Last Wednesday, my son Brad and I hit a farm pond we hadn't fished for several years. It is a small pond of less than a half-acre, but when we fished it before we caught some nice bass and bluegill.
After walking to the pond, I made my first cast and a big bluegill grabbed my jig. In less than an hour we had caught lots of big bluegill and three big bass plus missing many others. We had all the fish we wanted to keep for a big dinner, plus sharing some with a neighbor.
It was obvious the pond hadn't been fished for some time, so the fish kept growing. Using a small white jig, we caught bass up to five pounds and bluegill tipping the scales very close to a pound. The fish were still hitting as we quit, so we will wait awhile before going back next summer for more action.
We had a choice of turkey hunting or fishing that pond. Since turkeys have been hard to come by this fall, I guess we made the right decision. As an added attraction to the successful fishing, we found several hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and the weather was very good for October.
Usually it is in the summer when bluegill can be found, and other species may be hard to find. However, this October trip proved you can catch bluegill almost any time of the year.
There are a lot of reasons to go after these tasty fish. Bluegill are one of the most popular fish in Missouri waters. Not only is it a favorite, but its popularity has been spreading and is moving towards the top of popularity. They are easily caught, take a variety of baits, are not particularity wary, are forgiving of a less-than-perfect fishing technique, fight very well for their size and are exceptionally fine eating as well as abundant in many ponds and lakes. They also can be caught with just about any tackle, from a cane pole to a fly rod. Of all these reasons, the main factor is their abundance. Bluegill harvests are not limited much by daily bag or size limits and finally, they are just plain fun to catch. They furnish fun for youngsters and adults alike.
Although bluegill are easy to catch, consent catches of larger fish can be more difficult unless you find a pond like Brad and I did. The large fish aren't found in every body of water.
Fall bluegill fishing is similar to summer fishing except the fish are generally shallower. As the water cools bluegill start to move into deeper water to spend the cold months. Big fish tend to gather in small groups while the small bait stealers are found in larger schools.
It definitely pays to use light tackle when bluegill fishing. Not only do you catch more fish, but also you have more fun with light tackle.
The bluegill is everybody's fish, they are ideal for beginners, but equally fun for experienced anglers. There is no shortage of good bluegill fishing spots in Missouri, and they are excellent eating. Bluegill fishing — if you try it, you'll like it!!
White, a Stockton resident, has a versatile background in sports as a participant and journalist. His column appears weekly.