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Offline David Taylor

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Bluegill
« on: October 27, 2013, 11:40:34 pm »
If you are starting micro fishing then  bluegill is a great fish to start with. They are a sunfish from America which  was introduced as a fodder fish for bass. In the South African climate they  have been extremely successful. In some dams which I fish on the farm where I  live they bred until the stocks far exceeded the carrying capacity of the dam  and the stock collapsed entirely. Because of their nature they are an  environmental disaster. It is almost impossible for other insectivorous fish to  coexist with them because of their success. Blugill outcompete most species.
They are a shoaling fish so when you are  fishing for them you need to look for a shoal. They love the warm shallows and  sit just under the surface. The ideal place for them is an area of somewhere  between 30cm and 1m of water depth over weeds but with some cover nearby. Cover  can take the form of lily pads, timber, reeds or just a patch of floating  weeds.  It is even better if it is  protected from the wind but not the sun. They love the sun. When it is windy  they tend to sit a bit further out and a bit deeper. When the dam looks like  the mirror and the sun is out they will sometimes be in water 10cm deep and  often sit with the tips of their fins out of the water. It is better fishing  when it is windless.  Because they sit in  shoals close to the surface I try to spot shoals before I resort to blind  casting when looking for them. Bluegill shoals are easy to identify as their  fins will appear to be turquoise which really stands out.  You may find a shoal by looking for rises.  The big ones are easy to recognise as rises but we are not interested in those.  If you see what may be small bubbles coming up from the weeds or something it  is more than likely some small bluegill rising. The rises really are small.  Although bluegill are stupid the small ones can present a challenge. Enticing  them is easy. Hooking them and not losing them is another story. They take and  let go fast and because they are so light keeping contact with them is  difficult.
Fly:
I think that fly is the best way to catch  tiny bluegill. This is because you can present a #16 or #18 fly ten metres  away. Another reason is that you can react quicker to takes and often the tiny  fish hook themselves because of the drag of the fly line through the water. Any  2wt or 3wt outfit will do but if you have a 000wt use that. I like a slower rod  for this use simply because the fish wont bounce off as easily. You only need  a floating line. A standard leader is fine. Add about 75cm of 7x tippet to the  end. I only fish one fly at a time because more than that really isnt required  when bluegill fishing. I use two methods for catching them. The first is when  the fish are further out. Cast and immediately start a figure of eight retrieve  or a retrieve of tiny twitches. Dont worry about whether the retrieve makes  the fly look natural. Bluegill are not blessed with a mind. Watch either the  leader on the water surface or the tip of your fly line. If anything moves how  they should not such as the leader being pulled slightly under or the fly line  tip moving oddly or the line seeming slightly heavier then strip strike. Do not  strike with the rod as by the time your strike takes effect the fish will have  dropped the fly or you will hook the fish and it will fly over your shoulder.  If you are lucky enough for it not to go into a bush thereby making a mess of  your leader you will lose contact and the fish will fall off. Once you have  strip struck strip the fish in. Keep your rod low and to the side so as to keep  the fish in the water until the last second as this will prevent it from  falling off.
The other method is easier. It is for  fishing for bluegill which are right by the bank. Use just your leader. Flick  the fly to the fish then lift your leader from the water so that you have  contact with the fly. Watch either the fly or the body language of the bluegill  for takes. Here you can strike, but not hard.
In terms of flies I use #16 and #18 nymphs.  They are not heavily weighted. I mostly use a 1,5mm tungsten bead and sometimes  a 2mm bead. The two hooks I use are dohiku 302 #16 and Dohiku 644 #16 and #18.  They are barbless and super sharp which gives the opportunity for the fish to  hook themselves. Almost any fly will do however; there are certain triggers  which improve flies. Dont mix all the triggers. It usually creates an inbred  monstrosity of a fly which should be on a Christmas tree. I tend to keep the  flies generally natural with one or maybe two of the triggers. They love red  hotspots, gold beads, hot orange beads and brassie style flies. I usually make  my flies dark and often use peacock hearl because of the slight flash and  movement.
   
Bait: Bluegill are carnivorous. For this  reason earthworms and slugs are the best bait. Use the lightest rod and reel  possible. A #16 hook is ideal. Add either a swivel or light split shot to aid  casting. Do not use a float as this is to indirect and you will miss many fish.  Cast out and reel in slowly in order to keep the bait off the bottom and to  keep contact. When you feel the take simply reel in.
Below are two good flies for bluegill (forgot to take a photo of a basic red tag nymph but basically a short red frizz fibre tail, peacock herl body ribbed with copper wire and a gold bead), what a small bluegill looks like and the perfect bluegill dam.

Offline David Taylor

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2013, 11:42:38 pm »







Not sure why no photos showed up. Will try again.

Offline PH

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 04:33:16 am »
http://www.ultimateangling.co.za/index.php?topic=823.0


Great article!!
To attach pics/images, follow above link.


While fishing for bass on Groenvlei Lake near Knysna one day, I caught this unfamiliar looking fish. The next morning I met a fly fisherman on the  water and told him about it.
I know what you mean, he said. I'll catch one quickly, he said. After one cast he produced the Blue Gill.
My jaw dropped.
He caught it on a tiny "wooly" fly that resembled a bright red worm about 2mm diameter X 30 mm long.





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Offline WalkersKiller

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 08:26:35 am »
Great post David  (clap)

Offline E.T.

