Bluegill- Selective harvest?

Discussion in 'Bluegill Fishing' started by astutzman, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. astutzman

    astutzman New Member

    Messages:
    243
    State:
    Collinsville, IL
    Just wondering if anybody out there has any personal rules that you follow when harvesting bluegills. I don't keep them unless I can catch at least 10 and they have to be at least 7-8 inches long, or their not worth cleaning. What are everyone else's opinions?
     
  2. kccats

    kccats New Member

    Messages:
    634
    State:
    Olathe, Kansas
    Theres only been 2 times in my life that I caught bluegills to eat.
    No food in the house and no money at those times.
    Kept everything I caught!

    All gills I catch now are for bait.
     

  3. astutzman

    astutzman New Member

    Messages:
    243
    State:
    Collinsville, IL
    You're missing out. There darn good eating, better than crappie in my opinion. The problem is they're usually to small though, except for use as bait. The good thing about them is that i don't feel guilty eating the big ones when I catch them because there are tons of them out there.
     
  4. IL Hunter

    IL Hunter New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Normal, IL
    I only keep ones that are big enough to fillet. Luckily I have a spot where those are plentiful, but I will only fillet 8 or more of them.
     
  5. Redd

    Redd New Member

    Messages:
    790
    State:
    Southeast Kansas
    I wouldn't put a limit on them, because the more you take out, the more food the others are gonna have, therefore the bigger the gills. And you ain't gonna fish 'em out either. There's way too many for that. And I keep all the gills I catch. I don't eat 'em, they're too much of a pain to clean, so I just use 'em for bait.

    -Red
     
  6. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    Right now I just catch them for bait, so they have to be 5" or less (Missouri laws). Anything bigger than that I can fillet, so if I did eat fish I would keep them.
     
  7. curdog

    curdog New Member

    Messages:
    896
    State:
    Sheridan, Arkansas
    Any Bream smaller than 4 inchs Iuse for bait. Those over 4 inchs are scaled and the fins are pulled out with plyers. Then rolled in flour and corn meal Droped into grease hot enough to light a match. When the fish floats to the top its done. Fine Eating.
     
  8. I agree, fine eating. I'm not all that selective though. If it is big enough to get a #6 hook in it's mouth it's bait. As I have heard others say "if it's big as a butterbean, you do eat butterbeans don't you?". I will keep a handful of handful sized bream from time to time for the table. Never more than I'm willing to clean though.
     
  9. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    We keep em all out the ponds here. These ponds have alot of what I call lap bream in them. Big enough you cant wrap your hand around them to get the hook out. You gotta lay them on your leg to hold them.
    I know we cant fish them out. Cant even put a good hurtin on em.
     
  10. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    I'll usually keep about 12, that's all I want to clean and is enough for my wife and me. Of course, I seldom catch any less than 7" on the place I prefer to go 'gill fishing. If its your own pond, then selective harvest is the way to go. keep the small ones and throw the big ones back. Probably the best tasting freshwater fish in warm waters, just my opinion.
     
  11. AllenM

    AllenM Guest

    I've heard the word "bream" used a lot on here, sometimes when talking about blue gills and some times just in general as a bait fish. Is "bream" the same thing as "blue gill" or is it a general word for any type of baitfish?

    As for selective harvesting, I keep the smallest ones for cat bait and usually throw the big ones (over 6") back in since I won't eat them out of this lake. If I'm not catching much and get a big one though, I'll sometimes cut it up into smaller pieces for bait too.

    I have had a lot better action on small bass (3-5 inches) as bait than on gills though. When I catch a small bass and it gullets the hook so deep that I can't unhook it without killing it then I use it for cat bait. Seems wastefull to just toss it back in to die and not at least get a shot at catching a big cat for the cause. I know it ain't "legal" but it's gonna die either way, and every time I've used bass I've caught much bigger cats than on any other bait, so IMO, why waste it?
     
  12. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    All my life I was taught to call them all "perch". Since I was stationed in North Dakota I had to learn all about them because they have a fish that really is called perch.

    "Perch" in southern slang is the same as "bream" and includes the bluegill, green sunfish, pumpkinseed, and other small sunfish species. In some areas this may grow to include other baitfishes also.
     
  13. treddinwater

    treddinwater Active Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    We usually keep a mess of bluegills about twice a year. When we do, we usually keep about 15 along with a couple of bass and a few crappies, but the bluegills we keep are generally 7-10" and anything over or under that we usually throw back. Now for bait, that's a different story, usually I keep ones that are 3-6" for bait, and that's pretty often, but I go and take them out of this retention pond that is overloaded with them.
     
  14. Cat King

    Cat King New Member

    Messages:
    156
    State:
    Kentucky
    They are very good eating
     
  15. Blue Duck

    Blue Duck New Member

    Messages:
    465
    State:
    Idaho
    I usually don't keep them for eating unless they are at least 6". If Im in a good spot where they are bigger Ill raise my standards a little. Don't overlook them for eating ... they are one of the best.
     
  16. channelcat_tracker

    channelcat_tracker New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Iowa
    when i go fishing, i do have personal rules. because this pond is infested with tiny fry runnin around, i keep all the little ones (1 to 5 inches) and throw em in a livewell basket. i then put them in a bucket for them to soak up the sun and start rotting. then i just put em out on lines for snappers! i throw back all the 1/2 pounders and above. except when i got a record for pauls!:lol:
     
  17. rednecksportsman511

    rednecksportsman511 New Member

    Messages:
    270
    State:
    Birmingham, AL
    if you come down south, all you'll ever hear bluegill called is bream. i dunno bout other parts of the country but down here, bream means bluegill, or pretty much any small sunfish
     
  18. jobiechillin

    jobiechillin New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    Pennsylvainia
    I keep all blue gills under 7" for bait . the spot i catch all my bait in is loaded with 1-2" fish . too many fish = not enough food . Blue gills spawn more than once a year so you will be doing them a favor by removing them. I use them for bait using the 7" ones first and working my way down from there. whats left is dumped in the river where the will find more food or more likely become food. Eat the bigger ones if you would like . you need a mess of them to make a meal but the rank up there with walleye as far as eatin goes.
     
  19. breadboy

    breadboy New Member

    Messages:
    431
    State:
    North Carolina
    I don't eat 'gills, but I do use smaller ones for catfish/bass bait.
     
  20. Deltalover

    Deltalover New Member

    Messages:
    1,227
    State:
    Tracy Calif
    I love fried bluegill. I have always called all panfish, perch also! I like the ones that are big enough to filet (8inches)! Blugill have less polutants than other fish too! If I have a ice chest handy, I will clean them right at the spot and use the heads for bait! Stripers and catfish love the 3 and 4 inch live ones!