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Managing for Big Bluegills

Current Trends & Perspectives: Folks are increasingly realizing that the beauty of a big bluegill lies in its rarity.

Managing for Big Bluegills

Perhaps the problem all along has been one of perception. The term panfish, to some, seems to imply that God put bluegills, crappies, and perch here for one reason: To be filleted and consumed in assembly-line numbers. The bigger the better, some folks also believe, for bigger panfish mean chunkier fillets, and more food. As In-Fisherman contributor and big-bluegill expert Jim Gronaw puts it, “Too often, anglers view the harvest limit not as a management tool but as a daily fishing goal and a measuring stick for success.” The unfortunate byproduct of such an approach is that currently, your chances of catching a 10-inch bluegill are rarer than catching a 50-inch muskie or...

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