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2013, 12:38:05 pm »
David how far away are you from Cape Town?
I am planning on coming through early next year to fish the streams and Bluegill has always been on my bucket list.
Don't you feel like fishing with me for a day?

Offline Lenny

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2013, 12:56:49 pm »
Eish ,nice Thread David !


Theres some seriously good Bluegill fishing in Cape town and you will cathc loads of them . Make a damn good Barbel bait too ..


ET , Greyton is about 100km from Cape town .


Should you be in CPT in the Northern Suburbs , do try Bellwaterpark , If you have your Wife with you you can drop he of at Tygervalley and quikly slip in a cast , its a small dam in the residensial area , close to Tygervalley shopping center.


This specific dam , has really really big ones , they even chow , Superflukes meant for Bass . but fish of over 150grams are common , if you need more info just give me a shout , I will share it with the rest of UA too .


NOTE : they seem to dissapear round about March April . and only re appear in late to early November .

Offline E.T.

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2013, 01:08:27 pm »
Shot for the reply Lenny.
I am thinking February. I want to flyfish the streams for trout as well as SM Bass.
Then I would also like some Bluegill action on the fly. I know where this dam is at Tygervalley. Seeing that you are giving away all the spots, why don't you add a good spot for those little Perch close to Stellenbosch I think its is?

Offline Lenny

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2013, 01:24:33 pm »
Shot for the reply Lenny.
I am thinking February. I want to flyfish the streams for trout as well as SM Bass.
Then I would also like some Bluegill action on the fly. I know where this dam is at Tygervalley. Seeing that you are giving away all the spots, why don't you add a good spot for those little Perch close to Stellenbosch I think its is?


Feb will be good for the Gills but , think that the streams will be to low to fish , If you could get in touch with Sean , he will be the best guy tpo speak to with regards to ANY fly fishing in the WEstern cape . I will have a look , I think I have his details .

Offline David Taylor

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 06:25:28 pm »
ET, I am 150km away from Cape Town. You are welcome to come fish for bluegill but I really don't think it is worth it purely because they are all pretty small and there are so many even I get bored after a while. Bigger bluegill give a very decent fight on a 3wt so I would go to that Tygervalley dam. There used to be some big bluegill in one of the dams here which I struggled to land on a 3wt Echo shadow which is not a flimsy 3wt by any means. I fished for them with #8 olive zonkers but they have disappeared to my great disappointment. Good luck.

Offline David Taylor

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2013, 06:28:17 pm »
I am very interested in this perch story. I have caught them while nymphing for grayling in the czech republic and they are really cool. Very pretty fish and very similar to bluegill just they get a bit bigger. Ah they would be an awesome fish in this country.

Offline E.T.

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2013, 06:38:13 pm »
Tell you what when I am down there I will get hold of you then we go fish for them Perch. The Auzzies refer to them as Redfin and others call them European Perch.

Offline E.T.

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2013, 06:41:28 pm »
Florida Lake up here also use to have them. But word has it that it's unsafe fishing that lake.

Offline David Taylor

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2013, 06:59:02 pm »
Unsafe as in you will get poked with something sharp for your car/wallet/phone? Or unsafe as in you will go fishing and if the water touches you you will grow a third eye and all your hair will fall out? Thanks for the offer I am keen.

Offline David Taylor

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2013, 07:00:01 pm »
Tell you what. You take me fishing for perch I'll take you fishing for leeries at Hermanus on fly if you are interested.

Offline Lenny

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2013, 07:16:26 pm »
I can tell you guys theres a few places in CPT with Perch in . BErg river has some , I would not be able to tell you where too look for them , cause I dont know .  Then the stream/ overflow of Bellwater park has them too , Caught one on a piece of sinking bread crust .
Theres also Cape Mogels there , a very rare fish in CPT and apparently diffrent from the Moggels you guys get up there .


Then I know of a couple thats in Sonstraal dams both of them / not sure if one can still fish there , we have NEVER had a problem , as a matter of fact , theres only one lady that gave the guys a hardtime .


I also know a couple of Dams in the Bottelary road , mainly Private dams , but a Small piece of Biltong for the Farmer will get you in .


I will try to link , you guys up with Sean , hes the man when it comes to these local ponds and flyfishing.

Offline Lenny

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2013, 07:17:19 pm »
Unsafe as in you will get poked with something sharp for your car/wallet/phone? Or unsafe as in you will go fishing and if the water touches you you will grow a third eye and all your hair will fall out? Thanks for the offer I am keen.




Being Jozi , dude , think a bit of both ... :crzy

Offline E.T.

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2013, 07:40:17 pm »
Tell you what. You take me fishing for perch I'll take you fishing for leeries at Hermanus on fly if you are interested.

That sounds awesome.  Thanx

Offline E.T.

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2013, 07:42:04 pm »
Lenny I think you and I should hook up too.
Will stay in touch.

Best

Offline Lenny

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2013, 08:12:15 pm »
Lenny I think you and I should hook up too.
Will stay in touch.

Best


MAybe you guys can link up and come to Struisbaai , them we hit DE mond , eish that river has some goooood fishing too . I will bring  Towels to wipe the drool of when I see your rods ... :-)

Offline Fishersteve

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Re: Bluegill
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2013, 09:26:26 pm »
Great stuff, is there anywhere to catch them in the Eastern Cape.