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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:41 am • # 1 
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Had a great time this summer catching bluegills on well, almost anything on top. Finding the rights size between "too big to get a hook set" and "so small they swallow the hook easily" was tough. Anyway it's now colder and looking for the well of wisdom here for colder water tips. Dying to try out my new CGR 2W with Battenkill II and Rio Gold 3WWF. Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:47 pm • # 2 
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Location: Richardson Texas
Fish deep,fish slow.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:18 am • # 3 
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Makes good sense linecaster. In shallow ponds I'm guessing their metabolism sort of shuts down and I should just be patient for spring.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:14 am • # 4 
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I fish shallow water ponds, canals in North Texas and by about December I don't catch a gill until the Spring; I continue catching bass through the Winter in the same water and I catch even more bass in the Winter than I do in the Summer. The gills have to be feeding sometime but something changes. I would think the metabolism of a gill and bass are similar.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:21 am • # 5 
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I'm having some success with a 24" section of T8 just off the line and 3-4' leader attached to it. Make the cast and settle for a count of 10 and start a slow retrieve. After an appropriate number of casts, increase the count to 15, etc.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:19 pm • # 6 
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They must eat something; people catch bluegills ice fishing all the time.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:39 pm • # 7 
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Never ice fished; wouldn't worms or crikets be used for bait?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:09 am • # 8 
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What about using some of those very small ice fishing jigs? Could those be cast on an UL rig?
My son has a bunch of them I could steal.

Matt


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:44 am • # 9 
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JimRed wrote:
Never ice fished; wouldn't worms or crikets be used for bait?


For a long time I lived in northern Michigan and did a lot of winter fishing for bluegills. But it wasn't exactly fly fishing: it was too hard to hit that little hole in the ice when casting in the winter winds. Even so, in order to feel like I was doing something vaguely similar to fly fishing, I would use the tip of a fly rod fitted to a handle, possibly an old grip and reel seat of another old fly rod, and a click-pawl reel loaded with 6- or 8- lb test monofilament, going down to 6x or 7x tippet material at the end.

The bait used, in fact, was not crickets or earthworms. A common bait was a "wax-worm" which is actually an insect larva. But the deadliest bait of all, especially for the bigger gills, was a nymph. That is, a live Hexagenia Limbata nymph, more commonly known as "wigglers".

If you're fishing for gills in open water in winter, perhaps you could find a good hex nymph imitation, or a good brown drake imitation. Or even something more generic, like the gold-ribbed hare's ear. But as has already been said, fish deep and slowly.

Tight lines!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:00 pm • # 10 
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Thanks for the suggestion PampasPete.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:21 am • # 11 
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For me the problem has never getting the fish to bite, the problem is detecting those bites.

I have had fair luck using a weighted fly (such as something with bead chain eyes) on a long fluorocarbon leader and letting it sink slowly until it's pulling the tip of a floating line down. Watch the leader/line for any unusual movement or pause, then gently strip-set the hook.
Sometimes I've even had them slam the fly (in slow motion) and run. I'm guessing they were schooling and wanted to get the morsel of "food" away from the group. Go back to the same spot and odds of another catch are good!

Some days I catch nothing, but it beats setting at home wishing I were fishing. :lol


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:43 pm • # 12 
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I caught a bunch of trout and bluegill through the ice this winter on sz 12-14 pink squirrel flies. It wasn't really fly fishing but at least there were flies involved. If you pay attention to the ice fishing world, a lot of them have switched over to using fly reels for their ice rods because they don't generate line twist. You can blame them for driving up the price of old spring & pawl reels every fall :)

I'm sure a small nymph fished slow and deep will get bites from bluegill in winter, the trick as others have said will be the subtle bite detection.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:52 pm • # 13 
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Just started ice fishing this year, using spinning reels initially, then happily changing over to fly reels. Felt good putting some spring & pawl reels that I’m not fond of anymore to good use.

One thing I learned is that the bite in the cold can be so light that it might be near impossible to detect on a cast line. So yes those gills do eat in winter but it’s going to be hard to know when to set the hook.


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