Can you catch Bluegills in winter?

Discussion in 'Bluegill Fishing' started by TOPS, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    I have not tried to catch gill in winter. My question is, can they be caught in winter? :confused:
     
  2. joesf

    joesf New Member

    Messages:
    283
    State:
    Bloomington IL
    As a boy in WI we use to go to a lake ice fishing and catch gills that would barley fit through the 8" holes. We use mostly mousse's and meal's.
     

  3. bluecatnut

    bluecatnut New Member

    Messages:
    891
    State:
    freeburg illinois
    top they can be caught but you have to slow down the presintation and they go deeper as the days get colder. i have had my best luck catching bluegills at a hot water discharge dam but i was using a castnet i caught around 15 in one cast i hope this helps top
     
  4. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    We have a hot water outlet here but it is down now. the plant is not releasing any hot water because work is in process.
     
  5. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    I catch them in the winter here in NC, I fish in semi-deep water with a saltwater sabaki rig on the bottom with little pieces of nightcrawler. And I catch them all winter. Also you can do the same thing to catch crappie except you use little minnows, instead of worms. Good luck! :)
     
  6. Environmentor

    Environmentor New Member

    Messages:
    95
    State:
    Buffalo, Iowa
    People catch bluegill under the ice all over. However, as someone already said - go slow and deep - and you can't lose. I imagine the fish are still going strong down south where you're at (stronger than up here in the north where we have ice, and I don't icefish).
     
  7. Ravensmavsfan

    Ravensmavsfan New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    Cincinnati,OH
    Fish deep water and use small chunks of beef liver. And if its legal it helps to chum and don't go at night. I would wait until at least 40 degree weather.

    Stillfishing is what works for me, i rarely retrive during the cold months.

    Also try Magic bait panfish doughballs-walmart.
     
  8. MadKater

    MadKater New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Evansville,IN
    oh yea gills can deffinatly be caught in the winter,best thing to do is get ya some small jig heads 1/32 oz works best for me in pink or white and get ya a small tub of wax worms or bees moth,tip the jig and drop the bait over the side of the boat let it fall until it hits bottom and reel it up off the bottom about 3-4" and start tearing them up.good luck! them cold water gills are some tastey fish.
     
  9. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    In-Fisherman has a couple of articles on catching panfish in the winter., including gills in the January issue. Drop shotting in deeper water is one method discussed.
     
  10. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    Thanks brothers for all the replies! keep the suggestions coming. :glare:
     
  11. Nobody Special

    Nobody Special New Member

    Messages:
    614
    State:
    TN
    I heard a guy complaining a couple of days ago about the bluegill. He was crappie fishing and said all he could catch were bluegills.
     
  12. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    gills and crappie are my #1 target on ice.

    Mousies, wigglers, meal worms as live bait on a 1/32 or even smaller 1/64 teardrop. The color scheme depends on the location, water clarity, etc... but I like the lime green and the glow with the ofire orange dot on em. ALSO an ant pattern in black tipped with a mousie seems to do well. my bud limits out in purple with the brass back and a minnow.... it is all up in the air I suppose.

    My locations vary from 4 foot deep water all the way to the 30s, but the average for me is 6-8 feet. I drill my hole, lay down a 12x8 tarp and lay on half with the other half over my head and my nose about 4 inches above the hole. I usually can see them come right up to the bait. Stillness does wonders in a lot of cases. I jig it no more than 3 inches most days. If the sun is bright and the weather is warmer than 32, I may jig more frantically, but the key here is reacting naturally as a cold-blooded creature would. when it is chilly, you move slow slow. as it warms you speed up. hook it, bring it up, toss it out of the tarp fold onto the ice and start over.

    Gills are a favortie this time of year- theyre so much better tasting when they are that cold.


    Good luck brother. I hope you fill the bucket.
     
