1207
Location: US-CO
excellent ! those are some monsters..

all my reading suggests the bigger bluegill don't come up to the surface much, but I've not yet tried indicator fishing for them.. interesting, thank you..


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 01 Jul 2020, 16:01 • #3 
Master Guide
Joined: 04/15/09
Posts: 354
Location: US-OH
What an odd looking fish.


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 01 Jul 2020, 18:26 • #4 
Sport
Joined: 09/28/13
Posts: 77
Location: US-OH
The Epic and epic bluegills. What a great day on the water. Thanks for the pics!


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 01 Jul 2020, 18:44 • #5 
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Joined: 02/12/16
Posts: 3706
Location: USA-CO
Nice ones!


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 01 Jul 2020, 20:27 • #6 
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Joined: 05/19/14
Posts: 3366
Location: USA - Illinois
the abandoned brane wrote:
What an odd looking fish.


That was my thought also. Little kern golden, is that normal coloration for CA gills?


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 01 Jul 2020, 20:44 • #7 
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Joined: 11/11/13
Posts: 346
Location: US-CA
Yes, these are Florida strain bluegill. When they get this large they take on a purple color and get this bronze/ copper colored face. I guess thats why their known as “Copper Nose”. Some get large humps on their heads, have large teeth and look kind of prehistoric. They are really fun to catch and are a prize fish for all the local bluegill anglers


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 01 Jul 2020, 21:28 • #8 
Sport
Joined: 07/21/17
Posts: 46
Location: TX
Those fish could eat the bluegills I caught today!


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 01 Jul 2020, 22:07 • #9 
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Joined: 06/25/20
Posts: 127
Location: Easton, PA
I've caught them on Prince flys, and also very small strawberry buggers. 9.5-10" are sometimes caught in ponds.


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 01 Jul 2020, 22:59 • #10 
Master Guide
Joined: 05/22/16
Posts: 855
Location: SJC
Wow, those are huge. Nice !! That must have been quite a fight.

CA is a big state, there are lots of non-native bluegill and sunfish in various places. I think we only have one native sunfish, the sacramento perch, which I've never personally seen.


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 01 Jul 2020, 23:25 • #11 
Guide
Joined: 11/11/13
Posts: 346
Location: US-CA
Here you go a Sacramento perch from lake Crowley



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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 02 Jul 2020, 00:35 • #12 
Master Guide
Joined: 03/09/15
Posts: 401
Location: Arkansas
Yes!


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 02 Jul 2020, 06:51 • #13 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/26/14
Posts: 2777
Location: US-MN
Cool looking fish!


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 02 Jul 2020, 08:10 • #14 
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Joined: 05/19/14
Posts: 3366
Location: USA - Illinois
Little kern golden wrote:
Yes, these are Florida strain bluegill. When they get this large they take on a purple color and get this bronze/ copper colored face. I guess thats why their known as “Copper Nose”. Some get large humps on their heads, have large teeth and look kind of prehistoric. They are really fun to catch and are a prize fish for all the local bluegill anglers



Thanks for that information Lkg! As they might say in Wisconsin, uff dah, which loosely translates to
Holy Crap, or something similar. ;D


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 02 Jul 2020, 14:20 • #15 
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Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 1575
Location: US-IL
Those are copperhead bluegills native to the SE states,Those deep Cali reservoirs are famous for big sunfish including huge LM bass. A friend on a couple other boards is an expert at fishing So Cal reservoirs and catches these fish regularly but with jigs he ties .Lake Havasu has redears over 5lbs .Introduced species is not always a bad thing.


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 02 Jul 2020, 14:36 • #16 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/19/14
Posts: 3366
Location: USA - Illinois
the hersh, I always forget about those lakes in CA - where big swimbaits became popular here in the US.


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 02 Jul 2020, 16:15 • #17 
Guide
Joined: 11/11/13
Posts: 346
Location: US-CA
I went out again and got a few more of the big boys. Used my SFG 6 wt. they had that rod doubled over



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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 02 Jul 2020, 16:48 • #18 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/19/14
Posts: 3366
Location: USA - Illinois
Jurassic Park Bluegill, a new species! Awesome!

