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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have any idea why people have to over harvest the Biggest Bluegills in a lake when the damn things are on the spawning beds and easy to take? Makes me madder by the year.

I fished a spawning bed on our lake this weekend...Kept 5 per day.....and watched group after group fill their live wells after that..... :******: :******: :******: :******: :******: :******:
 

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I don't fish for them at any other time of the year. I keep a limit (30 here) about once a week and eat them. You cannot fish them out... without a LOT of pressure. If there are that many big ones, the population must be in pretty good shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You CAN and will fish them out!!!!!! DNR research says that once the LARGE genetics are taken off the beds that the fish from the smaller gene pool will fill the niche. Why take 30 a week during the spawn? Just a gross over harvest of the largest fish in a lake. Every spawning bed should be posted off limits to the KEEPING of fish....Catch them and put them back so other people can enjoy the fight. In 3 weeks from now you'll be able to catch all the medium sized bluegills you want...much better eating also.
 

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Well, it has not hurt any of the lakes that I fish (and they get 1000 times the pressure that your stuff does) for the last 300 years. If it was a problem, the DNR would step in and correct it.

Genetics... :roll: Please... The genetics ar in ALL the fish. Not just the big ones. :eyeroll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Let's see.....do the fish in South Caralina have any different growth rates than say the fish in MN where the water temp is below 40 degrees for about 8 months out of the year? It takes about 6-7+ years up here to grow a trophy bluegill....I'd bet it's alot shorter in SC.

The fish in this partticular lake have been studied....they have good genetics to grow large due to habitat and food. The catch size has decreased steadily over the last ten years.....the large spawners are getting smaller every year in length and pounds. The fishing pressure has increased 10 fold....more people have found the beds and where there were 2-3 boats fishing a bed every day ten years ago now there are 10 + every day on the same bed. I remember when 16oz - 20oz bluegills on this lake were not that uncommon.....now a true 16ozer is VERY rare if not non-existent.

Again....why catch them...just because you can. 30 sunfish limit? That's what the limit was in MN until last year when they finally lowered it to 20. Some lakes now have experiemental 10 fish limits....it's about time....Unless you're a complete pig at the table, 5 sunfish are enough of a meal for a husband and wife......unless of course you are filling your freezer.

I'm not saying don't fish for those fish.....but why keep 20 or 30 every time you go out?
 

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A one pound bluegill in SC is between 5 and 7 years of age depending on where he is caught. It does not hurt our fish - I can't imagine the land of 10,000 lakes having a problem with not enough places to fish... :eyeroll:
 

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I understand where Field Hunter is coming from. Our lakes in ND are famous for boom and bust populations of perch and sunfish. But my understanding of why the fish attain superior size is not necessarily their genetics, but rather, as was also mentioned, forage base and habitat, as well as predation on the sunfish population by pike and/or bass etc.. Our short growing season also plays a big factor, in that conditions have to be favorable for a longer period in order for fish to attain a larger size.
We are lucky to have our "Prairie Jewels" as I like to call our small lakes, but it's unfortunate that so many feel that their resources are unlimited. Word of mouth, as well as published fishing reports, get the word of a hot bite around in a hurry, and people flock in to take as many of the tasty fish as possible. Don't misunderstand my comments. I have, and will continue to keep fish for the table, occasionally some big ones. But I try to use reason, and take only as many as I will use within a reasonable amount of time. I like the idea of slot limits for fish, but am sure our state would never implement such in regards to panfish. We have a put and take mentality in ND, and our fisheries people do their best to keep up. The one good thing I have seen in our small lakes, is the restrictions on gas motors to "idle speed". I would support an "electric only" law if one were proposed. I find that it tends to encourage those who are not too serious about their fishing, to stick to the bigger waters, which also tend to have larger and more stable fish populations. Opinions also differ on which species are more desirable. I release all bass I catch, unless one is too severely injured to survive. But I like to keep an occasional limit of 12" rainbows, when the water is still cool. This disturbs the fly anglers greatly, as they see the bass as a so-what, while viewing the trout as the desired target, carefully released to leap and cavort another day. I see this same thing on a local lake where I like to fish for bass, where people keep a string of 3-4 lb bass, when there are plenty of bluegill and crappie available. But you can't say too much, when someone has not exceeded their limit. You can only hope to educate them, by perhaps starting a conversation, and hopefully making a friend and a more savvy angler. Continued good fishing, Burl
 

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Great post Burl, people are going to keep keeping larger fish until they are taught not to. They think of it as an "unlimited resource" so they keep doing it. The only way to stop people from doing this is to teach them that it might hurt the fishing down the road for everybody.
 

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We eat a lot of sunfish but I don't fish any one area extensivly and I return any really big fish to the water. I find that as it gets later in the summer, you need to fish differently if you want to continue to boat larger sunfish. The thing that most improved the size of sunfish on our lake was a boom in the size and number of largemouth bass. It sounds sort of funny but at least on our lake the best way to have larger sunfish is to throw back the bass. Eat mid-sized sunfish and release all bass.
 

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Fieldhunter, what lake? :poke:

It is just too bad, Sunfish in MN are a disgrace, I remember as a kid catching large sunnies all the time. Now it is very seldom you can catch a keeper 8" plus.
 

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Yeah...that's an interesting phenomenon.

I caught HUGE bluegills as a kid too, but now...well, most of the time they seem so small. Was it just that my eyes and hands were smaller back then? Or were the fish really bigger?

Anyhow, YES - you can destroy a fishery by pulling all the big panfish out of it. Look at Lake Hobart in 2002. I caught tons of nice perch there and kept about 75 over a winter, but I watched hordes of anglers come in and reap, reap, reap without even THINKING what 1000 trucks on the ice were going to do to the lake.

Now the north end has hardly ANY fish left in it, because the 75 acres just couldn't take that abuse. Then what happens is the smaller fish, via genetics or competition (or most likely a combination of both) stunt out, and don't get above 8 inches.

So genetics, I am certain from what research I have done, plays a part in the stunting of fish. More often though, it is limited food supply and space. Do some research, you'll find out more on one of a hundred websites.
 

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HUH :huh:

Gandergrinder, is this what you were talking about????
 

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scottjes000 said:
your full of &$#* you cant over fish bluegill in the lakes that arnt fished the fish are smaller because they get stunted groth
Are you serious? That heated with profanities over a conversation about bluegill management which I'm sure you have a lot of experience on?

PM sent
 

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I have seen a few lakes decline in numbers of nice bluegills (9"-10") The best thing a guy can do is not say a word, but it only takes 1 butthole to wreck it for everyone else. The lakes i speak of are in western MN and still have plenty of good fish left but we had to work for our limits this year. If I had to guess, I would say there was close to 2000 houses on a 500-600 acre lake. It's not fished out, but by the standards set from years past, I would say it is close.
 

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Maybe you all should through the female spawners back. After all, myself and others have been accused of being unethical for shooting hen mallards.
 

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I think the bass population and bluegill population should be considered. I don't know the exact number but so many bluegills are needed for every bass. It's a fine line. Overfishing bluegills could result in damage to the order of things. I try to catch a few bass too when I'm fishing for bluegills to keep things even.
 
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