  13. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    cool thing to try if you have a youngin with ya-

    It works better with gills than perch for some reason:

    toss your catch on the ice outside the tarp or shanty and let it freeze. On the way home collect them in a bucket, but as soon as you get home, dump em in the sink and fill it with fresh cold cold water. You'd be amazed how many come back to life after being frozen all day. LOL
     
  14. Environmentor

    Environmentor New Member

    Messages:
    95
    State:
    Buffalo, Iowa
    "best thing to do is get ya some small jig heads 1/32 oz works best for me in pink or white and get ya a small tub of wax worms or bees moth,tip the jig and drop the bait over the side of the boat let it fall until it hits bottom and reel it up off the bottom about 3-4" and start tearing them up"

    I agree MadKatter, it is one of the BEST things to do. I have used this rig in the summer to catch bluegill and even yellow perch and crappie (but I tip the jighead/icejig with whole nightcrawlers, 1/2 nightcrawlers, or leaf worms). I also use different colors and styles of icejigs and jigheads. And, if you don't have a boat try it with a slip bobber or just casting the jig straight out on light line and letting it fall. I've caught more fish on this rig and the one I mentioned above then all other rigs/lures/baits I've EVER tried combined. It's my go-to rig, my bread and butter rig, the rig that I use to outfish everyone else on the lake with. Its slow and subtle for coldfronts and switching to a larger jighead can be fished faster, for the more aggressive fish/days. I've even been out on the lake and had others who weren't catching come crowd me (I HATE THESE PEOPLE!!!) but they caught NOTHING because they weren't using this rig nor did they have any icejigs with them in the middle of the summer. (I've even caught most my other fish on this rig, such as catfish, bass, walleye, carp, etc.) You have to use light line to cast it far, but you all should try this rig. From a boat it can also be casted toward the bank and fished back toward the bank, as if you were bass fishing and pitching texas rigged worms (this also works to get those large bass near the bank and catfish that are waiting to ambush under undercut banks. It will become one of your favorites, too. It was adapted from some technique some bait shop owner told me and my father before he was retiring and selling his baitshop.
     
  15. katfish hunter

    katfish hunter New Member

    Messages:
    105
    State:
    Jacksonville,FL.
    It is very easy to catch bluegills in winter. Like some of the others said fish deeper as it gets colder. I usually use a small chunk of nightcrawler for bait.
     
  16. rockbass

    rockbass New Member

    Messages:
    1,107
    State:
    Ohio
    Mealworms are what we usually use for the gills.....they will also work for crappie :cool:
     
  17. channelcat_tracker

    channelcat_tracker New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Iowa
    hey typicaly the ice here in the north lasts about a good 2 to 3 months and boy do those hand size gills grab on your hooks good. The key to catchin em is to use the smallest jigs and lures you can find and then put some wax worms or night crawlers and put em on the hook.(for crappies use a small minnow or head) You then take the lure and drop it to the bottom of the lake or pond. then either raise your pole and hold it six inches off the bottom or tip your rod up 6 inches. They work great. Make sure your fishing on the deepest part of the lake, thats where youll catch em. take care
     
  18. Big Country01

    Big Country01 New Member

    Messages:
    964
    State:
    brandon,florida
    tsl, we catch gills and specks all year long without missing a beat, but then again the only ice we have to worry about is the ice in our coolers...lol...

    how cold was it up there where your at today?
    it was 78 here, seriously i'm not trying to be a wise guy...lol...
     
  19. fishn_maniac

    fishn_maniac New Member

    Messages:
    24
    State:
    Al
    Ive never tried but my granfather said he had pretty good luck.
     
  20. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,167
    State:
    NC
    I have been catching some the past few days for bait on my catfish trips. They are a lot more oriented to structure than in the warmer months. Usually I can throw along this stretch of bank and catch all I want, but this time of the year in the 50 degree water I am having to catch them in and next to fallen trees.

    They seem to be in pockets. One side of a tree will have nothing, and the other side will have a bucket full.

    I have not tried fishin deep water yet, but I may have to throw together some kind of deep water rig and see how I do.