Will they hit a topwater bug?


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 02 Jul 2020, 18:14 • #19 
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Joined: 11/11/13
Posts: 346
Location: US-CA
Jhuskey, I have only caught smaller gills on sponge spiders, poppers and ants. These larger specimens are usually in 12’ feet of water or deeper near the bottom and can be caught indicator fishing or using a type lll or heavier full sink line. Today when I was kicking in I talked with a group of divers whom stated that were numerous bluegills the size I was catching on nests in 16 feet of water. One women said she estimated there were several hundred fish spawning where they were diving.

Interesting that the Hersh mentioned 5 lb. red ears in Lake Havasu. My uncle lives in Parker which is 1/2 hour from Havasu and has been trying for a giant red ear for several years. So far his personal best was two pounder he caught stripping a black and olive leech. That thing was a pig.


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 03 Jul 2020, 16:12 • #20 
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Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 1575
Location: US-IL
Red ears are tough to catch on a flyrod around here unless they are spawning. I caught several over 2lbs on July 4th a few years back at a party which so happened to have a nice pond across the street.They were on beds. The guy i mentioned is still after the unbelievable to me 5lb red ear.I think he mostly fishes Lake Perris?He does fish Havasu a couple times a year.Much of my wife's family is relocating to AZ so a trip there may be in my future.I hear there is incredible SM bass fishing as well.LGK have fun with those copper gills.A little more detail on your rigging would be appreciated.


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 03 Jul 2020, 17:13 • #21 
Guide
Joined: 11/11/13
Posts: 346
Location: US-CA
The Hersh, hello yes my uncle has caught some nice smallmouths over the years while fishing Havasu. He also catches some nice ones from the river on buggers and crayfish patterns.

Lake Perris is where I do most of my warm water fly fishing. I live 1/2 hour from the lake. That’s where I caught the big copper nose gills. Perris also has a good population of red ears I think the big shell crackers pull harder than the bluegill. Your right they are hard to fool with flies. When I do hook a nice one I feel fortunate. I prefer indicator fishing to using full sink lines when the fish are deep. I use the 12 foot Rio leaders and then tie a small barrel swivel to the tippet. I can then add several more feet of tippet to reach the fish.
The deep water break away indicators are a must for fishing 10 feet or deeper. I like small olive and black buggers in size 16 and 14 with a tungsten bead so they sink nice and fast. I usually start in 10 feet of water and then keep going deeper until I find the bigger fish. Keeping the flies about 8” to a foot off the bottom works pretty well. I have successfully indicator fished in 16 feet of water but that’s pushing it. I really enjoy watching that little bobber twitching or getting pulled under. I think some people think this type of fishing is not really fly fishing but once one tangles with an 10 or 11” bluegill or red ear they might change their mind. My personal best is a 13” bluegill that pulled so hard I thought I had a big bass on. A state fish biologist told me once Perris is the perfect lake to grow big panfish. It never freezes, even in winter the water never gets really cold, the fish feed all year and there is a very large forage base of food.


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 04 Jul 2020, 01:31 • #22 
New Member
Joined: 12/11/19
Posts: 21
Location: Inland Empire - CA
That's just awesome, LKG! What kind of indicators are you using? Something like very small slip bobbers? I would like to try that technique at Puddingstone. Man, that lake is fished hard.

It's great you were out on the water. I'm getting a little stir crazy over here in the IE, and can't wait till the pandemic slows down.

Cheers,

George


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 04 Jul 2020, 11:27 • #23 
Guide
Joined: 11/11/13
Posts: 346
Location: US-CA
George, hello here are the break away indicators and leaders I use.



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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 04 Jul 2020, 11:43 • #24 
New Member
Joined: 12/11/19
Posts: 21
Location: Inland Empire - CA
That's great, thanks! I haven't used that technique, so I will have to check it out.


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Re: Trophy bluegill
Post 05 Jul 2020, 07:34 • #25 
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Joined: 10/09/09
Posts: 2405
Location: US-NM
Those had to be a lot of fun.......Aurelio


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