Thanks for great post David! I love catching these little buggers too!
@ Fishersteve the Grahamstown area is full of Bluegill! Most bass water in the Eastern Cape has bluegill too! Where are you located?
Would you believe that bass and bluegill are in the same family?
They spawn much the same time as bass, and if you find a bed of nests late in the year you can sight cast to the bigger ones (polarized sunnies help a bunch). They love surface lures with legs closer to evening, which is why I also think fly fishing for them is ideal. I tie some of the most ridiculous looking flies for these guys provided it has that magic characteristic (legs, sink rate or colour etc) that they are looking for - they wolf it down!
You cant believe the size of a foam popper, covered in rubber legs and deer hair that a bluegill can fit in his tiny mouth! And they fight like little trucks!
For me, catching bluegill on my 3 weight boosted my confidence with fly and help cut my teeth with casting technique and presentation. Being able to drop a foam hopper in a 30cm wide gap between lily pads (one of their favourite homes) from 10 meters is tough and forced me to focus on accuracy and presentation.
My favourite flies are foam hopper, bead head bugger with rubber legs instead of hackle legs, blood worm imitations and bass fry patterns (during the spawn).
Here are some photos from an afternoon late last year.