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Ice Fishing

Monster Gills on Ice

Bluegill. Nothing about them seems all that sexy. They’re not mean like pike. Or tricky like walleye. They’re the fish you caught at the end of a boat dock. When you were 4.

Ice Fisherman with a bluegill

I can’t explain why a fish I ignore 10 months a year suddenly becomes an obsession. When the lakes in Michigan freeze up, Monster Gills haunt me.

Bluegill caught while ice fishing

Maybe it’s because my buddy lives in a neighborhood with a private lake. Which is stacked with hybrid gills. Only a couple times each season we hit a drop-off at sundown and slam monsters. We’ve had over 10 fish pushing the Master Angler status in the past two years. I should rephrase that earlier statement. The Monster Gills in that lake haunt me.

9 Inch Gill Caught through the ice

My buddy Dirty (artist in the median of Bacon Log) invited me to his place for a Superbowl party. The plan was to fish the Gill bite, fry up a bunch of food from smelt to pizza rolls to twinkies then watch the Pack and the Steelers. Sounds like heaven to this mid-western homeboy.

Ice Fisherman with a Bluegill

The fishing started slow. Dustin picked up one keeper within the first ten minutes then they shut down for a while. The Vexilar’s showed fish but they had momentary lockjaw.

Dustin: The Gill Slayer



We drilled 10-12 holes over 30 fow and I moved between them until I found some fish on the flasher. They were holding tight to the bottom. With a little jigging Dustin started hauling them in. He iced about 6 keepers before I finally connected on a nice 9+ inch Bluegill. With a shot of confidence from landing my first keeper of the season from the secret lake I moved to another hole.

The Vex showed a big red line suspending 4 feet over the bottom. My teardrop jig seemed to take forever to sink down to his level. He rose to the bait. I set the hook. He pulled drag.





I thought it was a bass. Until I saw him. I scooped him out onto the ice with my hand. I couldn’t believe it. The elusive 10″ gill officially iced. I haven’t caught a lot. But this is an official bull-gill.

A big bluegill caught while ice fishing

Dustin tells me that it’s a master angler. I’ll send the pics into the MI DNR and see what they say.

Big bluegill








I have room on my bibs for a new patch.



One thought on “Monster Gills on Ice

  1. That’s a pig…nice work Pete!

    Posted by angling obsession | February 17, 2011, 6:08 pm

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